All posts filed under: Tips from a non chef

Texture: The Forgotten Food Factor

Taste. Aroma. Portion. These are the common traits that are considered when it comes to quality food. Long has this triplet of brothers dominated the landscape of culinary judgment. In the face of overwhelming odds, I am here to stick up for the forgotten sibling: texture. All its life, texture has been ignored; forgotten. It’s hard to cast any blame. No mere mortal can draw higher thought when taking their first juicy bite into a sumptuous slice of pork belly. The flavor inundates your senses and turns even the most hardened food critic into a blob. But let us deconstruct this experience. The flavor of pork belly is second to none in the world of hog. It’s heavy and rich, yet delightfully complex. The smoked essence of the fat creates an aromatic that complements the taste. Finally, you can find no complaint with the portion, for even the smallest slice of pork belly carries enough protein and fat to ensure your satisfaction. Now, let’s dig deeper. When biting into pork belly, the first thing you …

Pork: A Love Story

  I met Pork when I was just 3 years old. I remember our first encounter. I could see the sweet, exotic flavor underneath the hard  shell. The aroma was full and complex, but not overwhelming. The pork in question was of the fat, underbelly variety. I took my first bite into this mysterious meat. The crispy layer of skin made way for the rendered fat which melted into the textured flesh. I was instantly smitten. Fast-forward 22 years and we’re still together. You could say that things have gotten pretty serious. As I got older, so too did Pork undergo various changes. I remember a rebellious phase in which I contended with pulled pork and spicy Chorizo. There were even times when Pork was sliced thin and fried. But, Pork would always come back around to the good ol’ chops and ribs that I knew and loved. We had a bit of a falling out when Pork became infatuated with popularity. I felt that it toned itself down to be accepted by a wider audience. It had lost it’s edge and became dry, generic and flavorless. …

When in Doubt, Soften Up | Tips from a Non-Chef

Hey guys, This is the first installment in our series of cooking tips. Now to be clear, neither of us is a chef. However, we have cooked for a good while; and over time, we’ve learned (the hard way) what works in the kitchen. This first tip has to do with preparing hard foods. I’m talking about things like chunky vegetables and tougher cuts of meat. Usually, these things are not presentable in their original state. The best way to prepare these foods is to soften them up. This can be accomplished with steam. This is a simple technique, but very effective. Essentially, you’re steaming the food to loosen it up and allowing it to absorb some liquid. To start, heat your food up on a medium to large frying pan. You can either fry it up in a little bit of oil, or just put it directly on the pan. After a minute or two, put a few tablespoons of water into the pan and cover it with the lid. If the lid is clear, you can actually see …