1. Mise en place. You have seen me write about this before. It is, in my opinion thee most important step in cooking. Mise en place is the art (and it is an art!) of completing in advance all the preliminary tasks involved in preparation before you start cooking. Cut up all of those vegetables before turning on the stove. Grate any cheese you will be using before the oven goes on. Have that butter set out at room temperature so that it is ready to use. A good mise en place is half the cooking and that applies to home cooks as well as big kitchens. That way, everything comes together as needed and you don’t have food burning on the stove top while you’re busy prepping ingredients.
2. Knives. The most important tool in your kitchen. You must always use a sharp knife. You want to take the time to learn how to properly hold a knife, and know the best way to use it. Using knives properly is an essential cooking skill that makes everything so much easier, and is essential to protecting your fingers as well. To learn more about how to handle a knife properly, check out the short film at http://chefwilliamlikes.me/knife skill
3. Cooking with oil. The best oil for deep fat frying is Canola oil because it has the highest smoke point. You want to avoid reaching the smoke point because once there, you can just dump everything and start from scratch. Once the oil reaches the smoke point, it signals that the oil is chemically breaking down so concede defeat, get rid of that oil and start again.. That nasty smell that comes with smoking oil translates into off flavors in our food. Oils with a low smoke point are unrefined oils, such as flax seed oil, walnut oil and sesame oil with smoke points – between 225°F and 350°F. and are best left to be used with cold foods such as dressings etc. Medium smoke point oils are oils such as grape seed oil, olive oil (not extra virgin) and peanut oil with smoke points between 375°F and 450°F. I have sometimes deep fried the thanksgiving turkey using peanut oil. Medium oils are best for sauteing and shallow pan frying. High smoke point oil with refined canola oil and ghee (or clarified butter) with smoke points between 470°F and 485°F. This is what you want to use when deep frying.
A note about Knives, while you can get by with just one knife, it is much better if you can add to your collection over time. A sharp French or Chefs knife is a must, but a pairing knife and a boning knife are also very important.
I have two sets of knives that I keep for myself and another set in the kitchen for everyone to use.
Watch for more Kitchen Tips every Thursday for the next few weeks.
For exciting Home recipes check out Chef William’s Mexican cookbook at http://chefwilliamlikes.me/Traditional Mexican Fiesta Recipes
Eat Healthy, Laugh Often and Enjoy Life~