The Food Groupie Club

Hi my name is Sarah and I'm addicted to food. I have been a chef professionally for about 12 years now and am currently teaching cooking classes at a culinary school. I seriously love to cook and eat good food. The problem with cooking and eating like the professionals though is that it can be kind of intimidating for a home food enthusiast. My goal is to bring good food into every-day homes. Anyone can make healthy, good quality, good tasting, and good looking food with the right know-how. So here you made easy by a professional!

I will be featuring some of my favorite chef's recipes in my posts and will note in the post what book was used. Their books that I use will be listed in my must have cookbooks tab.

Cooking School 101

These are the basic rules that I drive into my students heads daily. Good food doesn't create itself. It involves a lot of thinking and imagination. I believe everyone is capable of thinking and using their imaginations, however, they just sometimes don't know how to tap into that creativity. So here you go: (this is a work in progress, so check back frequently to see if I've added anything new)

  1. Season your food!! Salt and pepper are the 2 most important spices you have. Always use kosher salt by the way. Iodized granulated table salt is nasty. Once you start working with Kosher you'll understand. And please....season during preparation and cooking of your food, not at the table by sprinkling it on the top of everything. You will never need a salt and pepper shaker again at the table if you follow this step. Plus you'll enjoy your food more because its at its peak of flavor. Over salting is not seasoning....its called over salting for a reason.
  2. Just because you've been cooking something a certain way for a million years doesn't mean you've been doing it right or that there isn't a better way. Keep your mind open to new ideas and stop being so stubborn because "that's how your grandma or mom did it". Grandma learned to cook during the depression. FYI food was different back then. Example: Please, please, please stop wrapping your baked potatoes in foil! They are called baked for a reason. They are actually steaming in the foil which leaves the inside hard and chunky and the skin wet and mushy. You are missing out on a nice fluffy inside and crispy outside skin. Stop.
  3. Experiment! Try a recipe you've never made before. Find an ingredient in the store you've never used and go home and look up recipes that utilize it. We get stuck in these food ruts and eat the same 5-7 boring recipes each week because we are familiar and comfortable with our habits. Dinner should be exciting, and not just a way to "fill the void".
  4. Recipes were meant to be ignored (except in baking). It's ok to add your own touch to recipes. Leave out things you don't like and add things you do like. 
  5. Use quality ingredients. Crappy ingredients = crappy food. Good ingredients = good food. Sounds like common sense? Its not. I understand we are all on budgets and some ingredients are out of reach. Find acceptable substitutions that don't sacrifice quality. 
  6. Buy fresh and buy local. We live in the California hub of awesome produce. Why buy canned or frozen when we have the best stuff in the world right at our doorstep.
  7. Taste your food. Stop inhaling it! Take time to taste and appreciate all the textures and flavors. Slow down and enjoy your dinner. Its not a race.
  8. Just because you have a lot of food doesn't make it good food. Think about it. How many times have you left a restaurant and said : "wow, did you see all that food they gave us" vs. "wow,  those tomatoes in the salad were so flavorful? 
  9. Please, if you are preparing food that anyone besides yourself will be eating..... WASH YOUR HANDS. And don't lick your fingers while you cook. Safe food is appreciated by all. 
  10. I love beef and pork. These animals gave their lives so we can have a delicious meal from their sacrifice.  Honor their memory by cooking them correctly. Steaks should NEVER be cooked over medium. Medium-rare is best, but medium is the maximum you should go.... ever. The more you cook a steak the tougher it becomes, and it dries up leaving it with no flavor. Plus that's an insult to that animal who died for no good reason.  Those of you that think you have to cook to well done because you don't like eating "blood"....... that "blood" is actually the yummy flavorful juices from the meat. Think about it, what color is the muscle tissue? Makes sense the juices would be red.  When you cook out the juices you need more saliva production to help break that meat down so you can swallow the meat. I don't know anyone who has beef flavored saliva. That would actually be pretty awesome.
  11. Speaking of steaks...... how many of you have cooks forks at your BBQ's that you use to flip and pick up your meat while you grill. Stop, and start using tongs. How would you feel if you were stabbed by a sharp fork? You are giving an escape route for all the juices to exit and fall into the flame. No juices = flavorless, dry steak.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I've gotta say somethin'!