This past week was a trying week with my kids and I jokingly asked on social media if you have found the parenting manual yet. 😆
Obviously, no manual exisits. Our kids are all different and require different approaches.
Cooking is similar! Even though using recipes feel “safe” because it’s like a set of instructions, there are so many factors and following the recipe is not a guaranteed success!
Pay attention to the food
Don’t focus on the knobs or numbers because stoves are all different. There are varying burner sizes which create different heat outputs and which pans you use will affect the heat as well and how much food you cook at once. Not to mention how big your food is in relation to what the recipe calls for, or how watery that produce might be this time around.
The one thing you can focus on (specifically when cooking on the stove) is to use your senses with the food. Listen to the sizzle. It should not sound wet if you are trying to brown your food.
If it looks too brown, too fast; lower the heat! Is it smoking? Maybe it needs more cooking fat or maybe a lower temperature. As with most things, the more you practice, the more you well get used to what to do, but start with paying closer attention.
To Time and Temperature
Remember the relationship with time and temperature. If you have a thin chicken breast that you are searing, you can either cook it on a higher temperature for less time or you can cook it at a lower temperature for more time. Paying attention to the sights and sounds of what the food is doing will always give you the answers you are looking for.
Brown or Not to Brown
If you are looking to brown your food, or if the recipe mentions it, then the goal is no moisture and make sure your pan is hot enough to start!
If instead the goal is to sweat, you don’t need to preheat and focus on managing the temperature. Sometimes adding a little water to help faciliate the moisture coming out of the food really helps, like in sweating onions. Think of browning or caramelizing onions like getting a tan and sweating onions are just sweating but you’re not getting any sun! 😂