KITCHENS BEYOND BORDERS
KITCHENS BEYOND BORDERS
INTERNATIONAL COOKING MADE EASY
Tips and Recommendations
Always use quality fresh products; the fresher the better.
If you have a garden it is the ultimate.
Use natural ingredients as much as possible. It is not only about flavour but also nutrition. Stay away from stuff that has stuff added or stuff removed!
We tend to salt too much; by salting towards the end of cooking the seasoning will be more noticeable. Use sea salt; it is lighter and has some other minerals.
We also tend to use too much refined sugar. Using organic sugar is lighter, adds flavour and a little fibre.
Freshly cracked peppercorns are always better tasting than ground pepper retaining more flavour and usually more heat .
Fresh herbs can even be grown in your residence, on a window sill or side table. When using fresh herbs always use much more than the dried one. Use organic!!!
Make an effort to get meats that were traditionally grown with no hormones, antibiotics and not fed by-products.
When it comes to seafood and fish , wild is always better than farmed.
Never shy away from asking the food professionals for their opinions. The people working in produce, meats and seafoods are trained and usually very helpful.
Calling around for what you need is also a good idea, whether to specialty or ethnic stores and shops, people are there to assist you.
Remember this is about having fun and enjoying different foods.
I have always found that a smile and some humour go a long way. Making food more interesting makes life more interesting.
Another important thing to note is that cooking times can vary depending on several factors. This can be because of the type of stove; whether electric, gas, wood or a barbecue. Other factors can be the type of cooking pots and pans and the way they conduct or carry heat. Relative altitude to sea level is also another. Of course, the actual differences in ingredients from one part of the world to another can cause variances. Therefore it is important to use cooking times as a relative indicator and not an absolute. When uncertain, it is always better to start cooking at a lower heat and adjust up rather than down.
In this series we try to describe the “doneness”. As you work with various cuisines recognizing doneness will become easier. When Chinese stir-fry is done it is still a bit crunchy whereas European stews are always slow cooked and soft.
By inserting a meat thermometer you can determine the following :
Beef doneness : rare 142F medium 158F well done 168F
Pork doneness : well done 176F
I like to think that the food is already perfect and that we just help it along …
Let the flavours come through…
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