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    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

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    Preparing Lobster for Competition

Tips For Cooking Pasta, Rice And Potatoes

Preparing culinary delights is something everyone with a flair for cooking loves to do. Did ever wonder how some of the world's greatest chefs accomplish what they do with some of your favorite foods? Well, you're about to be let in on some very "insider" secrets in this special excerpt from "Tips And Tricks On Cooking Like A Chef". You will be given top level advice on what to do with pasta, rice and potatoes.

When pasta is fresh it tends to require less water than dried pasta. You need to have a large saucepan of rapidly boiling water ready—just about enough boiling water for the pasta to cook in. To prevent the pasta from sticking together, a little oil should be added to the water. Next, you add the pasta to the pan, seeing to it that the water stays boiling and stirring slowly for ten seconds to separate the pasta. Depending on the type of pasta you're using, boil for two to four minutes.

Spaghetti should be untangled before serving. Sometimes, when you allow spaghetti to cool for too long, it becomes tangled. If this happens, toss it back into the hot water and stir with a large spoon. Right after that, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water. Some olive oil may be added if you see it fit.

Al dente pasta is a special type of pasta. Al dente, an Italian phrase, means "to the tooth". Cooked pasta should be soft but still firm when you bite it. It is said that the easiest way to determine whether pasta is "al dente" is removing a piece from the saucepan and testing it between your teeth. The ideal "al dente" pasta will have some texture when bitten, but it should not be dry and hard in the middle.

Pasta is also cooked dried. There is a common mistake (when cooking dried pasta) of not having enough boiling water. Prepare a large saucepan of rapidly boiling water. Add a little oil and pasta to the pan. To separate the pasta, stir for twenty seconds. Depending on the shape of the pasta and the flour used, boiling should be for ten to fourteen minutes. To serve hot, drain and eat immediately without any extra oil or butter. To serve cold, rinse pasta under warm water, and then rinse under cold water.

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