Long time member and ex-chef Adrian Bridge shares some of his tips that he’s learned over years in the kitchen. We certainly learned something new from the below tips:
- Always bring your cooking equipment up to temperature before putting your produce in to cook and don’t overcrowd the pan. Crowding the pan leads to steaming or stewing and lowers the temperature of the pan so you won’t get the caramelisation you’re looking for.
- Bring your meat to room temperature before cooking. It relaxes the meat, this will speed up cooking time and promote even cooking throughout.
- Always rest your meat after cooking. Wrap the meat in the foil and let it sit for approximately five minutes. This allows the juices to settle before you cut into the meat. The meat will continue to cook while it is in the foil so if your cooking steak and prefer medium steak, you should take it off when it’s medium rare.
- Its ok to cook in batches, not all vegetables cook at the same speed. Some recipes will say add this then add that and keep cooking. Experiment with this as not all recipes are correct. Some softer vegetables can be sealed first then added towards the end if you want to retain shape and colour.
- Taste as you go and season as you go, you should know what the dish tastes like before serving it. Sometimes a little more salt or a dash of spice lifts a dish up. Don’t be afraid of salt since you’re cooking a fresh meal instead of eating a packaged one.
- I also add some fresh herbs if required at the end of the process just prior to serving to maximise their flavour.
- When blanching/ cooking vegetables in boiling water like broccoli, ensure water has come to the boil and don’t overcrowd the pot when cooking, put a lid on to bring it back to the boil quickly. Do not overcook, you want to retain the flavour in the vegetable not the water, remove from the heat prior to overcooking. To rapidly cool down have a bowl of ice water ready, strain the hot water off the vegetables and quickly put them in the ice water, this will retain flavour and colour. Once cold strain and place on paper towel to dry out. Great for when meal prepping.
- Put a wet paper towel under a cutting board to stop slipping.
- Before you cook, have everything measured, peeled, chopped, pans greased etc and clean as you go.