Whether you’re a chef or an amateur, whether you cook for yourself or entertain others, certain skills will always be indispensable. Here are my top five kitchen skills:
- Dicing an onion
- Caramelizing onions
- Constructing a marinade
- Searing meats
- Peeling a tomato
If you don’t already know how to do these things, learn how. Now.
Er... how many knives?
For the sake of academic interest, walk into your kitchen right now, and count how many kitchen knives you own. My guess is that you’ll come up with a figure between six and 15, of which, you probably use only three or four (sheepish confession).
Some of us keep old knives so we can “sharpen them later”. Some of us are seduced by knife sets housed in attractive wooden butcher’s blocks (mea culpa). Some of us believe that we need a different knife for each and every task in the kitchen, from mincing garlic to carving chicken. The end result is a formidable – if redundant- kitchen armory. So how many is too many?
…also the most expensive.
When fellow food blogger Sid Khullar of Chef At Large recently came across a Facebook ad for “the classiest butter chicken on earth”, he couldn’t resist. A couple of clicks later, he discovered that the product, Anaarkali Butter Chicken, also appeared to be the most expensive butter chicken on earth, at a whopping Rs. 6000 per 650gm dual serving. “Splutter… chicken,” I managed, when he shared this, er, chicken nugget with me.
With the weekend coming up, I’m suddenly reminded of the gigantic Saturday brunches I used to dish out to hungry friends. Scrambled eggs, stuffed omelets to order, toast, sausages, mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes, bacon. And more.
In a fit of nostalgia for the years before having two young kids made these long, leisurely (oh, okay – and boozy) brunches almost impossible, I hosted one last year, inviting sister- and brother-in-law with their kids; good friend and large eater Bruce Lee Mani (of TAAQ fame) and his wife; and my curmudgeonly yet well-loved buddy Rajesh Nair. I cooked up a storm: 12 omelets to order, all the aforementioned goodies, plus home-baked creamed-spinach tartlets, and mango tartlets for dessert. What a blast! Keep reading…