Refining the culinary craft takes years of practice and patience. Even professional chefs must learn the essentials. But the problem with the basics – is that they’re often assumed knowledge and not taught.
From a homemade curry to preserving fruit, AEG ambassador and professional chef, Mark Best, shares the beginner dishes and fundamental cooking techniques every home cook should have in their repertoire.
Butter (no) Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Vegetarian butter chicken is a beloved dish across the world and the interesting thing about this particular dish is my twist, which replaces the chicken for soft-boiled eggs roasted in turmeric. A great meat-free alternative, mastering this recipe will also help you learn how to perfectly boil eggs – a versatile skill you can incorporate into other dishes.
Learn Mark’s vegetarian butter chicken here.
My tip for the perfectly boiled egg is to find the round side where the air sac is. Do this by using any tiny drill bit/sharp object to poke a couple of millimetres into that air sac, which stops the egg from cracking. When boiling the eggs, I prefer to have control using the AEG SensePro Induction Cooktop. The boost function quickly brings everything up to temperature after which a low boil of 90°C is perfect enough to shock the eggs to release the white from the shell.
Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
A simple yet delicious dish, the key ingredient in gnocchi are potatoes. Due to their floury, waxy texture, Sebago potatoes are best for this dish. Keeping the skin on will protect the potato from absorbing too much moisture during the cooking process. I love using the AEG SteamPro Oven to 100°C full steam the potatoes because it blooms the starch beautifully and won’t add excess moisture.
See Mark’s potato gnocchi and pesto recipe here
Keep what’s in season now for later use by preserving. After you’ve washed and cut your chosen fruit vertically, heat your oven to 100°C and sterilise the jars for 45 minutes. The AEG SteamPro Oven comes with a preserving function perfect for this task. Then fill and seal the jars with fruit and hot syrup and place onto the telescopic racks, before setting the preserving function on the oven again and cooking for a final 90 mins. Allow to cool and store for up to one year, or enjoy at your earliest convenience.
Truffled Macaroni Cheese
Nothing says comfort food like a classic Mac n’ Cheese. Add some truffle, and you’ve placed a beautiful, luxe spin on an already cherished dish. When preparing the roux, simply melt the butter at level 5 on the AEG SensePro Induction Cooktop, adding the flour and stir for 5 minutes over a moderate heat. To prevent clumping, heat the milk prior to adding it into the roux mixture. Once it begins to thicken, add the bay leaf, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper all together. Follow with some Dijon mustard, an ingredient made to complement truffle.
High Top Loaf
A classic homemade bread recipe elevated with buttermilk, the High Top loaf is a versatile addition to any meal. One of the skills to master in creating a High Top Loaf is achieving and mastering dough proofing. The AEG SteamPro Oven comes with a specific dough proofing function under the steam menu option, allowing the dough to double in size and achieve the desired height. For the final step, switch the oven to the dough baking setting at 180°C and cook until the top is a dark golden colour.