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Ali Bahmad (Chef Ali)
4,096 followers -
Good cooking begins with good technique!
Good cooking begins with good technique!

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SNEAKY HERB TIP: Fresh herbs never seem to last very long & while dried herbs do work I prefer fresh. You can store fresh herbs in a snaplock bag in the freezer. When frozen the herbs break up easily and can be sprinkled directly into your dish as with fresh herbs. Alternatively, store your fresh herbs, chopped up in an ice cube tray with some chicken stock. After freezing, you can pop a cube or two directly into your dish while cooking.

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Here's a lovely summer Blueberry Rainbow Cake from the Cake Blog. This layered cake is shaded blue, filled with lemon curd and topped with berries. A perfect combination of blueberry and lemon.

http://thecakeblog.com/2011/08/blueberry-rainbow-cake.html
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SNEAKY FLOUR TIP: Some packets of flour you find in the supermarket might say "pre-sifted" on it. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you can skip sifting the flour when making your favourite dish. Whilst the flour has already been sifted, storage usually means the flour becomes heavy and clumpy again. We sift the flour to remove lumps, foreign matter (like chaff or insects) and to separate or aerate the flour particles to help them absorb liquids better. Whilst sifting isn't always considered so important to do these days, it's still a good habit to get into.

SNEAKY HERB TIP: Coriander (Cilantro) is an amazing and versatile herb. The tastes of coriander leaves and seeds are different flavours and are not interchangeable. The seeds are generally toasted to bring out a full flavour and can be used whole or ground while the leaves are best used fresh either raw or added to a dish at the last minute. Did you know that the roots can be minced or crushed and used as a replacement for for garlic? (or and addition to garlic if you're like me). The root is best sautéed at the beginning of the cooking with onions & a little oil to really bring out the flavour.

SNEAKY ZEST TIP: When zesting citrus fruits like lemons, limes or oranges,  you should only remove the coloured surface of the rind and not the bitter white pith. If you don't have a zester utensil, try using a very fine grater.

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RECIPE: Coconut and Lemon Delights
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Here's a cute twist on a Swiss Roll. While this one uses a giraffe pattern, you can vary with any pattern you like.

RECIPE: http://lovecookeat.com/giraffe-patterned-swiss-roll/
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SNEAKY #KNIFE TIP: With so many choices and gimmicks out there choosing the right knife for your kitchen can be tricky. To start with every kitchen should have a chef knife. And the best chef knives are forged from a single piece of steel that runs from knife tip all the way through the handle. This helps provide strength and balance to knife making it easier to use. Avoid any knife that does not have the metal right through the handle as handles can break or detach from the blade. When it comes to the metal, carbon steel is a favourite amongst some chefs as they are tough and take a really sharp edge. But the downside is that they tend to discolor when they come in contact with anything acidic like tomatoes or citrus fruit and they tend to rust if not in use for a while. Stainless steel shouldn’t rust however, what you gain in usability you lose  in edge. They are difficult to keep sharp & require honing/sharpening each time before using. The hybrid high carbon stainless steel seems to be the best of both worlds being both tough and stainless and can be a good choice for you. Chef knives are typically 15cm/6” to 30cm/12” long. I personally prefer a 20cm/8” knife but it really comes down to personal preference. Keep in mind the longer blade provides more leverage for slicing hard food items but can feel a little unwieldy & awkward to some. Finally, make sure your knife has a secure grip and a good feel in your hand, you’re looking for balance. The handle should be riveted to the blade and should not feel slippery or make you feel like you need to hold it tightly.

SNEAKY #CHOLOCATE CAKE TIP: A great way to give your chocolate cake a richer, mocha flavour is to use coffee. Next time you're baking try using cold coffee instead of water in your recipe. Stick to coffee made from coffee beans rather than instant coffee. The flavour will complement the cake more and add an authentic mocha taste.

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Here's a spectacular way to garnish a Creme Brûlée. The chef has used caramel drizzled over tray and allowed to harden first.  Thomas from My Kitchen Sync reminds us that clever use of chocolate, caramel or tuille biscuit beats the tired strawberry or mint garnish of past decades.

CREDIT: http://www.mykitchensync.com/2013/03/menu-engineering-14-principles-for.html#.Ugv2lrxPosZ
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