I need some basic cooking technique instruction!
March 15, 2012 10:03 AM Subscribe
What are some ways to kick up my cooking skills and techniques? I need to add a little more variety.
posted by stormygrey to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a pretty good cook, when I make a dish for a party people say Yum! and eat it up. The thing is, its really basic, really rich classics like lasagna, mac n cheese, stuff like that. If I can cook with unlimited carbs, salt, butter, fat, etc. Its pretty freaking amazing.
Every night for dinner, though, I just chop and saute/stir fry vegetables for the most part, and while its good, I know there are ways that I could kick it up a little. These are the things I'm curious about:
Spices: I love things hot, hot, hot. I use lots of cumin, sczhuan pepper, chili, etc. When is the optimal time to throw different spices in? For example, I've heard of Indian chefs toasting (or something) on the pan before everything else. What are your spice tricks? How do you combine spices to make something an identifiable type of food? (Mediteranean, Chinese, Indian, Mexican)
Sauces: I can make sauces that taste ok, but they don't hold to the veggies or they get more watery once in the pan than I'd like. What is your favorite easy to whisk up sauce base (my default right now is rice vinegar, braggs aminos, and a little sesame oil) Sugar? I think maybe that'd be good.
Techniques for producing different textures in vegetables: I don't want them all soft, or even worse soggy. I've found that tomatoes will definitely make the whole thing wet if you throw them in early. Any other tricks? Like how to reliably get onions nice and brown with the amazing crunchy carmalized stuff that you can scrape up to make gravy? (see above)
Tofu: Marinating? Frying? Baking? I don't do much, besides I've recently started pressing it, then I slice it up and throw it in with everything. (Bonus Points for Amazing things done with Nutritional Yeast)
Here is the difficulty: Vegan, very low use of grains or rice and low sodium. So basically, vegetables, spices, and some oil.