Test Kitchen tips: Makeshift piping bags
If you have a recipe that calls for a drizzle of chocolate, or want to do some fancy work plating that final dinner sauce, don't worry if you don't have a piping bag or a squeeze bottle.
A food-grade plastic bag will work in a pinch. Fill the bag with the sauce, concentrating it in one corner. Don't overfill the bag (smaller bags will give you more control as you're piping), then cut the tip to the desired size and decorate.
A plastic bag won't give you all the artistic freedom of a piping bag and a box of fancy tips, but it can do a really nice job so long as you're going for something simple. After cutting the tip, practice a bit on a paper towel so you can get the feel for the flow before you work on the real deal. Be careful that the sauce isn't too hot -- a hot sauce can hurt your hands, and could melt the bag.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times