- Cooking Methods – As there are many types of meat, there are also various ways to cook them. Roasting chicken would definitely differ from roasting meat due to the meat’s texture and weight. Aside from learning the right temperature to cook certain cuts of meat, it is also necessary to learn how to prepare simple sauces. Even poaching eggs the right way is very important because restaurant customers can be very picky. If you need to know the right way to stew, caramelize, broil, bake, or simmer any dish – learn cooking methods.
- Familiarity with Kitchen Equipment – There are many varieties of kitchen equipment that can be used to prepare food. However, it is significant to understand when and how they should be used. Proper handling of equipment such as mixer, oven, or even a spatula promotes efficiency and safety. Think of cooking for a dinner party with a hundred guests then you would understand the necessity of learning this culinary skill.
- Knife Handling Skills – The knife is an indispensable tool for any chef or cook. Use it properly so it can drastically reduce your food preparation time. There are many types of knives each with a specific purpose. Cheese knives, bread knives, cleavers, carving knives, sushi knives ” they all play a role in creating the right cut or slice. A good chef or cook should master knife skills; in fact, a good chef demonstrates the right way to mince onions. It seems trivial but a chef is measured by how he handles the knife.
If you are serious in making a career out of your passion for cooking, enroll in a reputable culinary school. Make sure the school has accreditation to make it easier for you to land a job. There are many local schools offering culinary courses to choose from. Make the right choice today by getting a certificate or diploma in culinary arts.
Smoke the fish yourself
Don’t be put off, because it is simple and adds to the fun of cooking the dish. Traditionally the process would start with the curing of the fish in water and salt, by covering the bone less fillets of fish in the liquid solution then removing and allowing the fish to dry. This was to start the removal of water from the fish which would help in the preservation. However for your own needs at home, preservation is not needed, and in addition by removing this stage you will be reducing the chances of excessive amounts of salt being in the finished dish. Salt which is vital in small amounts to control the electrolytic balance of the body, but is hazardous in large amounts because of it increasing our blood pressure levels.
So I suggest that you start with the smoking of the fish. You will need some wood shavings, ideally from a used whisky barrel, if you have one lying around. Failing that you can buy supplies at very reasonable rates from the Internet. The fish needs cold smoking for a minimum of eight hours. At a temperature of no more than 30 degrees Celsius. Without initially buying a specialist smoker, make you own. You will need an enclosed metal container large enough to hold the fish, with a lid and a raised surface to keep the fish off the embers of wood. Over heat, with the lid on, bring the wood shaving to a temperature where they start releasing a mild burning smell. Add other flavourings if wanted, such as crushed juniper berries or a slug or two of a malt whisky. Take off the heat and add the fillets of fish. Whilst the overall temperature needs to be low the embers still need to keep smouldering, so keep a check on the temperature and if need be put back on the heat or slightly open the lid. Keep the process going for around eight hours, at the end of which you will have produced your own smoked, salt free fish. Do not worry if the temperature rises too high at any stage, just remove the fish and use as normal in the dish.
Making up the Kedgeree, the simple way
Gently heat a pan and add 150 g of cooked rice, 125 ml of cream, and a teaspoon each of ground Turmeric and Ga-ram Masala, then 100 g of the flaked smoked fish. Allow to warm and plate topped with chopped boiled egg and parsley. If you prefer replace the cream with fish stock.
An alternative way is to not add the flavourings to the mix but to serve with a jug of curry sauce. Each to their own.
Serving Kedgeree with more elegance
With this option warm the rice, cream and spices; as you are serving add a handful of chopped spinach or kale and stir until warm. Separately poach the smoked fish in milk, and when cooked place on top of the flavoured rice and spinach. Top with a poached egg and parsley.
For this dessert I use dried fruit. Prunes will give you fiber which is usually not found in cakes or pastries. Apricots, raisins or dried cherries are also good to use. I remember my grandfather eating this with his breakfast. He would always make sure there was some left for his breakfast. I prefer it as a dessert.
