Basics to Cooking

Hello ladies!

In this post, we will be discussing the following cooking techniques and equipment: skillet cooking, baking, roasting, slow cooking, moist cooking, grilling, broiling, pressure cooking, and microwave cooking. Below are some of the cooking definitions, I will provide recipe links so you can try any of these cooking techniques and end up with a delicious healthy meal! If you have a preference for any of these cooking techniques feel free to scroll on down!

Skillet Cooking1

s1

A skillet is a very versatile piece of kitchen equipment and can be used for many different dishes. Due to its multi-purpose, you should try and purchase a higher quality skillet.

So what kind of skillet do you need/want?

Tip: There are several different types of skillets, and thus it can be difficult to choose which one is best.  Generally,  an 8-12″ skillet (with a lid) is the most versatile and easy to handle type of skillet1.  But, there’s more than size to consider when buying a skillet…

What types of skillets are there?

  • Stainless steel: durable, easy to clean, and non-reactive to acid foods1   (this would be my choice).

s2

  • Cast iron: these can be heavy and require extra care to keep them seasoned. However, they are good for non-stick cooking and for use in the oven/stovetop. How to season this skillet is explained at the end of this blog post1.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.50.27 AM.png

  • Teflon: great for non-stick cooking, but one must be sure to not scratch the surface. Not desirable for high heat cooking1.

s3

  • Electric skillet: heated by plugging it into an outlet rather than being placed on the stovetop1.

s4

Skillet cooking methods1:

  • Sauté: to cook quickly in small amount of fat on medium-high heat

Zen & Spice.  Sauteed Garlic Green Beans.  May 2016.  Internet: http://zenandspice.com/sauteed-garlic-green-beans/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes  (accessed 1 August 2017)23

  • Stir-fry: to cook covered in small amount of fat on medium-high heat while stirring constantly

Kalyn Brooke. Easy Chicken Veggie Stir-Fry.  Internet: http://kalynbrooke.com/recipe-box/healthy-chicken-and-veggie-stir-fry-recipe/  (accessed 1 August 2017)24

Braise: to cook covered in a small amount of liquid after browning or searing (extremely hot) first

RasaMalaysa. Italian Braised Chicken. October 2016.  Internet: http://rasamalaysia.com/italian-braised-chicken/  (accessed 1 August 2017)25

  • Pan-broil: to cook quickly, to brown either with a small amount of fat or without fat on high heat

Baking1

There are endless products for baking that can make it easier, however, they all are not necessary. below I have listed those that you truly need:1

Mixing bowls                                        Wooden spoon                                        Rolling pin

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 8.16.49 AM.pngspoon       rolling pin

Dry and liquid measuring cups          Measuring Spoons                              Electric Mixer

measuring cups                              measuring spoons                                electric mixer

Baking sheets

baking sheet

Tips for baking1:

  • Make sure you follow the specific order and way that ingredients must be added together
  • Place the item in the center of the oven to allow even distribution of heat
  • Preheat the oven as the recipe directs about 10 minutes before
  • Do not open the oven during baking
  • Cool properly

Benefits of baking: baking at home allows you to substitute ingredients to make baked goods healthier.  For example, substitute butter for avocado.

Heres a fun recipe that has substituted all the “unhealthy fats” with healthier ones!

The Healthy Maven.  Healthy Avocado Brownies.  Internet: http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/healthy-avocado-brownies.html  (accessed 1 August 2017)26

Roasting1

Cooking something (meat or veggies) in an oven or over an open fire.

Tips when roasting meat:

  • Place meat in a shallow pan with the fat side up. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat
  • Set the oven temperature to 300-350F and cook the meat until the meat has reached the minimum safe temperatures:
    • Beef: 145 F
    • Pork: 160 F
    • Poultry: 165 F
  • After cooking, allow the meat to sit for at least 15 minutes to prevent the juices from running out

The Food Charlatan. Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork.  April 2015.  Internet: http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2015/04/09/cuban-mojo-marinated-pork-recipe/  (accessed 1 August 2017)27

Tips when roasting vegetables:

  • Cut vegetables into a uniform size to allow even cooking (about 1” cubes)
  • Combine vegetables with olive oil and herbs and spices as desired
  • Distribute veggies in a single layer
  • Put veggies near the edge of the sheet, they will brown better.
  • Stir the vegetables every 10-15 minutes
  • Cook vegetables at 400 F

