How to cook efficiently without wasting

Comment cuisiner de manière efficace sans gaspiller 

For many people, cooking can be a laborious and time-consuming task. However, eating is a basic need and learning a few things to save time without wasting can be very useful!

Having worked in restaurants for several years now, efficiency and speed are two keys to being able to do everything before noon time. Either before the first customers arrive.

Tip number one: When we have a certain amount of preparation to do. It is important to start with what takes the most time. Which makes sense! Cooking makes sense when you think about it :-).

So if we want to prepare soup, rice, tomato sauce and marinate meat (chicken, pork, beef) or tofu, first step is to cut onions and garlic, for soup, tomato sauce, rice and ultimately for the marinade. Then start to sweat the onions for the soup and the tomato sauce in two pots. While the onions are cooking, cut the other vegetables for the soup and the tomatoes for the tomato sauce. If we have fresh thyme on hand, we could add it at this moment, like the bay leaf, these herbs benefit from being cooked for a long time. We could also sweat onions for rice, it depends on everyone's tastes. Either do it as it says on the package (if there is one;)), or go there at 1 and a half times twice the amount of water compared to the amount of grains. Start by frying the onion and add the rice afterwards, like a risotto. Add the amount of liquid (water, vegetable broth or chicken) and cook covered. On the internet, there are several grain cooking guides, that of the Coup de Pouce site, is well done: pdf. You should not be shy to see if there is a lack of liquid, to taste it, to add other vegetables, herbs, spices etc. That's cooking, it's trial error, it involves all the senses.

One important thing to know in general is that onions are the basis of cooking, they are often the first thing that made it come back with oil and give a nice depth, that you can't go looking for otherwise. In another measure, garlic and leek benefit from being cooked for a long time. If we cook the onion long enough, it will become sweet, commonly known as "caramelized onion". The next task is to put the other vegetables and tomatoes in the two respective cauldrons, sauté for a while. If the rice is not already in preparation, now is the time to do it.

Vegetables should be cooked for a long time, with the seasonings we want to add before adding a good amount of water, vegetable or chicken broth. For a soup, we put liquid up to the vegetables. It is not advisable to put milk in the soup during cooking, just at the end and not putting it will keep it longer. For the tomato sauce, no need to add liquid, the tomatoes contain enough. The goal for tomato sauce is to simmer for a while, reduce the liquid and have a nice consistency. Making tomato sauce or soup is a good way to pass tomatoes or other slightly soft vegetables. While we are cutting the different vegetables, we can put the tips / peels / scraps in a cauldron and if we have enough, put water and boil for about thirty minutes, a nice vegetable broth as a bonus!

Finally, while all of our preparations are cooking slowly, we can make the marinade for the protein you choose. As a rule, a marinade looks a bit like a vinaigrette, just put some acid (balsamic, cider, white wine, lemon juice), oil and you can add a little what we want: garlic, onion, fresh or dry herbs, maple syrup, ginger etc. The goal is to make do with what we already have before going to the grocery store.

And even better, a little cleaning of the fridge, pantry and freezer allows us to see more clearly and know what we have instead of buying duplicate! If you need help in the kitchen and cleaning your cupboards, contact me!

Catherine Roy

(418) 805-2378

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