25 of Anthony Bourdain's Best Cooking/Life Tips 0
25 Best Cooking & Life Tips from Anthony Bourdain
gathered and written by Jennifer Stitt
We have compiled a list of cooking tips and philosophies by Anthony Bourdain to help you become the best cook you can.
When making the perfect burger, one of the things that should be considered first and above all is the meat going into the patty. It should be made from top quality beef in order to taste the best.
A burger is also only as good as the cheese that covers it. The chosen cheese should be soft and easy to melt for the best consistency to be achieved.
Finally, the house of the burger, the bun it sits on, needs to be considered, too. It should be soft but one that will not end up soggy. Potato buns are often a great choice for these very reasons.
Anthony believes there is a special essence to eating food. Some cultures, such as Italians, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese, also share this viewpoint that food should not be seen as something to bragged about. Instead, he says it should be seen “as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon.” It should not be taken for granted, and it should be enjoyed as much as possible.
He also believes there is an essential method to preparing for a dinner date, so it can be enjoyed the most. He claims that he goes all out when the meal comes because he believes it should be enjoyed thoroughly, mostly because he wants to enjoy the person he is spending time with. He says, “I choose this meal and this order, and I choose you, the person across from me, to share it with. There's a beautiful intimacy in a meal like that.”
At the same time, he believes something else by extension of his methodology on dinner dates. He claims that, “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” Not only do you learn a lot about their tastes in food, but you have the chance to learn people’s mannerisms. Most importantly, discussions that occur over a meal tend to be the most revealing about people in our culture. Coming to the dinner table has always been a corner stone for which conversations, deep and meaningful ones, take place.
As an extension of the previous thought on eating a meal with people, Anthony believes there is an important key to feeding people, too. He says, “ . . . it's a noble craft and a noble calling, 'cause you're doing something useful - you're feeding people, you're nurturing them, you're providing sustenance . . . ” In other words, to cook something for someone means you are giving them a gift from your heart, thus showing how much you care about them.
The most important thing to learn in cooking, first and foremost, is acquiring knife skills. Many teachers claim this should be done with an onion first because of its strength and the low cost. As far as knife skills go, Anthony believes a cook is nothing without them because it means not being able to accomplish anything in the kitchen. Having knife skills includes knowing how to handle the knife for different types of cuts and knowing how to take care of a knife in the best ways possible.
Anthony also believes there is a key in learning how to make the perfect omelet. While it is a simple dish, many things can be done to make it taste different each time it is made. It also teaches a lot of skills with the knife because of cutting up ingredients. Furthermore, it teaches the importance of the egg as the cornerstone of cooking because it is used as an ingredient in so many dishes.
People who want to know the basics of cooking need to understand how to roast a piece of meat without having to cut into it or without having to use a food thermometer. This technique teaches patience with food.
Likewise, people should know their way around the grill. Not only is this alternative a healthy one to other cooking methods, it opens up the world of cooking to a whole new variety of food options and pairings.
Cooking vegetables can be difficult. Whether it’s grilling, boiling, or stir-frying, a cook needs to be careful with vegetables. Anthony suggests going on the cautious side because by time a vegetable seems to be done to the untrained eye it is often overcooked.
Knowing where to shop for the best produce options is key to understand the basics of making good food. Basic skills in this area should be able to determine when something is in season and whether or not it is ripe or rotten.
Understanding how to make a good salad dressing, sauce, or dip means potentially saving a dish that does not otherwise seem like it goes together. Sometimes, simplicity is better in this department because the dressing accents the food instead of takes it over.
One key to survival is knowing how to fillet a fish. If you do not know how, then find a reliable fish monger to teach you how to do so, or simply pay them to do it for you.
As an added bonus, it would be a good idea to learn how to recognize a fresh fish. Well, the same can go for any type of meat, really. Fresh is best.
As with other types of seafood, knowing how to steam a lobster or a crab can mean having a change to really showing off your skills. Again, fresh is key here. Do not buy seafood that looks too dead when you buy it. As far as lobsters and crabs go, they should be rather lively indeed before they are brought to the steamer.
Making mashed potatoes is something many people struggle with. Avoid going for the box method. Learning to peel potatoes teaches knife skills, and learning to roast them teaches patience. Also, this dish teaches that simplicity in flavor is the key to a successful side dish.
