are a few basic cooking methods for all kinds of meats,
poultry and fish, as well as the accompanying
vegetables. Everyone should master these basics.
Different methods help to provide variety at mealtimes, and
keep appetites and attitudes healthy. The
basic methods are:
cooking method is suitable for small or thin meats, fish and
poultry. To pan-fry, first dry the meat pieces with kitchen paper
so that they brown properly and to prevent spitting during
cooking. If required, the meat can be coated in seasoned flour,
egg and breadcrumbs, or a batter. Heat oil or a mixture of oil and
butter in a heavy frying pan (skillet). When the oil is very hot,
add the meat pieces, skin-side down for poultry. Fry until deep
golden brown all over. Turn the pieces frequently when
cooking poultry. For meats, turn only once. Note that
poultry breast usually cooks before the drumsticks and thighs.
Drain well on kitchen paper before serving.
of meat or skinless, boneless poultry or fish are cut into small
pieces of equal size, either strips, small cubes or thin slices.
This ensures that the meat cooks evenly and stays succulent.
Preheat a wok or saucepan before adding a small amount of
high-smoking point oil (see the The
Skinny on Fat article). When the oil starts to smoke, add
the meat or poultry pieces and stir-fry with your chosen
flavorings for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Other ingredients
can be cooked at the same time, or the meat can be cooked by
itself, then removed from the pan while you stir-fry the remaining
ingredients. Return the meat to the pan briefly when the other
ingredients are cooked.
method is ideal for smaller, thinner pieces of meat, firm fleshed
fish, or small birds such as baby chickens. It can be combined
with braising (see below), when the meat is first sauteed then
cooked in stock or other liquid. Heat a little oil or a mixture of
oil and butter in a heavy frying pan (skillet). Add the meat and
fry over a moderate heat until golden brown, turning often during
cooking to brown allover. Add stock or other liquid, bring to the
boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Cook gently until the meat
is a method that is good for cooking larger pieces of meat or
poultry, and is particularly good for "pot roasts". The
slow cooking produces tender meat with a good flavor. Brown the
meat in butter or hot oil or a mixture of both. Add some stock,
wine or a mixture of both with seasonings and herbs. Cover and
cook on top of the stove or in the oven at 325 to 350 degrees
until the meat is tender (this could take quite a few hours for a
large beef blade or shoulder roast). Add a selection of
vegetables 40 to 60 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
method does not require liquid, and is used for tender cuts of
meat, firm fleshed fish, or poultry pieces. Heat some oil in
an ovenproof, flameproof casserole and gently fry the meat until
golden all over. Remove the meat and fry a selection of vegetables
until they are almost tender. Replace the meat. Cover tightly and
cook very gently on the top of the stove or in a low oven (325
degrees) until the meat and vegetables are tender.
Is a gentle cooking method that produces tender poultry and fish,
and a stock that can be used to make a sauce to serve along with
them. Put a large poultry or fish pieces, a bouquet garnis or
other spices of your liking, a leek, a carrot, and an onion in a
large flameproof casserole. Cover with water, season and bring to
the boil. Cover and simmer until tender. Lift the poultry or fish
out, discard the bouquet garni if using, and use the stock to make
a sauce. The vegetables can be blended to thicken the stock and
served with the poultry or fish.