How to Master Cooking Basics
You can learn to cook almost anything but to be a great cook you need to be able to master the basics. In this section I offer you a selection of videos where I show you how to master cooking basics, from dicing an onion to butterflying a Chicken Breast.
If you ever watched a T.V. cooking show you will have most likely heard expressions like , Al Dante or Blanch ? Most cooking terminologies come from France and more often than not go over the heads of most people. Here you can find some explanations and definitions of the more common cooking terms :
- Al Dante - The point during cooking that food such as rice , veg or pasta is still firm to bite & ready to be removed from the heat.
- Blanch - To partially cook vegetables in hot water or oil to make them softer.
- Bouquet Garni - Fresh herbs tied together so as to be easily removed from stocks. Sometimes the herbs are in a net.
- Garnish - To decorate a plate of food with fresh cut vegetables , herbs or other garnishes. To make the dish look more attractive.
- Infuse - To leave ingredients soaking in a wine or liqueur to season them.
- Marinate - To soak meat or fish in an aromatic blend, to add flavour and tenderise it. Marinades are normally based on olive oil.
- Poach - Most often referred to an egg being cracked into boiling water. But you can also poach fish or meat this way.
- Puree - To turn a mixture of ingredients into a liquid in a food processor.
- Reduce - To heat a sauce or stock long enough for it to reduce and thicken in consistency.
- Season - To enhance the taste of a dish by adding salt & pepper.
- Julienne - To cut vegetables such as carrots into very thin batons. This is often done so that the batons absorb oil and other marinades. Ideal for salad dishes such as coleslaw .