Monday, January 18, 2010
I can't cook, therefore I go to Demos...
Every Sunday I somehow get up before noon & go to the Williams Sonoma Cooking demos in my nearby mall. I've been trying to learn how to cook. Before August, the extent of my cooking was chocolate-covered strawberries & bad instant coffee. lol. Not any more. In these demos they teach us the essentials of cooking. What certain terms are, some recipes, & of course we get to try out some of the yummy treats. This class yesterday really cheered me up a bit from the debacle that was Saturday as well as all your, "Kick his ass" comments. =P Thank you btw. I will deal with that properly when the time comes. I am nobody's door mat or at their beckon call.
This Sunday's demo was actually very interesting & I have a few tidbits to share with you that I learned. The topic was Pan-frying & Sauteeing. Both are done in a pan but they are two completely different things.
Pan-frying is cooking in alot of oil at a steady temperature to cook the food evenly.
Sauteeing is the opposite. Not so much oil in the pan & smaller portions of food to cook.
Deep-frying is when the food is completely submerged in oil & you don't have to turn it over to cook the other side.
Now the great instructor, Kathy, advised that the temperature of the oil in pan-frying should be about 320-330 degrees. Cooking at this temperature ensures the crispy outside & the moist inside. This way, for example, if your cooking chicken at this temperature, like in the demo, the oil should remain in the pan, not on your chicken so you don't get a greasy mess. OH and the pans that are appropiate to pan-fry in should be made of aluminum or stainless steel. Regardless of what you are cooking, add the oil first and heat it, then add the food.
What's nice about these demos is that it's right in front of you. You get to see what happens when you accidentally add water to the oil & see the splattering. You can smell the aroma of the butter & the olive oil she used to sautee the bacon in. (Delicious btw). And of course you get to taste what she made. There was a sauteed dish of cabbage, onions, and bacon. Firstly I didn't even know there was boy cabbages & girl cabbages. Apparently she used a boy cabbage. lol. Wel it was soo yummy!!
They also taught us how to clean up after using oil to cook. Do NOT PUT EXCESS OIL DOWN THE SINK!!!. And NEVER HANDLE HOT OIL. So what do you do? She said to let it at least cool off & try to soak it up with paper towels. If there is too much oil in the pan, then you can actually freeze it in a tuperware container, then throw it out. Not too bad of a tip. =)
I like going to the demos, not only because they are free, but I do feel like I'm learning something from them. Watching Top Chef & Iron Chef I'm starting to realize Ohhh so they are sauteeing the mushrooms...Ohhhhhh. lol. Eventually I'll learn how to cook, right now demos it is. =)
I hope I taught you a lil something today. One day down, 4 more days to the weekend. Whew.