Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan: maybe some Chinese food is in order…
When you move from a wet cooking technique, like braising, to a dry one – that hot box that is your oven – you are engaging in one of humankind’s earliest techniques and among the most popular cooking methods today: just think of that golden brown turkey or chicken, for instance, that is so richly flavoured and delicious — and yet so simple. Many people, however, tend to get the technique wrong, which ruins the result, according to food writer Michael Ruhlman. I’ve done both, and he’s right.
The dry heat technique is important,” says Ruhlman of roasting. “If there is moisture, it lowers the cooking temperature and lowers the browning factor.”
He points out that cooks generally roast at too low a temperature which results in what is essentially baking, a different technique all together. Ruhlman calls for a hot oven. “I like to roast a chicken at 450-degrees Fahrenheit. I think we roast at too low a temperature, depending on what we are roasting,” he says. Just remember that it’s important to know your cut of meat: smaller, tender cuts of beef, for example, can be roasted at a higher temperature for a shorter time.
Try roasting at a higher temperature this weekend. The difference can be enlightening.[Photo: Relish Cooking Studio, Waterloo]