Introduction to cooking techniques
When we talk of food and it’s nuances of cooking; Cooking techniques rarely are discussed. Discussions pretty much it boils down to recipes. Here the method measurements are perceived to be key to the secret box. I tend to disagree! Recipes what I use for my catering are very well listed here and exactly measure by measure, since I disagree. You might agree that when we both use the same recipe to the T, the output would be different when I cook and so did you. Something doesn’t add up. what doesn’t add up are the three T’s of cooking. I disagree that giving away my recipes would actually compromise my USP. The philosophy is simple the more I gibe the more I receive. To grow a business, one needs to address the industry as a whole. Said a dear client Anil Rao, which left a deep impact and opened my perspective to the larger picture. So as long as I don’t cater to the industry issue be it hunger issues or contemporary world class visually appealing I have failed as a specie.
The three T’s of cooking techniques are
This can be defined as basting, braising, grilling sauteing roasting or baking. Each a varied department on it’s own inside a kitchen. I cant bake to save my life. I can compose recipes to create desserts and breads, this bit defines the outcome and my way of flipping an omelette is way different than yours, we aren’t judging who’s better, just that we differ more like a personality trait, perhaps our motor skills define this bit to a large extent. Perhaps we focused on recipes bit much 🙂 Once we compartmentalize the cooking technique and address the other requirements to a desired effect, we’d have a perfect braise perfect done-ness and juicy meats. Tip: when you grill a meat on a griller the idea is to go slow flame until just you hear it grilling and not bleed the juices then move to a high flame setting to get the crisp and color right. All left out juices can make that fantastic sauce that’s termed as Jus! Well that’s # 1 of cooking techniques
Timing – Temperature
Another biggie and perhaps the most important one between cooked right or over cooked or the deciding factor for many competitions is cooking it perfectly, few simple parameters. The amount of time food is exposed to heat, the thickness of the meat/vegetable in the sauce or the grill plate and the temperature at which its exposed to. Lets say a bone in chicken leg or a whole un-cut potato requires more time on the same temperature and a decent amount of self cooking time if its been grilled or waits into a sauce. While thinly sliced chicken breast into a sauce required little boiling and could cook on it standing time (into the curry pot switch the flame off and it cooks itself within that much heat) Hope # 2 of cooking techniques is as simple as explained
Temperature – Timing
The temperature required for vegetables to cook is way higher than meat, while the time required for meat to cook could be a lot more higher, so don’t misinform yourself that one needs to cook meat on higher flame. They are two very different functions have very different purposes. A high flame aggressive boiling is great for a vegetable Blanche but disastrous for a meat to poach at that temperature and equally disastrous if the meat did not expose itself to the desired coking time. The time required to do a lamb or a veal differs and also the thickness of the meat factors in a lot for enabling the desired temperature reaches the core. A filet half as thick would certainly require 70% if the same time as twice thick. Certainly not 50%. There goes cooking techniques #3
Conclusions on this cooking techniques
So while we understand the bigger nuances and insert any recipe here, be assured the braise the grill the technique the temperature and timing makes the recipe look merely coincidental as you know how one should handle the food, the food handling is exactly what makes the difference from a good t a bad plate on a good to a bad day (insert any chef here) (insert the same recipe here) this is what we mean by a bad day. We burnt the meat or we overdid it a few minutes, or we over focused on a recipe while you were wondering what was wrong! Now you have some cooking techniques to save your day!
Wiki is a great resource for most things including cooking techniques