For a Chef understanding basic ingredients like spices and herbs and how they interact with different types of meat or vegetables is quite important to ensure natural flavor is retained. There are many methods of cooking which naturally help meats and vegetables in retaining their natural flavors. The most popular of those methods are:
Baking: Baking is simply cooking food in an oven surrounding it with dry heat. The degree of dryness of heat may be modified by the amount of steam produced by its items being baked.
Broiling: Broiling means cooking directly under or above the heat source without the use of any other medium. Food can be broiled in an oven, directly under the gas or electric heat source, on a Barbeque grill, directly over charcoal or any other heat source.
Deep-frying: Deep frying means cooking of food items immersed in hot oil or fat. Frying temperature varies from 160 – 195 degrees C. Proper temperature in fat or oil should be reached before the item is put in for deep-frying.
Grilling: The source of heat may be from charcoal, coke (compressed charcoal), gas or electricity. In an authentic grill the heat is located below the grill bars, and if the source of heat is above the grill bars the grilling equipment is called salamander.
Doneness of steaks -
Au bleu – rare
Siagnant – underdone or medium rare
A point – just done or medium
Beincuit – well done
Clay pot roasting
Tandoor: Cooking in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor with medium of heat like charcoal. Meat items are continuously basted with oil or fat to keep them juicy andto prevent them from drying.
Steaming: Steaming is cooking with moist heat. It could be direct or indirect.
Direct steaming: In this method of cooking food is directly in contact with the hot steam and cooks evenly.
Indirect steaming: This is done when the food is placed in a closed pan, which is surrounded by plenty of steam from the fast boiling water.Green vegetables should never be steamed. Potatoes must be in a perforated container for steaming in order to prevent the collection of water in the bottom.
Poaching: Poaching is called cooking by immersing the food in a pan of liquid which must always be kept just below boiling point (93 – 95 deg.C).