The Mediterranean Dish. Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables. Internet: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/italian-oven-roasted-vegetables/  (accessed 1 August 2017)28

Benefits of roasting:

  • Food does not require much work once they are in the oven — you can go and do other things!
  • Brings out sweet flavor of vegetables
  • Enhances the color of many foods

The following vegetables are very delicious when roasted: summer squash, asparagus, garlic, root vegetables (rutabagas, potatoes, turnips, beets, and carrots)

Slow cookerslow cooker

Using this method generally, involves a quick preparation and a slow cooking time. One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a slow cooker is the size. Sizes can vary from 1-7 quarts.  Filling the cooker between ½ to ⅔ full will produce the best results.

  • 5-4 quarts provides approximately 4 servings
  • 5-7 quarts for approximately 5 or more servings

Tips:

  • The order that food is placed in the slow cooker can affect the end results of the food product. Vegetables should be placed in the bottom and around the sides of the slow cooker. This allows the juice from the meat to drip over the vegetables and enhance their flavor.
    • Except for the following veggies: tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini– these vegetables should be added the last 45 minutes of cooking time.

Simply Quinoa.  Slow  Cooker Coconut Quinoa Curry.  February 2016.  Internet: https://www.simplyquinoa.com/slow-cooker-coconut-quinoa-curry/ (accessed 1 August 2017)29

Benefits of slow cooking:

  • Makes cheap cuts of meat tender and delicious
  • Not much attention needed

Best foods for slow cooking: meats, poultry, and wild game; fish and shellfish, vegetables, dried beans, and lentils.

Moist cooking1

Immersing food in a liquid.  The following terms are different cooking techniques that are considered “moist” cooking:

  • Poaching: heating water at low temp (160-180F) when water is hot but not bubbling

Dash Diet Collection.  Poached Salmon with Mustard-Dill Sauce.  Internet: http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-dinner-recipes/poached-salmon-with-mustard-dill-sauce/ (accessed 1 August 2017)30

  • Simmering: water temp 185-205 F when water has gentle bubbles rising to the top of the pan, but not fully a rolling boil. Generally used for soups, stocks, and starchy items like potatoes
  • Boiling: water temp is 212 F
  • Steaming: water is past boiling temperature and turns to steam. Steaming is a gentle way to cook foods
    • An ideal method to cook seafood, vegetables, and other delicate food items. Steamed food cooks quickly and retains many nutrients

Kitchn.  Eight Ways to Make Steamed Vegetables Taste Amazing. October 2014.  Internet: http://www.thekitchn.com/eight-ways-to-make-steamed-vegetables-taste-amazing-tips-from-the-kitchn-73707 (accessed 1 August 2017)31

Tips:

  • Poaching:
    • For tender foods like eggs or fish
    • Poaching liquid can be used as the base for a sauce
  • Simmering:
    • Do not allow vegetables to get soft or lose their color, this means nutrient loss
  • Boiling:
    • Used for foods like pasta
  • Steaming:
    • First, bring water to boil in the bottom part of a double boiler
    • Place vegetables in the steamer and cover until tender

Grilling1

Food is placed on a preheated metal grate and dry heat comes from below the food at temps of over 400F.  The following equipment is needed for grilling:

Food thermometer                                  Grill Brush                                   Tongs

thermometer.png                                          brush           Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 9.07.25 AM.png

Spatula

spatula

 

Blissful Basil. Grilled Cilantro, Lime + Paprika Corn on the Cob.  Internet: http://www.blissfulbasil.com/grilled-cilantro-lime-paprika-corn-on-the-cob/ (1 August 2017)32

Broiling1

Food is placed on preheated broiler pan and placed under the heat source.

  • Tips for successful grilling and broiling:
    • Before cooking coat grill racks with vegetable oil
    • Preheat grill or broiler 10-15 minutes before adding food
    • Leave ¾” between food items
    • Do not pierce meat because this can cause the juices to run out
    • Use a dry spice rub to flavor
      • Heres a recipe for an all-purpose dry rub21:

New York Times-Cooking.  All-Purpose Dry Rub.  Internet: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017417-all-purpose-dry-rub (accessed 30 June 2017)

Benefits of grilling/broiling:

  • Fats tend to fall away during the grilling process
  • Grilling vegetables makes them sweeter and very tasty!

