Healthy ways of preparation out of the Modern F.X. Mayr kitchen:
Steaming is one of the simplest and most important food preparation methods. It also preserves most nutrients.
For example, a steamer basket with legs is inserted into a cooking utensil. The pot is filled with a small amount of water below the basket and covered with a lid. When the water in the pot comes to a boil, the food inside the basket is gently steamed without pressure, which is important. You can taste the food at any time to see if it is “al dente”.
Using a steamer basket as described above is the simplest method for steaming foods. There are also steaming appliances available for home use. These can be used to gently heat foods and to cook several different foods at the same time. They are a real alternative to microwave ovens, which have NO place in a healthy kitchen.
Braising means cooking foods in a small amount of water or other liquid. Vegetables can be braised in base broth instead of water. Foods should be braised quickly to avoid dissolving too many of the food’s nutrients into the braising liquid. Meat or fish can be braised in a suitable broth.
Boiling involves cooking foods immersed in boiling liquid (100° C or 212 ° F). One example for this preparation method is base broth (see recipes on page xx), where the nutrients contained in the vegetables used are dissolved in the cooking water for drinking. If food nutrients are to be retained rather than dissolved into the cooking liquid, boiling is not a very suitable food preparation method. For example, potatoes should be steamed rather than ‘boiled to death’ in salt water. For this reason, vegetables and potatoes used as a side dish should be steamed or braised, never boiled.
Noodles on the other hand are boiled, because hot water turns the starch contained in noodles into “glue”. The water used for boiling noodles is discarded.
Boiling in hot water closes the pores of meats (boiled beef) and fish. However, the resulting cooking liquids are very acidic and should be used sparingly and in very small amounts in a healthy diet. Vegetable broth is much more suitable.
Broiling or grilling exposes foods to temperatures of at least 175°C / 350°F to brown the surface of foods. This creates the typical flavor of broiled foods.
Originally, broiling involved cooking foods over an open fire or over charcoal, which is still used frequently (barbecue). Today, we more commonly use broilers or grill plates. These allow more gentle broiling at lower temperatures (barbecuing typically takes place at temperatures of 220°C to 250°C or 430°F to 480°C), which preserves more nutrients. A small amount of coconut oil can be used on the grill to prevent foods from sticking.
Broiling is especially suitable for tender filets that contain little fat, such as milk-fed veal, young beef, lamb, young veal, fresh and salt water fish and chicken breasts (young poultry). The most tender cuts of meat, fish and poultry are the most suitable. Avoid broiling foods “to death”. Meat, for example, browns lightly very quickly and should not be broiled until it dries out or is very dark. Use cuts that are not too thick, to prevent food that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Tender meat does not need to be cooked all the way through. It tastes best if it remains juicy and slightly pink on the inside.
Foods to be broiled should not be seasoned with fresh herbs prior to cooking, as these will burn. Instead, add herb oils or herb pesto before serving.
Roasting involves cooking foods in an oven at temperatures of 150°C to 200°C (300°F to 400°F). Using a higher temperature initially creates a crust, which adds color and flavor. Then the food can finish roasting at a slightly lower temperature.
Choosing the appropriate temperature is especially important for roasting. If the initial temperature is too low, the food takes too long to cook and dries out. Roasting at temperatures of 150°C to 200°C (300°F to 400°F) creates an aromatic, flavorful crust. Roasted meat is done when it has a nice brown crust and it’s internal temperature has reached 70°C (160°F). Modern ovens offer temperature probes that can be inserted into the center of the roast and programmed for 70°C (160°F). When the roast has reached 70°C (160°F) in the center, the oven sounds an alarm. Larger roasts should rest a while after cooking and therefore should be kept warm at a temperature of 68°C (155°F). This allows the meat’s juices to be evenly distributed from the center to the outside and temperatures to equalize throughout the roast. If, for example, you slice a veal roast without resting it first, a large volume of the meat’s juices will drain from the roast onto the cutting board. If, on the other hand, you allow the roast to rest in the oven at 68°C (155°F) for about half an hour, it will be marvelously juicy.
One variation of roasting is the use of very low temperatures. This involves browning the meat in a hot pan and then roasting it at 70 to 80°C (160 to 175°F) in the oven for a much longer period. Depending on the cut of meat, low temperature roasting takes about 3 to 5 hours. The advantage of this method is that roasts stay tender even after hours in the oven.
Browning ‘au Gratin’
Browning foods ‘au Gratin’ uses high top heat (radiant heat) to brown cooked foods in the oven. This lends foods a nice crust and adds flavor and aroma. This process takes very little time and leaves foods tender and juicy. Browning ‘au Gratin’ can be done in a standard oven with a top heating element.
Braising is a cooking method that combines elements of roasting and boiling and uses a small in amount of liquid. Braising allows foods to absorb added flavors and aromas created during cooking especially well. This method is primarily used for cooking meats that contain long fibers and connective tissue (less tender cuts of meat) that would get tough when roasted.
Meat is quickly browned in a pot using high heat to create a crust and develop flavor. Then liquid is added to the pot along with other ingredients (for example, root vegetables and herbs). The pot is covered and placed in the oven to cook the food at medium temperature until done. The braising liquid should contain more aromas and flavors than the meat. This cooking method adds flavor to meats and makes them tender, because the braising liquid and the steam that develops during cooking assures that the core temperature of the meat automatically remains within an optimal range. Meats can be braised for several hours, especially if cooking temperatures do not exceed 100 to 140°C (210 to 285°C).
Braising takes more time, but the lower cooking temperature preserves more of the food’s nutrients. This results in better quality and easier digestion. Liquids used for braising can include vegetable broth, root vegetables, onions, spices and herbs, depending on the recipe used. A reduction created by boiling down the braising liquid makes an especially flavorful base sauce. Braising can also be used for cooking vegetables, which takes much less time than braising meats.