I've mentioned before that I am a home cook who doesn't have a lot of the fancy gadgets and toys that a lot of home cooks these days have. I'm generally okay with making do with what I have. However occasionally not having a particular tool is frustrating.
One of those times is when I recipe calls for straining a portion of the dish with a fine mesh sieve. Generally if a fine mesh sieve is called for, a basic colander won't work because the holes are too big. An example of that is when rinsing quinoa. If I tried rinsing quinoa with a colander, all the grains (really seeds) would go out the holes and down the drain.
Then recently while reading an old copy of Bon Appetit someone gave me, I found a solution. The editors of the magazine suggested using a regular coffee filter inside a colander. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of it first?
I bought the commercial sized coffee filters because they are slightly larger. Simply layer the coffee filter inside your colander. I found it works best to get it wet first before adding your ingredients.
Coffee filters also work for things like straining bacon grease for storing. Just fit over the jar or container and pour in what you want to strain. In some cases, you may have to be patient. You may even need to squeeze out the last bit of liquid, but it's well worth it.