Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cooking Tips from Titina--The Right Way to "Brown"

Capri Flavors Chef Titina grew up in a restaurant kitchen--but most of her student's weren't so lucky. In fact, many who sign up for Titina's popular cooking classes have little experience beyond the microwave.

No problem. Titina makes cooking easy, teaching basic skills in a fun, relaxed, group setting.

Browning meat is one of those skills. Many of her best recipes call for this step like the Pollo al Curry from this week's Sicilian menu.

Here's how Titina teaches her students to brown like restaurant pros.

  1. First use a large, shallow pan.

  2. Add plenty of good olive oil. (Titina has her own label, fresh from Italy) Don't skimp here. Olive oil has no cholesterol but plenty of healthy antioxidants. It's a healthy choice.

  3. You also need heat. Don't be afraid to get the oil hot on medium-high to high heat. Watch the pan and don't walk away. The oil should look glassy, but not smoking. The meat should sizzle when you (carefully) add it to the pan.

  4. When browning chicken, Titina always starts with skin side down. Then give the meat a little time before turning. Resist the temptation to peek. Ideally, you will turn only once.

  5. Another important tip--don't crowd the pan. Titina always browns in batches then returns all the browned pieces to the pan for a simmer with the sauce.

Here's the rest of this week's menu from the island of Sicily--Plus Titina's upcoming menus for the rest of May and June

May 17, 21--June 14, 18

Anellini con Melenzane (Anellini with Eggplant)

Pollo al Curry (Chicken Curry)Piselli al Prosciutto

(Peas with Prosciutto)

San Giuseppe Zeppole (Saint Joseph Cream Puffs)

May 24, 28--June 21, 25

Malloreddus Con Dalsiccia (Malloreddus with Sausage)

Cozze Gratinate (Mussels au Gratin)Carciofi alla Sarda

(Sardinian Artichokes)

Sabadas’ (Ravioli with Honey)

June 7, 12

Pasta e Cannellini (Cannellini Beans with Pasta)

Roast-Beef con le Castagne (Roast Beef with Chestnuts)

Fava alla Piemontese (Piemontese Fava Beans)

Nodi D’Amore (Love Knots)

May 31--June 4

Limoncello (Lemon Liquor)

Suffle di Formaggio (Cheese Souffle)

Aragosta alla Crema (Lobster in Cream Sauce)

Radicchio al Parmigiano (Radicchio with Parmesan)

Torta di Capri al Limoncello (Capri Cake with Limoncello)

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