Tips

Improve your cooking skills with these simple techniques

In order to get the desired outcome of flavour, texture and appearance of food, it needs to be cooked the right way. Here’s an introduction on a few important cooking techniques and how to pair them with suitable ingredients.


Boil

Boiling, is using water that's in full motion, with bubbles rising to the surface. For pasta, the movement of the water prevents sticking, and cooks quickly so the pasta doesn't get soggy. Green vegetables are tossed into boiling water to cook as quickly as possible so they retain their flavor and bright color.Also used to reduce sauces and retain concentrated flavour. 


Blanch and Shock

After boiling as above, vegetables should be cooled quickly by submerging in an ice bath (shock). What you get is bright and tender-crisp vegetables that may be used in salads, sushi rolls, and stir fries, or refrigerated for later use.


Poach

Poaching is best for delicate foods such as eggs, fish, chicken breast and fruit.The liquid should be at a low simmer, and not bubbling at all. For meats the poaching liquid should be seasoned with whole spices, herbs and onion. The result would be a well-seasoned, moist dish.For dessert preparations, fruit is often poached in sweet wine and water with some spices (star anise, clove, cinnamon, etc). Eggs are generally poached in water with a bit of vinegar. 


Steam 

A very healthy way of cooking, in leaves the veggies bright, retaining its natural flavour and texture.  Remember to cut the vegetables into uniform sizes so that they cook at roughly the same rate and are done at the same time. 


Sear

Gives a golden brown crispy finish to meats or fish with the juices sealed in.  The pan needs to be preheated over high heat, before adding the oil. When the oil is shimmering and hot, add the meat and let it cook on both sides.


Braising 

It’s great for transforming tough cuts such as pork shoulder, short ribs and lamb shanks into tender, fall-off-the-bone consistency. The technique involves slowly simmering meat and vegetables (carrots, beets, beans, cabbage, broccoli, onions etc) in a small amount of liquid in a covered/ uncovered pan on low heat.  The braising broth can be flavoured with wine, fruit juices, brandy, or vinegar.

 
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