Cooking is both challenging and rewarding. Whether you are just getting started, or have been honing your skills for some time, there is a possibility that you could be making some mistakes. From buying the wrong cuts of meat to throwing out the pasta water, Ido Fishman shares some cooking and baking habits that you need to ditch right away if you want to hit the next level in the kitchen. Take a look below to know what they are:
Overcrowding a pan
You will have a soggy disaster on your hands if you overcrowd your pan. Even though it is tempting to fit as many vegetables as possible, Ido Fishman Chef says that this just increases the moisture and your food will steam rather than brown. Whether you are sautéing, roasting, pan-searing or pan-frying your food, it is best to give your ingredients some room to breathe. This allows them to achieve the perfect golden brown you want.
Under salting the water
When you add pasta to boiling water, it will absorb part of the water and the food will remain bland if you don’t add salt. Remember to salt the water, as this is the best way to achieve pasta greatness. As much salt as you can because most of it gets lost in the water.
Not saving pasta water
There is a lot of starch in the pasta cooking water and this helps in binding the sauce and pasta together, making the former silkier. Plus, it is more flavorful than regular water because it is already salted. Therefore, Ido Fishman suggests that you save ½ cup of cooking water when you make pasta and use it in the sauce.
Seasoning food at the end of cooking
Under-seasoning the food is one of the most common mistakes that beginner cooks make. If you want your food to be properly seasoned, then you need to add salt and pepper throughout cooking and not just reserve it for the end.
Forgetting the importance of acid
When it comes to seasoning food properly, salt takes most of the attention, but Ido Fishman states that acid is also extremely important. In fact, acidity can often separate a good and great dish. Adding a splash of vinegar or lemon at the end is enough for making savory dishes, such as stew or chili, more delicious. The acid can add a subtle layer of flavor and depth.
Using a nonstick pan all the time
There is no doubt that nonstick pans are good for eggs, whether fried, scrambled or omelets, along with crepes and pancakes. However, they are not good for anything else because they don’t get as hot as the other pans and they don’t offer even distribution of heat either. Ido Fishman suggests that you ditch the nonstick for things that require a sear, or have to be cooked hot over time.
Not preheating the pan fully
There are a number of reasons that make it necessary to preheat the pan before adding the ingredients. When searing a meat cut, putting it in a lukewarm defeats the purpose fully and doesn’t give an even sear. A hot pan is handy with forced evaporation, which means vegetables will lose their moisture. This ensures that veggies you wanted to stir-fry are not steamed.
Buying the wrong cut of meat
There are some cuts of meat that are great for slow-cooking, but others need to be cooked on high heat quickly. Ido Fishman recommends that you buy the appropriate cut of meat, depending on what you do. A little research will come in handy, or you can also ask the chicken butcher to give you tips, if you are confused.
Moving the food around
Moving the food and flipping it is very tempting, but Ido Fishman says that patience is key. Let the magic happen and don’t disturb the ingredients to give them a nice golden color, which means better flavor and texture.