Did you know cauliflower can be kept white during cooking by adding a small amount of lemon or lemon peel to the water? Overcooking tends to darken cauliflower and make it tough. To reduce the odor of cauliflower when cooking, replace the water after it has cooked for 5-7 minutes.
Pesto is a raw sauce usually consisting of fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. However, one of the best things about pesto is that you can virtually make it with any herbs, cheese, and nuts—manchego cheese, kale, and walnuts, for example. Enjoy with pasta, spread on sandwiches, and stirred into vinaigrette.
Here is the secret to making great fries:
a. Start with high starch potatoes, like russets, for fries that are crunchy on the outside.
b. Cut potatoes in uniform pieces for even cooking.
c. Soak cut potatoes in water to get rid of excess starch on the surface. This will prevent the fries from turning dark and enable the moisture to escape during frying.
d. Fry the potatoes twice. The first fry should be at 300 degrees. Fries will go floppy and turn pale gold at this time. The second fry should be at 350 degree. The fries will then crisp and darken a little.
Onions, garlic, and tomatoes are all you need to make a thick marinara sauce. Use fresh tomatoes when they are in season and canned tomatoes when they are not. Flavor with a little wine, fresh or dried herbs (basil, oregano, red pepper flakes), and a parmesan cheese rind, if desired. Use it to make pasta pomodoro, pizza, or meatballs.
A pan sauce is a sauce made in the juices of just cooked protein—fish, chicken, pork, beef. Aromatics (garlic or shallot) are added to the hot pan after the meat is finished cooking. The aromatics are sautéed in protein’s juices and seasoned with spices (mustard, black peppercorns). Next, liquid (wine, broth) is added to the pan. This deglazes the mixture and allows you to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Herbs and citrus can be added. The liquid is reduced and the final step is to add a little bit of fat (butter, cream). This is what gives the sauce a restaurant-quality luster.