December 6, 2023

Our definition of cheap cooking may differ from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s.

It’s true that the world-renowned restaurateur and cookbook author talks about cheap portions with messianic fervor, but the aforementioned Food on a Budget episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookbook also caught him on the phone to Lina Stores in SoHo to discuss ham. , sausages and salami with the late “delicate maestro” Antonio Saccomani.

It’s not exactly Costco.

Nor can we buy lamb-on-the-bone with frybread as an affordable meal, although the accompanying milk-soaked frybread—homemade croutons, really—will cost a little less this year as the USDA predicts that dairy prices will drop after 2022. historical levels.

As long as we accept the idea that the man will never be found stretching out rice and beans to feed a family of four for a week when there’s leftover risotto that should be resurrected as arancini, the show is a gold mine. chefs of all budgets and experience levels.

It’s not so much about final dishes as it is about shortcuts and best practices along the way.

Indeed, his “chef in Paris” could kill him for ugly lifting food from deliciously humble scraps from the pan, but his ironclad principles of wasting nothing and using available ingredients will benefit home cooks with an eye on the bottom line, as well as professionals on high level. end restaurants where profit margins are turning on a knife edge.

At a time when any fool can Google dozens of reliable rice cooking methods, it’s sometimes comforting to get this kind of information straight from the lips of a world-renowned expert. (We’re big fans of Julie Child’s scrambled eggs…)

How does he do it yours method that compares to Ramsey’s freely shared secret to cooking the perfect rice?

Weigh 400 grams of rice on a kitchen scale

Rinse with cold water

Season with salt and pepper and – a bit up the food chain – 3 cardamom pods pierced and star anise

Add 600 grams of water (that’s a 1:1.5 ratio for those playing without a kitchen scale or metric system)

Bring to a boil and steam, covered, for 8-10 minutes

No peeking!

Remove the pot from the heat and fluff

Such universal tips are the most compelling reason to stick with this series.

Ramsey’s rapid-fire delivery and lack of linked recipes can leave you feeling a little lost when it comes to exact measurements, temperatures, and step-by-step instructions, but keep your ears peeled and you’ll quickly figure out how to expand your fresh herb shelf. life and keep sliced ​​potatoes, apples and avocados looking their best.

Other episodes reveal how to grease cake pans, prevent milk from boiling over, remove caked-on residue, peel kiwis and mangoes, determine the ripeness of pineapples, pomegranate seeds, peel tomatoes, and keep plastic containers stain-free…

Seriously, who needs TikTok when we have Gordon Ramsey 2012?

Ramsey’s advice to bypass the expensive wine when cooking those relatively cheap cuts of meat low and slow is getting the chef’s kiss from us. (In full disclosure, we’d happily drink his vintage from the stew.)

As for the slow-roasted duck, truffles and caramelized figs with ricotta, we must remember that the series is over 10 years old. Even eggs feel like a waste these days..

Maybe some stress-free cooking tips will reduce our stress levels over grocery shopping this week?

Here again, there seems to be some discrepancy between Ramsey’s definition and that of the general public. His idea of ​​stress-free is achieved through a lot of prep work

If your idea of ​​de-stressing involves skinning and deboning salmon or making homemade fish stock, you’re in luck.

Obviously, the end product will be delicious, but the phrase “Ginger and Coriander Chili Chicken” activates both our salivary glands and our impulse to order…

Check out the full playlist from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course here.

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Ayun Halliday is the chief primatologist East Village Incas zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto and A creative, not famous, activity book. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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