Best foods to grill/broil are meats, poultry, vegetables, fruits, pizza, and fish.

Pressure cooking1

Cooking food using water or other liquid in a sealed vessel. There are two main types of pressure cookers:

  • Stovetop cooker: manually control the amount of pressure built up. Much less expensive than an electric cooker

stovetop

  • Electric cooker: plugin, set the pressure and time and leave the rest to the machine

electric

Gluten Free Pressure Cooker.  Pressure Cooker Company Pot Roast.  Internet: https://glutenfreepressurecooker.com/pressure-cooker-pot-roast/ (accessed 1 August 2017)33

Benefits:

  • Retains nutrient of food
  • Does not require fat for cooking

Best foods to pressure cook include chicken thighs, pork chops, rump roast, brown rice, bulgur, dried beans, or vegetables like beets, carrots, potatoes, or winter squash.

Microwave Cooking1

Only use cookware made for the microwave oven:

  • Glass, ceramic, and all plastic containers should be labeled for microwave use, however, check the item or packaging to make sure
  • Wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper should be safe
  • Plastic storage containers like margarine tubs and take out containers should never be used in the microwave
  • Do not use plastic storage bags, brown paper, plastic grocery bags, newspaper, or aluminum foil
  • Pierce foods covered with a skin or outer membranes like potatoes or egg yolks

How to season a cast iron skillet:

To season a cast iron skillet, use a combination of fat and heat.

  1. Wash and dry the pan
  2. Set the oven to 350º F
  3. Heat the pan on the stove over low heat
  4. With a paper towel, spread about one tablespoon of vegetable oil all over the inside of the pan. Do not leave any excess oil in the pan.
  5. Place the warm pan in the oven and bake for one hour.
  6. Turn the oven off and leave the pan in until it is cool.
  7. To maintain the seasoning, always dry the skillet thoroughly after each use.
  8. Every once in a while, place the dry pan on the stove, heat it on low, add a little oil with a paper towel, and let sit on low heat for a few minutes. Wipe out any excess oil, cool, and store.
  9. Eventually, the pan will darken, become very smooth on the inside, and be perfectly non-stick!

 

