In this post, I will share with you the most important Cooking Tips that nobody ever mentions. This post was created to help you mold your own cooking philosophy and to guide you to the next level! Every time we cook, we usually follow a certain pattern regardless of what we are cooking, and never question it. For that reason, I will help you raise your awareness on that matter! Let´s begin!
When it comes to ingredients, there are multiple factors that you should always consider, luckily, I will help you and guide you, so you can always choose the best course of action.
Raw Vs. Cooked Ingredients (Aroma & Flavor Profile):
Before cooking a particular dish, you always have to consider the importance of aroma. While all dishes use aroma to work in unison with the flavor as a secondary element, other dishes rely heavily on aroma to empower the dish to a whole new level. Let me give you a few examples!
Have you ever eaten Indian Curry?
Indian Curry is focused predominantly on its aroma. The aroma contributes to most of its flavor and increases its appeal by striking you with a strong scent before you even take the first bite. In other words, the aroma is the driving factor of Indian Cuisine. So with Indian Curry, How do you awaken the aroma, even when using a Generic Curry Powder?
The aroma is activated by cooking the spices in oil. Even if the spices are not in powdered form, you can achieve a different flavor profile and aroma by cooking it in oil, as opposed to being added later or boiled.
This example will be VERY EXTREME; however, I like to use extreme scenarios to help people understand things with ease.
Chicken Skin Raw Vs. Cooked Vs. Fried.
How does the skin taste when it´s raw? Horrible (Please don´t try it)!
How does the skin taste when it´s boiled? Still Horrible!
How does the skin taste when it is fried? Delicious, flavorful, aromatic, crunchy, salty, fatty, etc.
As you can see from the example above, when you pan fry the spices in oil, it´s hidden flavors get activated.
I often encounter this when I purchase Mexican Spices (Powdered Form) from American Brands. Regardless of the spice, they usually all have the same undertone. I am sure you have come across this flavor almost every time you eat Mexican Food in the United States. Interestingly, whenever you eat at an Indian Restaurant, you also get to taste that spice and smell it as a waiter passes next to you with a dish.
The name of that spice is Cumin, while it´s used in Mexican Cuisine, the frequency and quantity used are very minimum and unusual. On the other hand, the use of Cumin is actually more predominant in Indian Cuisine. It is one of the driving factors towards it´s flavor and aroma.
Cooking Steps and Order
When cooking, there is a specific order for a particular reason. Lets, use the garlic as an example. When we use garlic, we tend to put it right after heating the oil; however, have you ever considered how adding the garlic during a different time might affect the flavor? If you are cooking for a long time, adding the garlic right away will brown your garlic, make it bitter, less spicy, crispier, and more aromatic. Furthermore, if you choose to add the garlic later, it will retain its spiciness, potency, and watery crunchiness.
In both scenarios, both dishes will have a different flavor profile despite using the same ingredient. As mentioned before, the cooking order and steps have a direct relationship to the cooking point of an ingredient.