Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cooking School Day 3: Vegetables

Today's lesson was about vegetables, which I use a lot of in my cooking. Basically, vegetables will take longer to cook the larger the piece of vegetable is. That's why when I cook potatoes even if I'm going to make mashed potatoes, I cut them into cubes so I can get them to cook quicker.

My biggest take away tip from this lesson is that to best cut a piece of vegetable, or even fruit, cut off one end to create a flat surface. Then turn the vegetable on that end to slice or cut the rest of it, so it has a surface to sit on and it's not rolling around. This seems like a completely logically, duh kind of moment, but I just hadn't thought about it before!!

For homework I chose to cut up a butternut squash and roast it at 450 degrees. I cut it into two separate pieces, where the shape obviously changes. Then I sliced off one end on each and cut off the skin slicing from top to bottom, and cut the piece in half. I seeded it with a spoon, then sliced into strips, and diced into cubes. After I diced it I spritzed it with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, placed it in a baking dish and into the oven. I checked on it every 5 minutes until it reached a point of tenderness I was  happy with. I used my toaster oven and not the oven on my stove because it's over 90 degrees today and I didn't want to heat up the entire house. So it took a little longer than it would usually take in my big oven, but no big deal. 20 to 25 minutes of roasting and voila! Delicioso!

I sauteed some kale in a bit of melted butter, sprinkled some salt and pepper over it and tossed it around for about 3-4 minutes. I added in the cooked squashed and gently tossed together. Made the perfect side dish for my pesto chicken topped with the caramelized onions from yesterday's lesson. Seriously delicious! Hope my boys like it as much as I did!

Buen provecho and happy cooking!


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