COOKING should be fun! Some of us stress too much when preparing a meal, make it simple use fresh ingredients, don’t over cook things, cook food you enjoy and don’t plan more recipes than you can manage. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy cooking.
USE FRESH GOOD QUALITY INGREDIENTS The difference between fresh or frozen green beans is, with fresh beans all you need is to blanch them and then quickly flash saute them with some sea salt, pepper and some garlic. Frozen beans have very little flavour and never the same texture when cooked as fresh green beans. This applies to all frozen or canned vegetables. The secret is buying your produce in season. In the summer the selection is endless, and in winter use squashes, cabbage and root vegetables.
GREAT SET OF KNIVES I can’t stress enough how important it is to have great knives. There is nothing more frustrating then slicing a ripe tomato and instead of getting a slice you get crushed tomato. The three knives that are a must are a paring knife, a chef knife and a filet knife. German knives are excellent quality, but there are many good knives you can buy. Using good quality of knives is an important investment in your kitchen.
CUTTING BOARDS A good wood or bamboo cutting board is a must. If you have a glass cutting board use it for decoration, these will destroy the knife-edge. I recommend to have at least four boards in assorted sizes. More on which cutting board to use and how to keep them clean click here
TECHNIQUES Knowing which technique to use is important, such as steaming, braising, roasting, searing, sauté, simmer, broil, fry and poach, these are most commonly used. Most vegetables take very little time to cook so steaming or flash saute is a good choice, fish is great poached, fried or broiled and meat can be cooked with any technique depending on the meat. It is also important to let the meat rest for few minutes before cutting so the juices have the time to settle, the result is, much juicier and tender meat.
PREHEAT THE OVEN This is very important in baking bread, desserts and meat. Placing the food in the oven below the right temperature you will not get the same results. For example the meat will be drier or the dessert will not rise to it’s full potential. Read more click here
PREP YOUR FOOD Get all the ingredients ready for your recipe. So wash, chop, mince, cut or slice. Having all the ingredients prepped creates a stress free and enjoyable time in the kitchen.
HAVE FUN Put some music on, get a glass of wine, relax and have fun!