Easy cooking tips to simplify food preparation.
If knives are the most important tool in your kitchen, then, mise en place is the most important concept.
Mise en Place - French for "put in place" - to prepare everything one needs to begin cooking. Pots and pans, knives sharpened, measuring tools, graters, scales, appliances, ingredients prepped in the manner described in the recipe, oven preheated... it all falls under the heading of mise en place and without it there isn't a restaurant anywhere that would be able to function. It applies equally in a home kitchen.
When you need to hold hot sauces that are prone to break, hollandaise and beurre blanc come to mind, put them in a warmed coffee carafe or thermos. They hold great and they won't break.
Taste, taste, and taste again. Taste as you go and taste again before you serve it.
Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity, light and heat cause dried herbs and spices to lose their flavor.
Always allow your meat to rest after cooking, especially when it comes off of a grill.
Always blot proteins on paper towels, especially when they come out of a saute pan.
Don't overcrowd the pan when you're sautéing — it'll make your food steam instead of caramelizing.
Season all of your food from start to finish. Seasoning in stages ensures your ingredients are seasoned properly and gives you the best flavor.
Always use sharp knives. It will make your work more efficient and it is safer.
Do not add oil to your pasta water. It prevents the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta.
Blot the surface of your proteins dry with a paper towel. Too much moisture makes the meat steam instead of sear, then you will not get that nice brown crust.
Done in a saute pan, over high heat, with a small amount of oil.
Done in a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, usually cooked in an oven at low to medium temperature.
Done in an oven typically using dry heat.
Done on the stove-top in a pot either covered or uncovered.
Done on the stove-top usually in a covered pot with a fitted steamer basket.
Done in a frying pan or deep fryer with varying amounts of oil.
Done on a grate directly over a heat source such as wood or coal. Though people use grilling and BBQ interchangeably there is a distinction. BBQ is traditionally done over low heat for a long time, while grilling is done over higher temps for a short time.
Done in an oven using dry heat. The distinction is that most proteins are roasted while grain products are baked.
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