Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Often called "the one pot wonder", braising is a cooking method that many people employ, sometimes without even knowing it. If you've ever used a crock pot to make a roast, you've braised!

Braising is a combination cooking method - meaning, it uses both dry and moist heat (searing & then covering the vegetable or protein with liquid). Because braised items can be cooked for a very long time (though not recommended for vegetables), it is an economical method of cooking because cheaper cuts of meat can be used. These cuts tend to be very tough, and need to be cooked for an extended period of time. Because of this, braising is the perfect cooking method!

When braising, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
1. sear the item in a hot pan with enough oil to keep the item from sticking.
2. cover the item with liquid (stock, broth, cream, etc.) the item must have enough liquid to cover it.
3. continue to cook "low & slow" (low temperature for an extended period of time) to develop the best flavors, as well as to acheive the optimal texture.

I hope you will take some time to braise something for dinner this weekend. From a simple pot roast to a more exotic curry, braising is the perfect way to enjoy a warming winter dish, without a lot of fuss.


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