Cooking With Chef Michael Schwartz at Publix's Apron Cooking School in Plantation
- Buy the book Food Lover's Companion. It is a must-have for any cook. Michael swears by it. Plus, it came in handy throughout the class for such questions as: "What's pink peppercorn?" "What's a roux?"
- When making a vinaigrette, use both olive oil and canola oil, since olive oil can be too bitter and canola oil adds fruitiness and silkiness back to the equation.
- For those who are obsessed with oils (and have ten types in their pantry), there is only a need for two in your pantry: one all-purpose oil for cooking and one drizzling/finishing oil for dressing salads, etc. Michael's favorite oil varieties are canola and grapeseed.
- Raw onions can be bitter and overpowering. When adding onion to a dish, place the prepared product into a bath of ice water. This serves three functions: It crisps the onions, enhances their color, and mellows the flavor.
- Michael's trick to a variety of meals is to add a hint of cinnamon to the dish, as it brings out and complements other flavors. From chicken to rice and dessert, it's great.
- Buy a box of gloves and stash it in your cabinet -- that way, you'll have them for use whenever you want. Why did this come up? He loves chicken but hates touching it raw with his bare hands.
- When making couscous, boil the pasta with both orange juice and water, since it adds hearty flavor.
- It's an industry standard but also helpful at home: Mark containers with date of purchase using a permanent marker. That way, you're not using cinnamon from 2001.
- It is always best to buy good quality spices in small quantities.
- Spending $6 on a small can of dulce de leche? Make it yourself; it's cheaper. Take the wrapper off of a can of condensed milk and simmer the can in water for five hours. Make sure that the water completely covers the can at all times.The longer it stays in the bath, the darker and richer the dulce de leche will be. Hedy does this at Michael's!
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