Contributed by: NAPSA
Don't Cook Without It: An Executive Chef's Advice for Amateur Cooks
by Larry Piaskowy
(NAPSA) - Over the years I've noticed an interesting parallel between the two things I enjoy most-my friends and food. And it's this: the thing that matters most is what's inside. With friends that statement is obvious. But I'm always surprised at how many people try to cut corners with food ingredients and expect great dishes.
You don't need to be a professional chef to prepare incredible food - I promise. The right ingredients make all the difference. So regardless of whether I'm cooking for four hundred people at my restaurant or four of my closest friends at home, I am fanatical about ingredients. Is it fresh? Does it add texture? Does it have a clean, crisp, distinct flavor? Does it overpower or enhance? Does it add to the presentation? So with that let me introduce you to the one ingredient I think every amateur chef should have in his or her kitchen pantry: kosher salt.
Kosher salt has long been a secret of restaurant chefs because of its ability to add wonderful flavor, keep the dish moist and add beautiful presentation to meals of all sizes. I use Morton Kosher Salt in my kitchen-both at Indigo Restaurant in San Francisco and at home-because I love its crisp, clean flavor.
So if you haven't tried kosher salt at home, now is the time. To help you along I'd like to pass on two of my favorite recipes for entertaining friends. This is a brine that I use to prepare pork or chicken - the result will blow you away. Remember it's all about the ingredients.
Larry's "Lock in the Love" Salt Brine
This brine will help impart moisture and flavor to pork or poultry that is roasted - or better yet - grilled.
Prepare brine at least 48 hours prior to your meal. The meat of choice must be soaked completely submerged for 24 hours.
- 6 quarts of water
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup Morton Kosher Salt
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons each of: whole coriander seed, crushed chili flakes, black peppercorns, fennel seed, and mustard seed
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 10 cloves garlic
Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once done, chill thoroughly. Once chilled submerge the meat and soak for 24 hours. Remove the meat and prepare as you choose - either roasted or grilled. Your meat will retain its moisture and have incredible flavor throughout.