Mar 29, 2011

Cooking Tips from Sunnex’s Chef Mitchie Sison

Chef Mitchie Sison doing the Sunnex
cooking demo
Last Friday, my hubby and I attended a cooking demo at Sunnex Cookware’s head office in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The demo was conducted by Chef Mitchie Sison of Ka-Toque fame (you remember the Channel 5 show where Quickfire’s Chef Rosebud Benitez was first seen too?)

Now, I must admit, I’m no cook; I just love to eat. My husband does all the cooking in our household, because we both won’t eat my cooking.

But I learned so much from Chef Mitchie’s demo and would like to share it with you now.

Tip 1: Salt and pepper are the king and queen of the kitchen. Salt is a natural flavor enhancer, so everything is better with a bit of it. Pepper, on the other hand, imparts a beautiful warm taste to food. So the two go very well together.

However, pepper turns stale quickly, so always get them whole, then crack them only when you’re just about to add them to your food. This is most easily done with a pepper grinder.

This nifty little gadget from Sunnex lets you keep salt at the left
compartment and pepper at the right. Twist the tops for freshly
ground salt or pepper. Get it for just Php900 at SM stores.

Tip 2: Chill your onions and use a really sharp knife to prevent tearing up. It’s the scent of onions that cause the sting in your eyes. When the onion is well chilled, the juices stay in the onion and don’t go up your nose. And when you use a sharp knife, you avoid bruising and pressing the onion, and that minimizes the escape of the pungent juices as well.

Tip 3: When you make caramel, do not stir up the butter and sugar. Doing so will make your caramel grainy. Be patient. Just wait for the two to melt together on the pan, and swirl them together once they’ve liquefied, and your caramel will be so much smoother.

Tip 4: When you want to cook with apples, choose Granny Smith, not Fuji. Fuji apples are delicious, but they tend to turn mushy when cooked. Granny Smith apples hold their shape much better.

Tip 5: Cream should always be added near the last part of cooking, or it will curdle. Apparently, heat damages cream and makes it un-smooth. So try to delay adding it to a hot dish as long as possible.

Oh, by the way, some of you may be asking: What did Chef Mitchie cook for us? She made Chicken Marsala with Steamed Lemon-Smashed Potatoes and Apple and Pear Tarte Tatin. (Sorry, hubby forgot to take pics of those, but you can find photos at Mommy Ruth's blog.)

The chicken marsala itself was a little beyond my cooking confidence, but I could make the lemon-smashed potatoes, which would go so well with any meat dish.

As for the Apple and Pear Tarte Tatin, it was perfect for a dessert lover like me, and it’s practically foolproof, even I can cook it! So I’ll give you Chef Mitchie's recipe for it next post.

Erratum: Ka-Toque was shown on QTV 11, not on ABC 5.

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