To make this I take1/2-pound of pitted prunes and cover them with water and let them soak all night. The next morning I cook the prunes in the same water in which they were soaked until they are tender. I let them cool and puree them. Next I add 1/4-cup of sugar and cook for 5-minutes. Then I let them cool to room temperature.
Next I beat 2-egg whites until they are very stiff. Next I stir 1/2-tablespoon lemon juice into the prunes. I then fold the beaten egg whites into the prune mixture. I lightly butter a shallow baking dish and pour the mixture into it. I bake it for 20-minutes in a pre-heated 325-degree oven. This very good served warm or cold and with or without real whipped cream.
If other dried fruit is used just remember to use 1/2-pound of that fruit.
Paneer Palakh, also known as saag paneer or spinach paneer is a divine dish, fit for royalty, fit for your favorite party or get together, and maybe also the perfect dish you’d like to make for your family as a tempting Sunday night dinner.
Some things that make Paneer Palakh a dish as tempting as none other are:
- It’s a tasty, fulfilling meal
- Very nutritious, spinach happens to be a rich source of minerals while cottage cheese is one of the best sources of protein.
The dietary value of paneer paalakh is high, and this acts as an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and also Calcium, Iron, sodium and potassium.
The best part is that the dish is relatively easy to make.
So if you are trying to get your kids to start liking leafy greens, paneer palakh is the alternative to go for. If the kids happen to admire cottage cheese, they will develop a liking for spinach as well.
Go for paneer palakh, and see you guests rave in awe, admiration and delight.
With the high percentage of minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrients that we find in spinach, the vegetable is beneficial for a host of vital processes.
Let’s run through some of the additional benefits of spinach that we should be aware of:
- Maintaining A Good Eyesight
- Preventing AMD or Age related Macular Degeneration. High percentages of antioxidants that are present in spinach help prevent harmful effects of free radicals which negatively affect vision. Consuming spinach regularly could work towards preventing age related conditions such as glaucoma or even macular degeneration.
- Neurological Benefits. Components of spinach such as potassium, folate and several antioxidants offer neurological benefits to people who regularly consume them. So the risk of Alzheimer’s disease reduces. Potassium is essential for brain health and works towards improving cognition, concentration and neural activity.
- Maintaining Blood Pressure. Spinach has high potassium content and low sodium content. The combination is extremely effective for someone suffering from high blood pressure as potassium lowers blood pressure while sodium increases blood pressure.
- Bone Mineralisation. Spinach is a rich source of minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus which keep the bones strong and help prevent osteoarthritis. Alternately, vitamin K present in spinach helps retain calcium in bone matrix so as to ensure bone mineralization.
Baked apples are a camp favorite. To make this delicious dessert, take a large apple, leave the peeling on and core it, leaving a portion of the bottom intact. If possible, save a portion of the top to cover the filled apple. Fill the core with your choice of filling, such as cinnamon and sugar, walnuts, raisins, marshmallows, nutmeg, brown sugar, butter, and/or coconut. Replace a portion of the top to keep the filling in as the apple cooks. Wrap the entire apple in tin foil, shiny side up. Heavy-duty aluminum foil is best. It will be less likely to puncture and will help keep the food from burning. Place the foil-wrapped apple in coals and cook for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the package, unwrap and enjoy.
A different way to do baked apples is to simply slice the apples, put the slices in the middle of the foil and sprinkle with the desired toppings. Close the foil, and cook on the coals. You can substitute peaches instead of apples for this if desired.
Another favorite foil fruit dish is banana boats. To make banana boats, cut a v-shaped wedge along the top entire length of the banana, leaving the peel attached at one end if possible. You can eat the wedge. Fill the cavity with fillings such as chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, nuts, peanut butter, butterscotch chips, Reeses pieces, or any other filling that you desire. Replace the peel over the top of the filling and wrap in aluminum foil, with the shiny side to the inside of the package. Place the fruit package on its side in coals. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The key is to get the fillings to melt, without totally cooking the banana, which makes it somewhat mushy. You end up with a dish that is a campfire version of a banana split (without the ice cream!).