Start To Cook — Simply And Effectively // Part 3

One Day You’ll Cook Like Francis… // Photo: Francis Mallmann

“Do not be afraid of cooking, as your ingredients will know and misbehave. Enjoy your cooking and the food will behave.”

-Fergus Henderson, Chef/Co-Owner of St. John

1. A Fish Spatula Will Save You

A secret weapon in Michelin star restaurants is a fish spatula. It’s flexible and thin enough to get under a delicate piece of cod or a scallop. The slots reduce friction so you can slide under anything from pancakes to a grilled cheese sandwich perfectly.

2. The Seasoning Salt Chefs Use

You don’t want to waste a fancy french sea salt seasoning pasta water or mashed potatoes, but also stay the hell away from the iodized chemical stuff. This is the best option we know:

Go with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, it’s what most top kitchens use.

3. Four Ideas For Seasoning Without Adding Actual Salt

Most food cultures around the world don’t actually add salt crystals to season, here’s four ways:

1) Fish Sauce

We love Red Boat or The Mega Chef Brand used by Andy Ricker at Pok Pok. Try it in a salad dressing or to finish a tomato sauce or bloody mary.

2) Pecorino or Parmesan

On anything from roasted carrots to grilled steak, not just pasta.

3) Miso

Amazing in marinades for fish and meat.

4) Tamari

Add a drop or two when caramelizing turnips or root vegetables in maple syrup.

4. Drink Water

An afternoon of cooking will seriously dehydrate you (especially if you are sipping wine). A good rule is to drink a glass of water every time you add water to something.

5. Shop In The Morning (Or Day Before), Cook In The Afternoon

Nothing will bring more tranquility and zen to cooking than having the ingredients on hand well before it’s time to get into the kitchen. Going shopping at 5 pm to battle traffic and check out lines for your dinner party at 7 pm is a recipe for never wanting to cook again.

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