Sauteing basics, part 2

When I posted “sauteing basics” in 2008, I thought I had it all covered. Seems not. A reader emailed me a couple of days ago asking why, in some recipes, the onions and tomatoes are sauteed ahead of the garlic. That’s very wrong, according to her, because the garlic always goes in first.

The same issue was raised in a comment thread in one of the recipes, I just can’t remember which one exactly. And, if I remember correctly, I have answered the issue in the comment thread. But since the question has been raised again by another reader, I’m now pretty much convinced that there are more than two persons in the world who believe that, when sauteing, there is a strict order by which the vegetables go into the pan — garlic, onion and tomato.

I understand that in Filipino cooking, sauteing often means frying garlic, onion and tomatoes in a little oil over high heat. That’s the way so many of our local dishes begin. So, I understand the mindset. Some people even think that every dish, to be correctly cooked, must necessarily begin with sauteing. There was this high school teacher… You can read about him by clicking here.

First of all, sauteing is a cooking method — not a trinity of ingredients — and it is not exclusive to Filipino cooking. A cook can saute ginger and nothing else. Or garlic and chili pepper without onion nor tomato. What happens to the strict order of garlic-onion-tomato then? »

Sam’s picadillo

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In 2003, I posted a recipe for picadillo that was such a far cry from the traditional. Instead of ground beef, I hand cut stewing beef into small cubes. And, instead of adding potatoes OR chayote to the beef, I added potatoes, carrots AND chayote. … »

Pork and sausage chili

pork-sausage-chili

When one hears the word "chili", the thing that comes to mind is the stew called chili con carne. It's almost as though "chili" were the nickname of chili con carne, a spicy dish that usually include ground or minced beef, tomato sauce and kidney … »

Phoenix

phoenix1

Because of the popularity of the Harry Potter books and movies, a lot of products are being named after the characters and places in the story. I'm not exempt from the mindset -- I did name my fried wontons Gringott's money bags after the … »

Crispy panko-coated eggplant nuggets

crispy-eggplants2

Although eggplants by themselves are almost impossible to turn crisp without first dehydrating them, with a little magic using very ordinary ingredients, you can transform them into appetizers cum snacks with layers of texture and flavor. Thinly … »

It’s gecko talk after Harry Potter

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We drove all the way to the city last night to have dinner with the girls and -- finally -- to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- as a family. Because of the stormy weather, we decided to go somewhere near the girls' condo. The Mall … »

It’s gecko talk after Harry Potter

gecko

We drove all the way to the city last night to have dinner with the girls and -- finally -- to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- as a family. Because of the stormy weather, we decided to go somewhere near the girls' condo. The Mall … »