Did you make a resolution to pick up a few new culinary tricks this year? If so, the first place to start isn't necessarily a cookbook full of complicated recipes. Rather, learn basic cooking techniques and knife skills first; all the recipes that follow are guaranteed to be much easier. To help you out, we've got a series, Know Your Techniques, wherein we introduce you to important culinary know-how. Keep reading for a few suggestions to get you on your way to culinary excellence.
Don't let the fancy names or the impressive chopping speed of master chefs intimidate you when it comes to learning basic knife skills. With a little practice, cutting techniques are rather simple and easy to perfect. Knowing how to properly cut fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit will make recipes and preparation easier, while taking your dishes to the next level in terms of aesthetics and texture. For mastering everything from mincing garlic to cutting a chiffonade, turn to these six step-by-step tutorials.
Welcome to week three: by the end of this resolution week, we're going to make sure you've mastered the cooking basics. We've got your back on any cooking basic, whether it's bettering your knife skills or correctly pronouncing French food terms. What fundamental cooking elements could you use help with? Let us know below in the comments.
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Veggie patties are experiencing an upswing, thanks to eatspinrunrepeat. Her zucchini-quinoa patties are packed with dill and parsley and served with a creamy dipping sauce.I've made my fair share of quinoa cakes lately. Some are too hard, too squishy, or too crumbly, and some are just plain blah. But I'm pleased to say that the recipe has finally been mastered! I've added shredded zucchini to these patties in order to keep them nice and moist on the inside, but crispy on the outside. Oh, and if you're wondering what the secret is to forming the perfect circle shape, be sure to check out the post!
For more — including the recipe — check out her post and then be sure to share your food photos in the YumSugar Community or by starting your own blog. If you're on Instagram, then chime in on the conversation with the hashtag #savorysight.
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The list of all the winners, plus more Golden Globe Awards fun:
You might not be in the Beverly Hilton ballroom, but you can certainly dine like you are on the night of the Golden Globes. According to the hotel's chef, Suki Sugiura, this year's awards menu highlights fresh Californian ingredients with a global twist. Steak and salted caramel are just a few of the tidbits we know about the 2013 menu. Start popping bottles with your guests and cracking open those oysters; we've created a similarly inspired menu for the sparkling occasion.
French 75 With HoneyThe stars will be drinking Moët and Chandon Champagne, but you can toast with your preferred bottle of sparkling or try this French 75 Champagne cocktail, sweetened with floral honey.
Gruyère GougèresGruyère gougères are a tongue-twister worth gushing over: guests will certainly enjoy munching on these fluffy, cheesy puffs.
Oysters With Champagne MignonetteOysters with Champagne mignonette (a light vinaigrette made with shallots and Champagne vinegar) are a great way to celebrate a special occasion. Just be sure to shuck them in the kitchen beforehand!
Beef Brisket Braised in Red WineRather than fuss over the main course, let the oven do the work for you and slow-cook a brisket. Carrots and onions sweeten it up and are eventually blended with the pan drippings for a toothsome gravy. This dish is highbrow comfort food, if there ever was such a thing.
Roasted Carrots With Scallions and GingerMarry Japanese and French flavors with this roasted carrots recipe topped with an aromatic scallion-ginger oil.
Mashed PotatoesYou can't serve beef without the accompanying mashed potatoes. Make the presentation more upscale by piping the mashed potatoes onto the plate with a star tip.
Caramel CandiesLet guests help themselves to dessert by plating a tray of bite-sized caramel candies, which can be made the night before the main event.
Salted FudgeWrap up the night by offering dainty (yet incredibly easy) salted fudge alongside the caramel.
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The first thing I learned to cook was scrambled eggs, followed by macaroni and cheese. I'm pretty sure the third thing I learned to cook was beef and broccoli stir-fry. My best friend growing up (who, 22 years later, is still my best friend) is Chinese, and her dad would make the most incredible stir-fries using very simple ingredients.
Growing up, we'd beg her father to tell us exactly how he prepared his beef and broccoli. How much soy sauce did he put in? For exactly how long did it need to marinate? And what's the trick to stir-frying so swiftly with chopsticks? He always shrugged at our questions and responded with ambiguous answers, so we resorted to watching him intensely to understand the process. Years later, every time we munch on our attempted beef and broccoli dish, we taste a glimmer of her father's famed flavors, but we've decided it may require a lifetime before we've mastered it.
Even this rendition is a far cry from her father's. When I called my best friend for exact details to the recipe, I realized she has inherited her father's fashion. She vaguely replied, "Oh, you could add a little of this and a pinch of that. These ingredients are optional, of course. It's whatever you feel like."
What I felt like creating is the most basic marinade, but three simple ingredients magically transform into a rich, flavorful sauce for the beef. The standout ingredient has to be oyster sauce. Despite its somewhat repulsive name, it gives dishes a salty, earthy, almost mushroom-like flavor. I adore it. Also worth mentioning is peanut oil. Although a bit more expensive than canola oil, it is so worth the splurge. Unlike neutral oils, peanut oil imparts a subtle, nutty flavor to the stir-fry. If you're allergic to peanut oil, use a neutral vegetable oil to stir-fry and splash a few dashes of roasted sesame oil into the finished dish to achieve a similar effect. Click here to see the beef and broccoli recipe.