March 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
So, I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I would have liked. A million excuses. But the best one is that I’ve done a couple of cooking lessons recently. I think they both went really well, and I’m excited to continue on this path. I figured that before I get back into the serious business of explaining techniques and tips for working in the kitchen, I’d share a bit about these first two lessons.
First, I had a coworker request lessons in cooking Japanese food. I decided on doing salmon shioyaki (salt-broiled salmon), a cucumber & seaweed salad with sweet vinegar dressing, a chunky pork stew, and the classic staple, short grain rice. We went to the store together so that I could show him where to find some specialized ingredients that might otherwise be difficult to track down. Some of the staples of Japanese cooking – short grain rice, mirin, rice wine vinegar. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
It is time for us as Americans to admit that our diets are not working for us. We are unhealthy as people, and our diet is one of the greatest contributing factors. We eat too much meat, too many processed foods, not enough vegetables, and not enough whole grains. We have to change the way we think about our current eating habits. We can no longer treat our diet as an afterthought.
We have to become more demanding as consumers. As a country, we have the palate of a middle school student. We want cheese, fat, and sugar. In the meantime, we have forgotten about fresh vegetables, and how to prepare them properly. It’s no wonder that many children hate vegetables when the only reference point they have is frozen vegetables that have been microwaved or boiled into a limp, dull, flavorless mush. Even if we could simply prepare frozen vegetables with proper cooking techniques, we would be making steps in the right direction. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
One of the easiest ways of preparing food, especially vegetables, is by steaming. This is not my favorite method of cooking, because you don’t get the depth of flavor produced by roasting or the ability to layer flavors produced by sautéing. However, steaming is hands down the easiest, quickest and healthiest way to prepare food. Since this blog is about breaking down cooking to it’s most basic components, I figure this is a great technique to write about.
First, you will need a steamer basket to suspend food above boiling water. You can find either a metal, plastic or bamboo basket that has small holes or slits in the bottom. This allows the steam to cook the food, instead of submerging food in water, as with boiling or blanching, so you don’t lose nutrients into the cooking water. Metal steaming baskets are common in any grocery store that sells kitchen supplies, and you can find them on-line for right around $10. You can also find bamboo steamers at an Asian market or on-line for about the same price. « Read the rest of this entry »