When dealing with meat of any kind, it’s a good thing to know what to do with the leftovers that are trimmed off and cannot be eaten. Mostly, the bones are the focus here. These ingredients may seem disgusting, but when paired with some water and light seasonings in a pot of water, they can make an awesome stock that can be used as the basis of many dishes.
According to Anthony, people commit steak murder on a frequent basis. This meat is not mean to be overly handled. It needs to be touched as little as possible in the cooking process.
The best way to serve a steak is actually medium rare. This method allows for the best tasting juices to be used.
Remember, steaks need time to rest. Therefore, pulling a steak shortly before it is done allows it to carry over cook to the perfect grade of doneness while it rests a moment. Allowing a steak to rest also means allowing a chance for the juices to settle into the meat again. Once more, no touching!
Anthony believes stews are a perfect dish to learn how to master at an early stage in your cooking experiences. It requires knowing how to make stock, how to handle meat, and knife skills with vegetables and how to cook them.
First, be sure to precook the meat so it has enough time to be thoroughly cooked through by the time the dish is finished.
If grease and oils build up on top of the stew, do not try to mix all of them back in. Skim them off the top. Mixing some back in can be helpful, but the fat mostly is not useable.
Cooking Tip: Is your pineapple ripe? Pull out a leaf. Can't pull out a leaf? It's not ripe yet. 0
Cooking Tip: Scoring your meat or fish allows them to cook more quickly and lets any marinade you are using to be absorbed more efficiently giving you tastier food. 0
25 Pasta & Cooking Tips from Super-Chef Mario Batali 0
25 Pasta & Cooking Tips from Super-Chef Mario Batali
gathered and written by Jennifer Stitt
1. Whenever you can, try to use fresh ingredients. Many frozen or canned ingredients contain many preservatives or are highly processed to the point that they often can alter the taste or texture of a dish. Fresh ingredients can prevent that change from happening. Besides, fresh ingredients always taste better and add more vitamins and nutrients to a dish.
2. Some areas are better known for certain types of food, which is often based on either the local culture or foods that are readily available to for use in that area. If Italian food is a local favorite, then it should be easy to learn some of those recipes. At the same time, if strawberries or apples or deer meat or certain types of fish are available in your area at their freshest, then those ingredients should be used as much as possible.
3. Do not be afraid to let foods sit and sizzle in their pot or pan. Many cooks create one large habitual sin when they cook at home: over-stirring dishes. This sin often over processes food and can either add too much air or remove too much air from a dish. Additionally, precious juices can be lost from meats that are handled too much. Therefore, stop using the spoon or spatula too much. Listen with your ear instead and allow the cooking vessel to do its work, and make sure you taste the dish when only absolutely necessary.
4. When it comes to using alcohol in food, be certain it is something you are likely to drink. Do not venture out of your comfort zone too far. If there is something you know for certain you do not like to drink, then it is unlikely that your tastes for it will change when it is used in cooking. Instead, use some of your favorite types of alcohol when cooking instead.
5. Mario Batali is known as a king of pasta, so it goes without saying that he has plenty of tips to give on the subject. One tip suggests that there is a specific pasta-to-water ratio to obey when cooking. For every pound of pasta being cooked, make sure there is at least six quarts of water being used. Once the water has a chance to come to a boil, add in three tablespoons of salt. If the salt is added before the water has a chance to come to a boil, then the boiling process will take longer to happen. At the same time, be sure you do not let the water come to a boil until after pasta has been added.
6. Another pasta tip refers to the type of oil being used. As with other food ingredients, be sure it is the best and the most fresh. Some areas of the world are famous for specific types of oil, so those types should be used since they are the most accessible and also pair best with local fare. Clarity and weight of the oil also need to be considered to be sure the pasta being cooked with it is not overpowered.
7. Additionally, make sure the oil does not begin to burn. Different oils have different smoke points, so you should make yourself familiar with these differences. If an oil does seem like it is starting to burn, then simply remove the cooking vessel it is in from heat for a moment to cool it back down.
8. Many people prefer a great deal of sauce with their pasta. Regardless of the amount preferred, it is essential to the dish being a success that the sauce is integrated with the pasta thoroughly.