References

  1. Extension Utah State-Food $ense. Skillet Cooking. Internet: https://extension.usu.edu/foodsense/cook/skillet (accessed 29 June 2017)
  2. The Cooking Jar. Honey Garlic Chicken Skillet. February 2016. Internet: http://www.thecookingjar.com/honey-garlic-chicken-skillet/ (accessed 29 June 2017).
  3. Copper Cookware Info. Why Copper is the Best Metal for Cookware. 2014. Internet: http://www.coppercookwareinfo.com/ (accessed 29 June 2017)
  4. Cast iron skillet. Internet: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L5SK3-Skillet-Pre-Seasoned-8-inch/dp/B00008GKDG (accessed 29 June 2017)
  5. Good HouseKeeping. Best Nonstick Cookware. Febuary 2016. Internet: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cooking-tools/cookware-reviews/g799/best-picks-nonstick-cookware/ (accessed 29 June 2017)
  6. Oster.  Internet: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Oster-12-x-16-Electric-Skillet-Black/29559143  (accessed 29 June 2017)
  7. Bed Bath and Beyond. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl. Internet: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/stainless-steel-mixing-bowl/100366 (accessed 29 June 2017)
  8. Wal Mart. Rachel Ray Cucina Tools Wooden Spoon. Internet: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Rachael-Ray-Cucina-Tools-12-1-2-Wooden-Solid-Spoon/39371121 (accessed 29 June 2017).
  9. Amaco Brent. Internet: https://www.amaco.com/products/tool-rolling-pin-24 (accessed 29 June 2017).  (rolling pin)
  10. The Sweet Home. The Best Measuring Cups.  July 2015.  Internet: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-measuring-cups/ (accessed 29 June 2017).
  11. Natizo Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons.  Internet: https://www.amazon.com/Natizo-Stainless-Steel-Measuring-Spoons/dp/B014HPNKY6 (accessed 29 June 2017)
  12. Good HouseKeeping. Stand Mixer Reviews.  May 2012.  Internet: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/mixer-reviews/g2224/stand-mixer-reviews/ (accessed 29 June 2017)
  13. Bed Bath and Beyond. Wilton Cookie Sheets.  Internet: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/wilton-reg-cookie-sheets-set-of-3/1012182945 (accessed 29 June 2017)
  14. Family Circle. Slow Cooker Recipe.  Internet: http://www.familycircle.com/recipes/slow-cooker/ (accessed 30 June 2017)
  15. Stainless Steel Instant Read Thermometer.  Internet: https://www.acurite.com/acurite-stainless-steel-instant-read-thermometer-00640.html (accessed 30 June 2017).
  16. Grill Brush Pro.  Internet: https://www.amazon.co.uk/BBQMaster-Grill-Brush-Pro/dp/B0030BIXAU (accessed 30 June 2017).
  17. Kitchen Warehouse. Cuisipro Tempo Serving Tongs 30cm. Internet: http://www.kitchenwarehouse.com.au/Cuisipro-Tempo-Serving-Tongs-30cm (accessed 30 June 2017).
  18. Outback Safe Guard Silicone Tipped barbecue Spatula. Internet: http://www.charliesdirect.co.uk/outback-safe-guard-silicone-tipped-bbq-spatula (accessed 30 June 2017).
  19. New York Times-Cooking. All-Purpose Dry Rub.  Internet: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017417-all-purpose-dry-rub (accessed 30 June 2017)
  20. Pick Your Own. Pressure Canner and Water Bath Canner Instruction Manuals (free downloads) Reviews, prices, and support. Internet: http://www.pickyourown.org/pressure-canner-manuals.htm (accessed 30 June 2017).
  21. Hip pressure cooking. The difference between stove top and electric pressure cookers. Internet: https://www.hippressurecooking.com/the-difference-between-stove-top-and-electric-pressure-cookers/ (accessed 30 June 2017).
  22. Header image: Pixababy.  Cooking Ingredients.  Internet: https://pixabay.com/en/cooking-ingredient-cuisine-kitchen-1013455/ (accessed 27 July 2017).
  23. Zen & Spice.  Sauteed Garlic Green Beans.  May 2016.  Internet: http://zenandspice.com/sauteed-garlic-green-beans/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes
  24. Kalyn Brooke. Easy Chicken Veggie Stir-Fry.  Internet: http://kalynbrooke.com/recipe-box/healthy-chicken-and-veggie-stir-fry-recipe/  (accessed 1 August 2017)\
  25. RasaMalaysa. Italian Braised Chicken. October 2016.  Internet: http://rasamalaysia.com/italian-braised-chicken/  (accessed 1 August 2017)
  26. The Healthy Maven.  Healthy Avocado Brownies.  Internet: http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/healthy-avocado-brownies.html  (accessed 1 August 2017)
  27. The Food Charlatan. Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork.  April 2015.  Internet: http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2015/04/09/cuban-mojo-marinated-pork-recipe/  (accessed 1 August 2017)
  28. The Mediterranean Dish. Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables. Internet: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/italian-oven-roasted-vegetables/  (accessed 1 August 2017)
  29. Simply Quinoa.  Slow  Cooker Coconut Quinoa Curry.  February 2016.  Internet: https://www.simplyquinoa.com/slow-cooker-coconut-quinoa-curry/ (accessed 1 August 2017)
  30. Dash Diet Collection.  Poached Salmon with Mustard-Dill Sauce.  Internet: http://www.dash-diet-collection.com/free-dash-diet-recipes/dash-diet-dinner-recipes/poached-salmon-with-mustard-dill-sauce/ (accessed 1 August 2017)
  31. Eight Ways to Make Steamed Vegetables Taste Amazing. October 2014.  Internet: http://www.thekitchn.com/eight-ways-to-make-steamed-vegetables-taste-amazing-tips-from-the-kitchn-73707 (accessed 1 August 2017)
  32. Blissful Basil. Grilled Cilantro, Lime + Paprika Corn on the Cob.  Internet: http://www.blissfulbasil.com/grilled-cilantro-lime-paprika-corn-on-the-cob/ (1 August 2017)
  33. Gluten Free Pressure Cooker.  Pressure Cooker Company Pot Roast.  Internet: https://glutenfreepressurecooker.com/pressure-cooker-pot-roast/

 

 

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