Friday, February 25, 2022

Basic Rules for Cooking

Mmmmmm Tacos!  Chorizo base with lots of vegetables and greens straight from the garden mixed in!

I should probably blatantly point out that I have no business teaching anyone how to cook, I have zero credentials and no official training.  Everything I know has been hodgepodged together over the course of my life and is likely very much against the grain of what is seen as "normal".  Cooking is an art form though, everyone has their own way of doing it and the dishes I put together turn out pretty damn good if I do say so myself.  So having said that, we need to lay down some general ground rules for cooking!  You obviously don't have to follow these rules but you'll want to so you get the best results and avoid lots of frustration.  Much like a kid sneakily climbing onto the kitchen counter and putting a hand in the cookie jar, you know the consequences can be dire but is it worth it just for some quick gratification?  Probably not...  But you're probably going to anyways...

Here are the ground rules:

1) Low to Medium Heat ONLY - Especially with olive oil.  Olive oil has a low smoke point, meaning it literally goes up in smoke fast.  Even if you're using other oils with a higher smoke point don't use a high heat (unless you know what you're doing).  High heat is an excellent way of burning the outside of your food and leaving the inside frozen, much like a hot pocket.  This also goes for using the oven, the majority of your baking will be below 400 with almost everything taking place at 350.  The above hot pocket statement applies to oven use as well.

2) Use Oil - When doing cooking of any kind, please oh please use oil.  This is especially true with stainless steel cookware.  Stainless steel is not non-stick.  It can however quickly become non-stick by putting some oil in the pan and heating it up.

3) Let the Oil Heat Up - Be sure to let the oil come up to temp before adding the food to get the full non-stick effect.

4) Add Spice - To flavor your food and to vary how your food tastes, use some spice.  You can use all of the spices, some of the spices, or none of them at all.  All of which will give you a completely different tasting dish.

5) Have Fun - Cooking can and should be quite fun, don't get stressed out about following recipes or doing exactly what someone told you.  Heat up a pan with some oil, chop up some veggies, throw them in, add a little spice and enjoy.  It can (and should) be as simple as that!

There you have it, 5 simple rules to set yourself up for success in the kitchen.  Enjoy!

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