9. If cheese is being added to the dish and it is not included as an ingredient in the sauce, then it should be added last. At the same time, it is essential to remove the pasta and sauce from heat before this cheese is added.
10. As with other dishes, going fresh is always the best bet. In case of pasta, the best thing to add more flavor is to top it off with fresh herbs. Again, these should be purchased locally, unless you decide to grow your own. They should be incorporated into the dish evenly, just as with the sauce.
11. When cooking pasta, be sure it can be served within minutes of being finished. Pasta does not sit well, so it should be consumed as soon as possible for the best taste and texture to be experienced during the meal.
12. When pasta is being made with the intent of spending the final stages of the recipe in the oven, then make sure the pasta is cooked before baking begins. Simply cook the pasta for three minutes less than you normally would to avoid over cooking.
13. The most important thing to a baked pasta dish is the pasta. Make sure it is the star of the dish by dressing it lightly, as if it is a salad.
14. If pasta does become overcooked due to cooking and then baking, hope is not lost. The dish is not ruined. Simply cut it up into slices, add bread, and then fry away!
15. Another dish Mario Batali is known for making is homemade pizza. One of the first tips to learn is how to make your own dough. Freshly made dough performs the best. It also allows for the recipe to be altered to your tastes. Most dough recipes are rather simple and can be altered with sugar or herbs for flavoring or to increase yeast production as needed.
16. Be sure to use your hands as much as possible when working with the dough. Tools used for kneading the dough can cause it to be overworked, which then can make the final product a bit tougher to eat.
17. One common cooking sin when making pizza at home is to add too many toppings. Simplicity is the spice of this food, and using fewer ingredients on top also means avoiding a sloppy pizza.
18. As with pasta, pizza tastes best when it is topped with fresh herbs. However, do not be rough with these herbs. Be gentle and take care to apply knife skills to them gently to preserve as much flavor as possible.
19. When it comes to grilling techniques, Mario Batali has a few tricks to offer. A sure fire way to gain the best tastes from grilling is to cook over an open fire instead of over a closed off grill. Regardless of whether or not an open flame is available, using cast iron materials to grill as much as possible makes for better textures and tastes.
20. Fire roasting goodness can often be achieved by grilling, which means to cook over the coals of wood or charcoal. This way, outer layers of char can burn away, leaving the remaining tender pieces to be consumed.
21. There is one essential tip to grilling safety: keep flammable objects like the can of spray oil, away from the flame as much as possible. Also, keep some water nearby for flare ups, and make certain a fire extinguisher is accessible for flare ups that go out of control.
22. Many people prefer to sear their meatballs before adding them to pasta. Mario suggests this tactic might overcook the meat. Instead, simmer the meat balls in a sauce as the method of cooking to keep them soft and succulent.
23. Day old bread with milk is one of the best ways to ensure that meatballs are formed as well as possible. The mixture of these ingredients greats the perfect ratio of textures.
24. In order to lay your hands on the best of the best when it comes to fresh ingredients, become rather close with your local shop owners. A farmers market is the best place to locate many of these fresh ingredients. However, these markets are not always open year round in all areas. Some locations offer whole foods as part of their items. If neither of these options are available, or if it is out of season for you to grow your own, befriend local grocers and people at your local market in order to make sure they keep the best items in stock. Become familiar with their delivery times for produce and other ingredients to be sure you can access them as early as possible and in their freshest state.
25. Most importantly, Mario suggests to look at recipes as guidelines instead of steadfast rules. He says, “Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules.” Therefore, do not hesitate to experiment to come up with a unique dish!
Cooking Tip: How to keep herbs nice and fresh for as long as a week... 0
Cooking Tip: Always start cooking potatoes in cold water 0
23 Rocking Cooking Tips from Wolfgang Puck 0
23 Cooking Tips from Wolfgang Puck
gathered and written by Jennifer Stitt
We have found 23 of Wolfgang Puck's best cooking tips that could help you rock the culinary world in your very own kitchen. Enjoy!
1. One of the most difficult things to do is maintain the right thickness or thinness of soups and sauces. In order to test the thickness of soups and sauces, run a spoon through the liquid and then pull it out. If a film is left on the spoon, then the soup or sauce is thick enough, especially if you are able to run a finger through the sauce and leave a clean streak behind.
