New Year's resolutions in the kitchen: 9 techniques and processes that you will love to master

Maybe it happens to you like me, that I don't really feel that with January 1 there is a change or renewed air. But although typical and well-behaved good purposes bore me, it seems like a good idea to take advantage of the occasion to pose new challenges, also in the kitchen. That's why I encourage you as a good purpose to learn or master these techniques Basic cooking

We no longer talk about essential recipes or dishes for those who start at the stove, it is about knowing the basic points of the main culinary techniques. Professional chefs you know them well and are already an internal part of their way of moving in the kitchen, but as amateur or homemade cooks we should also master them. There are many techniques that can be very useful, but these are some of the most prominent.

Know how to read a recipe correctly

No, it is not silly at all. Those of us who share recipes on the web know that many of the doubts that readers sometimes raise come from not having read the recipe carefully, and sometimes we all sin from over-passing them. Launch into cooking before reading each ingredient and each step, at least a couple of times, can lead to disaster. It is important to know in advance exactly all the ingredients that are needed, the utensils and the time that we are going to use.

This also helps identify possible errors of the recipe itself, either errata or dismissal of the author. It is common to find in the step-by-step instructions concerning an ingredient that did not appear in the initial list, or that some quantities or times are poorly indicated. Reading carefully and applying common sense it is easy to identify and correct those potential failures.


Always practice mise en place

The French term mise en place, also called simply mise, refers to the first step of preparing all the ingredients and utensils that you will need before Start cooking anything. This implies that, if we follow a recipe, it must be read and reread well from the beginning to the end, review the pantry and measure, weigh and cut All the ingredients.

Never assume that we have in the bottom of the closet that very important spice, or go to the fridge for vegetables when we have the pot in motion. Have all the necessary products before lighting the fire It helps us to be more orderly and efficient, it will avoid forgetting and clipping and also assures us of a cleaner, less chaotic and dangerous kitchen. We will cook better and faster.

Differentiate between simmering and boiling

It seems obvious, but it is not. I am afraid that I have seen many people ignore the indications of a recipe when they insist that you have to let 'simmer', or it is not reached the optimum boiling point. Raising the temperature of the water or broth because we are in a hurry or hunger and we want to accelerate the process is never a good idea, nor is it to be passed on the opposite side.

Too much heat, and the liquid will evaporate too soon, the ingredients will cook poorly and some foods will still be raw. If the temperature is too low, they will not cook properly and we will lose a lot of flavor and texture by lengthening the exposure in the water. A liquid boils when the surface breaks into large bubbles aggressively, while in the low heat small bubbles appear They go very smoothly outside. The chup-chup of a lifetime.

Jump and flip

Sauteing is one of the most practical, healthy and versatile cooking techniques, but it is often misused. A good stir fry can be a delight or a mixture of bad textures and flavors, so it should be mastered. The fundamental thing is to remember that we need a large container with high walls, low fat and very high temperature.

We can go one step further and learn to turn in the pan. It is a great technique for sauteed all kinds, and it works great when we mix cooked pasta with its sauce. The secret is in the wrist movement: you have to make a firm movement forward and then back, drawing a kind of elliptical orbit, nothing to shake up and down. The pan is tilted down and then, when pulled back, the handle is raised a little. Here is Jamie Oliver in action teaching how it is done.

The different ways to chop an onion (and other vegetables)

There is a world of difference in the kitchen when the ingredients are cut and chopped the right way, and not crazy in any way. First you have to know what type of cut should be used, although to begin with it is enough to master at least the chopped onion. It is important to have a good knife and a suitable surface, a decent table that will be the one we always use for the same tasks.

There are two basic cuts: in juliana and brunoise. The first is in thin strips, and is achieved by first cutting the onion in half, without the skin, to go practicing the cuts longitudinally. The second type is in small dice, ideal for stir-fry and stews. Starting from the half onion, first two internal cuts are made, parallel to the table, and then parallel lines are cut at the top, without reaching the end, to have a point of attachment. The dice are then removed by cutting perpendicularly.

Perfect fried

It seems that frying is the most basic and easy cooking technique, but mastering it requires practice and having several concepts clear. Neither frying an egg is the simplest thing in the world nor does anyone get the perfect frying, and that is proven with terrible fried foods that you can still find in places of all kinds. Here you have all the keys to how to get fry correctly at home, but we can summarize several essential keys.

You have to use good oil that withstands high temperatures, clean and abundant. And precisely the temperature is fundamental, you should never add the ingredients until you reach about 175-180ºC, and it must be constant, so you never have to overload the pan or fryer. Food should be completely submerged, and when they are ready, they are first removed to a strainer and then passed to paper towels. Also the batter is important, depending on what we are cooking.

Reduce waste and reuse as much as possible

A good cook treats his ingredients like precious jewels that must be know how to make the most of. In our country, a lot of food is still wasted, not only because we cook and buy more, but also because we throw away many products that are perfectly valid. The first thing is to make the purchase with head and know how to organize the pantry and the fridge for the best conservation of each product.

Then you have to try to apply the philosophy of not throwing anything, for example taking advantage of bones or spines to make broths, soups or mashed vegetables with cuts Vegetables, fish and meat remains for croquettes, cakes or empanadas, the green leaves of the carrot for a pesto sauce ... Did you know that the broccoli stem is a delight, and that the beet leaves are very tasty? The same happens with the green part of the leek, why do we always throw it away?

Cook pasta properly

Another basic product of the pantry and which we usually resort to when we become independent and have no idea of ​​cooking. But you can eat exquisite pasta dishes, or authentic bazofias. Without entering recipes for sauces or more complex accompaniments, the first step is to know how to cook pasta properly. It is easy, but we continue to fall into typical mistakes that it is time to eradicate.

You have to cook the pasta in plenty of water - abundant really - salty - well salted -, without adding oil or anything else. The pasta is poured when the water is already very hot, and it is cooked by boiling on a high heat, stirring gently only at the beginning. You have to respect the cooking times indicated to leave it al dente, and drain very gently - with more delicate pastes, better remove them with a slotted spoon. And it is always better to start the sauce in a pan to add the pasta directly to it, hot.

The different ways of cooking eggs

The egg is a fantastic food, humble and simple but that hides a great nutritional value and offers many possibilities in the kitchen. If we can access eggs from country chickens, much better, but in any case it is advisable to know their Basic cooking techniques to get the most out of it. My father always says that with a couple of eggs in the fridge you can set up a delicious meal improvising with what's in the pantry, and you're right.

A boiled or hard-boiled egg enriches any dish, but you don't have to go through cooking to get the perfect yolk. Scrambled eggs are another delight in which the key is not to beat them too much and achieve a smooth, almost creamy texture, adding cream or milk. Something more difficult to poach or poach, but nothing that is not solved with practice and some tricks. The basics of frying can be applied to fried eggs, although the point of the yolk and whether they will be tipped or not, depends on each one.

There are many other cooking techniques and recipes that we can consider learning this new year, but as a good purpose it is not bad start with these 9 essential points. If you have already proposed to eat healthier, do not forget the importance of knowing how to cook properly to make the most of both the nutrients and the taste of each food. What more advanced technique would you like to master?

Photos | iStock, Pixabay
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