After last weekend’s episodes of The Ambush Cook with Kristina, I found myslef feeling a little more adventurous in the kitchen. Trying to move away from all of the canned sauces and spices, I felt empowered with Kristina’s mandarin sauce from her first episode. Now, she’s back with a new one to add to my cooking bag of tricks. With our next private cooking lesson with Kristina upon us, get ready to add to your OWN cooking knowledge because Kristina is not only passionate about passing on her enthusiasm, but she’s serious about helping us get a little more out of our time in the kitchen. Get ready…because the lessons are coming…and they look like they would probably smell great. Damn you Willy Wonka for giving the factory to Charlie and not finishing the smellovision invention! What a missed opportunity! Onto the lessons…
Lessons from this weekend’s shows include…
- Don’t tiptoe into cooking. Throw yourself into it.
- Spray your measuring spoons/cup with cooking spray before working with sticky stuff. (i.e. honey)
- Don’t be afraid of fresh ginger…even though it looks a little scary.
- Peeling ginger with a spoon is the easiest way to peel it. (Wish I had known that last week! Glad I know it now!)
- Leave your protein alone when you put it into the pan. Moving it doesn’t cook it faster and just breaks it apart. Hands OFF!
- Think ahead and prep stuff for dinner. Don’t wait til the hour is upon you because then, you’ll be stressed.
- To crush anything, put it in a plastic ziploc and roll a glass wine/water bottle over it. No pounding required.
- Reducing is just a fancy way of saying…letting it cook for awhile until it’s concentrated and the flavors are richer in taste.
- When cooking, extract adds a little burst of flavor. Pick a flavor, any flavor…
- Molten cake has like no flour! OMG…I didn’t know! I know what I’m doing with all my extra leftover chocolate chips now! YUMMY!
- If you eat meat (I don’t) the bone has the marrow with the flavor. That’s why “bone in” usually tastes better.
- Brown the outside on high, then turn it down to finish the cooking with “braising.” Braising means cooking slowly in a rich liquid. It also means…”it’s probably going to taste really good.”
- Don’t use “cooking wine.” As Kristina says, “If you’re not going to drink it, why would you cook with it?” Good question.
- Adding a little sugar makes the natural sugar pop in a dish.
- Paprika makes things smell pretty and look pretty. Keep it in the spice cabinet for when you want to “go fancy.”
This weeks recipes include: Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken, Basamiti Rice, Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, Braised Short Ribs, Sauted Sweet Corn, AND here is the BONUS! It looks like there are extra recipes on Oprah.com and a couple of dishes that aren’t included in the show!
For the recipes go to Oprah.com. Here are some of the direct links:
Episode 3: The Freezer Fanatic – Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken & Basamiti Rice, Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes , Kristina’s Favorite Rolls
Episode 4: The Caveman Cook – Braised Short Ribs, Sauteed Sweet Corn, Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes