Hello and a belated Happy New Year to you all in HPR land, Ken has recently made a call for more shows as the queue is a little light at the moment so I was pondering what to waffle on about.
You may know from a couple of my previous shows that as well as being into tech and Linux I’m also a keen Cook, and try and prepare as much of the food we eat at home from scratch as possible.
One of the keys to good dishes is a base of sweated vegetables such as onion, celery carrot and garlic which when cooked in olive oil, is called a Soffritto in Italian cookery. In other parts of the Mediterranean and Latin America where Europeans settled this base to dishes may include other vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, and have other names such as mirepoix (/mɪərˈpwɑː/ meer-PWAH); but the idea is the same to give a base flavour to soups, sauces, risotto and stew type dishes.
Although not called the same thing this is also replicated in Asian cookery where spices and other aromatics are included such as ginger, lemon grass, chillies, cumin and coriander seeds.
While it is not obligatory to start dishes in such a way if you do use a base of flavours like this when cooking you will find that the finished dish has a more complex and deep flavour at the end, so if you don’t do this give it a try.
A simple starter is to make a tomato sauce for pasta using a base of finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic soften all the vegetables in a pan with some olive oil, add a tin of tomatoes or jar of passata (sieved tomatoes) reduce for 10-15 minutes until all the flavours combine and use as a sauce over pasta with grated cheese.