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Cook Good Food Class – Pantry Essentials

Bi-Rite cares for its Family and constantly finds ways to educate its employees. Monthly cooking classes have finally restarted, expanding (even more) our staff’s food knowledge and appreciation. Tips and tricks are given on how to enhance flavors and appreciate new ones. Our very own Sam Mogannam encourages, throughout his book Eat Good Food, to have fun in the kitchen by experimenting and improvising. You don’t always need to follow a recipe word for word, educate and trust your taste buds!

We were lucky to participate to the cooking class series kick-off and learn all about “pantry essentials”. Setting yourself for success in the kitchen starts with a well and efficiently-stocked pantry. In fact, basic pantry products can make drastic differences on your plate. Properties such as the texture of salt or the smoking point of oil can be secrets behind making good meals, great!

Salt
The best cooking salt is Kosher salt. It is known to have a coarse texture, making it easier to pinch and giving you a better control over your seasoning. Kosher salt also rests on top of the food, giving a more accurate idea of the quantity you are using. This is especially useful when seasoning meat. Normal salt gets soaked up into the meat quickly and can easily lead to over-salting.

Oil
Different types of oil are used for different purposes. You will not need the same oil when pan frying a steak than when preparing a salad dressing. One way of differentiating oil types for cooking on a stove is their smoking point. Another way is by their flavor. Some super flavorful oils can turn rancid when heated but taste wonderful when topped on a plate of fresh and seasonal veggies.

This class accentuated taste and forced us to slow down, taste the food and work to appreciate each ingredient’s contribution to the overall dish. Understanding the purpose of each element definitely makes it easier to substitute ingredients and improvise recipes. But first, you need a well-stocked pantry!