2. If fat is allowed to rise to the top of the stock or sauce, then it can cause problems with cooking. Believe it or not, it can stop the cooking process altogether. In order to stop this from happening, just take a spoon and swirl it around the top layer of the soup or stock. Any liquid or fat that comes off on the spoon when it is removed should be discarded.
3. When working with new cookware, take the time to clean it and season it with butter, oil, or seasonings of choice before using them the first time. This will help to preserve materials and flavor them over time. If necessary season them again after a first clean.
4. If you want to give a vibrant color to your vegetables, place them in hot water for a few moments, then shock them by placing them in ice cold water. This also heightens their texture and taste.
5. Sometimes, lemons and limes can be difficult to juice. There is a trick to making it easier, however. You can simply place them in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds. This loosens up the fruits so they are more giving of their juices.
6. When buying shrimp, make sure that they have a fresh and clean scent. If they are gritty or mushy, then avoid using them.
7. When cooking a whole turkey or chicken, be sure to wrap the drumsticks in foil to prevent excessive browning.
8. Wooden spoons have been a long-time favorite of cooks over the years. However, some wood materials can be porous, meaning they hold onto bacteria and funky flavors for a longer time. Olive wood does not allow this to happen as it is a harder wood.
9. Before buying baking sheets or other baking containers, be sure they will fit inside your oven first. Simply taking measurements of your oven before going to purchase these items can save you a great deal of time and money.
10. When adding shredded cheese to a sauce or a dish, do not over incorporate it. Work it into the dish until it is only just blended with the other ingredients.
11. In order to obtain the best cuts of meat, no matter what kind of meat you choose, be sure they are the top grade every single time you purchase them. How? Simply chat to your local butcher and become familiar with their shop and what they sell, the more knowledgeable and friendly you are the better the cuts of meat that come your way.
12. Another tip to obtaining the best piece of meat is to know which cuts are the best to go after. One cut of meat might be great for pan frying, but it might not be the best for grilling. If you are unsure ask your butcher, most people enjoy sharing their knowledge when asked.
13. Do not rush meat when it is being cooked, it might be done on the outside and underdone on the inside. Fast cooking or overcooking meat can also lead to a nasty texture and taste.
14. When it comes to flavoring meat, do not go overboard. Let the meat speak for itself instead of being overpowered.
15. Mashed potatoes may appear to be one of the easiest side dishes to make, however, overcooking the potatoes, adding too much milk, or adding too much butter can absolutely ruin the taste and texture. Before mashing them, drain, and cover with a lid for a few minutes so they steam a while.
16. Do not store tomatoes in the refrigerator. Instead, store them at room temperature. A cold fridge means under-developed sugars, which can leave tomatoes with a muted flavor.
17. To avoid dulling your knife blades, store them in a knife block. It does not matter if they are vertical or horizontal.
18. Make sure you use oil that has a high smoke point when frying. Peanut, canola, and soy are safe to use because their smoke points are high. Also, be sure to clean oil or replace it routinely to avoid unhealthy build ups of cooked or undercooked food, which can make oil turn rancid.
19. When making potato pancakes, hash browns, tater tots, or French fries, try to drain off excess water from the potato to avoid a mushy or soggy potato dish.
20. Beating egg whites has a variety of purposes. The best types of eggs to use are those that are at least three days or so old. The eggs should also be at room temperature. Make sure the bowl and beaters being used are as clean as possible, too. The idea is to beat the eggs until stiff peaks form, therefore putting as much air into the eggs as possible.
21. Clarifying butter can be a tricky task. It should be melted over low heat so that a foam forms on top. This foam needs to be removed by spooning under it to reach the clear liquid it protects. The clear liquid should then be placed into a clean container. Sautéing food with clarified butter allows you to cook in butter but at a higher temperature, so it is very important that impurities from the foam do not join in on the clear liquid.
22. When it comes to making sauces with butter, be sure to keep the butter at room temperature before adding it to the sauce. You should add the butter into the sauce by hand, a little at a time, while continuing to whisk the sauce briskly. If the sauce becomes too hot, just remove it from heat for a moment. However, do not let it go cold.
23. Do not season clarified butter, and especially not with salt. Usually, clarified butter is reduced during the cooking process so it will naturally become more bold in flavor and does not need to be seasoned.