Cooking Fragile Foods

23Sep08

Oh dang, burnt.

Yes – Burnt foods can hurt and smell bad. Especially when it’s rotting in your pot, waiting for it to be transferred elsewhere. Today, one of our apprentices burnt her pièce de résistance – Soupe de Legumes. With the heavy-bottomed pan producing small holes of the burnt soup on its surface, it produces some kind of stench where it could kill – And you don’t want that to happen in your restaurant if it’s an open restaurant. There are too many mistakes in Teppanyaki restaurants in Malaysia lately – And we do not feel like becoming one.

Heating up food is one way of cooking – But not to the extent of burning it. Foods like garlic burn quickly, and we don’t want that. Angelia Giam blogged about Fried Shallots in Shallots Oil and I (V. Cook) helped her with some strategies to combat burning of foods, and also how to keep it crispy all year round.

Here are some ways to combat heat if you’re in need of a quick fix:

  1. Very hot oil

    Remove pan from fire, add in more oil. Double the amount of oil if you cook frequently – That will keep your oil from a rancid feel after a month or so.

  2. Very hot pasta

    The quick fix is ice cubes. But hot pasta into ice cold water is too sudden. Always keep pasta half cooked, with water drained, wash it in lukewarm water. Quick fix: Ice or cold sauce.

  3. Cloudy soup when boiling chicken.

    Quick fix: Get some boiled water, blanch the chicken for approximately 10-20 seconds. Cool it off, then boil. Works very well on stocks – Do this especially for bones.

  4. Remove pomegranate bits

    Portion the pomegranate into 6 sections – But don’t cut them until the bottom. Cut them until they are about to release, then soak them in water. All the seeds will be removed. You can strain it off now.

  5. Peeling potato and tomato

    Using a sharp knife, make a thin, reasonable slit to the potato or tomato skin (the thickness shouldn’t be more than 4mm for regular ones). Do it to all of your potatoes and tomatoes. Blanch them in hot water for 5 seconds, then place it in ice water. Immediately, the skin will come off.

  6. Keeping chicken stock out of the fridge

    If you have no space to keep your chicken stock (in the fridge), then boil your chicken stock in high fire for approximately 10 seconds after it has reached its boiling peak, turn off the fire and cover the pot – 7/8 closed.

  7. Remove insects from your dry, uncooked rice.
    Place a few pieces of dried chillies inside. Within hours, live ones will be gone, new ones would not breed.
  8. If you need to reheat liquid in a microwave oven, have something in it.

    For a cup of coffee or any other liquid materials, always have something wooden placed into it – This will prevent any explosion should there be overheating.

  9. Toast your herbs (dry) or blanch them (fresh) before using.

    They will produce a more robust aroma.

  10. Pound your chilly, not grind them.

    Pounding your chilly in a pestle with a mortar gives you a more refined taste, bigger texture and juicier finish.

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One Response to “Cooking Fragile Foods”

  1. Some great tips in there i will bear in mind for the future, thanks, great blog


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