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Cooking Basics

All great recipes are based on the same basic principles and processes, these are the cooking snippets that I've needed.

Boiling an egg

Cooking an egg well is a matter of time.

  • Put enough water in the pot so that the eggs are completely covered.
  • Add a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar.
  • Let the water boil. Use a kettle to heat it if you have one.
  • Add the eggs.
  • Depending on the type of egg you want, you need to wait more or less time:
    • 5-6 minutes: You'll get soft boiled eggs, whose yolk is liquid and the white is semi-liquid.
    • 7 minutes: mollet egs, with semi-liquid yolk and curdled white.
    • 10-12 minutes: boiled eggs, compact white and curdled yolk.
  • Pour off the hot water, shake it gently to crack the eggs, and add cold water, with even a few ice cubes.
  • Wait 5 minutes if you want to serve them warm, or 15 otherwise, and then peel them under the same water.

Here are some tips to improve your chances to get the perfect egg:

  • Use fresh eggs, when they've been in the fridge for a while, they get dehydrated and the air that's inside gets expanded. That's why, when you put an egg into a glass of water, if it doesn't stay at the bottom you'd better not use it.
  • Take them out of the fridge an hour before cooking them. (Yeah, like you're going to remember to do it :P).

Cooking legumes

Legumes are wonderful, to squeeze their value remember to:

  • Don't use old ones: If you're legumes are older than a year, they can be old. They loose water with the time up to a point that they can be impossible to cook.
  • Soak them: Some legumes like the lentils don't need to be soaked, but for most of them it's better to be hydrated before putting them in the pot.

    For chickpeas and beans, the best is to soak them for 10 to 12 hours. They'll drink the water, so add it until you double the volume of the legumes. Once done, discard that water, rinse them and use new one for the pot. That way you'll prevent the acids and oligosaccharides that promotes a heavy digestion. * Don't scare them: Don't cut the cooking with cold water, they won't help you avoid farting and for some great chefs it's one of the worst errors you can do, at least with the chickpeas. Remember always to have enough water from the start to avoid this situation. * Know when to add them in the pot: chickpeas need to be added when the water is already boiling

When you're using boiled legumes in your recipes, be careful, after the hydration, they weight the double!

Boil chickpeas when you've forgotten to soak them

Soaked chickpeas take one or two hours to cook in a normal pot, 20 to 30 in a fast pot, which saves a ton of energy.

If you forgot to soak them, add a level teaspoon of baking soda to the pot and cook them as usual. When not using a fast pot, you'll need to periodically remove the foam that will be created. The problem with this method is that you don't discard the first water round, and they can be more indigestible. Another option is to cook them for an hour, change the water and then cook them again.