Quarantine food – Meals you can make right now
It seems a lot of us have time on our hands these days.
Some are getting to work on long-delayed projects around the house, others are taking courses on the web and still others are – ahem – honing their wine-tasting abilities. And then there are those who feel a yearning to cook.
Yes, social distancing has brought out the inner chef in some folks, though that may not necessarily be a good thing. To ensure you’re not one of those people whose cuisine sparks fear and loathing among family and friends, we’ve made a few recommendations for instructional streaming content designed to make you a better cook.
Martha Stewart will take viewers to class in her “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” on the PBS website (www.pbs.org/food/shows/martha-stewarts-cooking-school/), in which she gives home cooks a culinary master class, giving step-by-step instruction on fundamentals that everyone should know, from roasting and poaching to braising and blanching.
The New York Times offers up a comprehensive library in its “Cooking Techniques” section (www.nytimes.com/video/cooking-techniques), which contains how-to videos on such topics as prepping vegetables, making stock, mise en place (organizing ingredients before cooking), making mayonnaise, tying a roast and caramelizing onions. In all there are more than 50 videos, none of which are behind the site’s paywall.
The “ChefSteps” channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/chefsteps) encompasses techniques and recipes, with videos on making a steak, shopping for fresh fish and peeling garlic interspersed with how-tos on making such comestibles as Peking duck, ratatouille and vegetable and seed crackers. There is also plenty of food science here, covering subjects such as pressure cooking, microwave cooking and the use of liquid nitrogen.
If pasta is your passion, the new streaming service Quibi has “The Shape of Pasta” (quibi.com/shows/shape-of-pasta-467/), in which host and chef Evan Funke (“Food Revolution”) tours Italy to uncover the craft and culture behind some rare and forgotten pasta shapes such as rasccatieddi di miscchieddu, agnolotti del pin and strangulet. A definite horizon expander.
Those who want to take their abilities to the next level can enroll in courses on the pay site Salted (www.saltedtv.com). Here, students can enroll in online courses taught by professional chefs from across the U.S., covering a wide range of cuisines including Italian, Scandinavian, farm-to-table, Asian fusion and Spanish. Memberships are $9.99 a month with a free month for anyone who brings a friend aboard.
The ad-supported movie and TV show site Tubi (tubi.tv) also has a substantial library of culinary programming, offering instructional titles such as “Cook Like a Chef,” “Duncan’s Thai Kitchen” and “Comfort Eating,” and competition/reality series like “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Fluffy’s Food Adventures” and “James Martin: United Cakes of America.” It’s free but you’ll have to tolerate the commercials.