Quick Recipes and Easy

Let’s Go Shopping

Generally, it is a excellent thought to have a shopping list before you go but don’t be too rigid with the fresh produce, meats, fish, cheeses etc. as freshness and price may surprise you when you get to the store. Be flexible. Instead of those way-to-soft turnips that you need to make soup with, why not buy those wonderful and fresh carrots that you see, that are also on sale? If you are willing to change your plans, you’ll be able to make a much better carrot soup than a turnip soup, with the available vegetables.

When I shop, I like to take my time to see what is the freshest and to compare prices. It’s always a excellent thought to buy what is in season, as it will not only be much fresher, but it’s cost will be much lower than at the rest of the year. I tend to eat very different food in different months of the year, making use of what is in season and generally eat lighter, less warming food in the summer and in the winter, lots of soups and a lot less salads but that is all up to you.

I like to shop in farmer’s markets, where one can buy the freshest produce. I personally like to food shop and mentally make the menu in my head as I go along. (Remember, that with books or ebooks, you don’t have to stick to recipes alone. If you see something that inspires you to cook it, just buy it and when you get home, go to the section in the book or ebook related to what you have to cook and start making by yourself, using the right technique for that type of food.)
With fish, for instance, you can generally substitute one fish for another if you know that there are oily fishes and non-fatty fishes. The more common oily ones (which can extremely healthy oils that you should be getting even if on a diet) are salmon, whitebait, sardines, mackerel, tuna, herrings and most other fish are non fatty (but if in doubt, question where you are buying your fish).

In general, it is not a excellent thought to buy fresh fish on Monday as this will most often be leftover from the week before. Try to buy fish on a Tuesday, or better still, question what day their fish is delivered and then make sure that you buy the fresh fish!

When you buy meat, the thought of freshness is not quite the same. Meat becomes more tender when it is correctly aged in the right temperature and the right level of humidity. This is done in special refrigerators and not something that you should attempt at home!

When buying prepackaged meat, you should always pay attention to the “sell by” date and also inspect the package to ensure that it hasn’t puffed up with bacteria.

Try to shop for produce as often as possible so you have the freshest possible ingredients with which to cook! In the U.S, a fruit and vegetable stand is a quick place to get in and out of, generally has very fresh ingredients and very often has fantastic prices! It is always better to buy local seasonal produce, as it is much tastier and less expensive. Try to get into the habit of not buying too much at a time so that your produce is always fresh.

Last but not least, when you shop, buy what inspires you! Don’t worry if you don’t have a recipe to go along with what you want to buy. Buy it anyway and when you get home, explore the chapters of cooking books or ebooks, which will give you many choices in how to prepare what you have just bought and you will find that the range of food with which you can cook will become wider and wider as you find yourself learning new things!

Jean-Louis Vosgien is a culinary consulting chef. He was the first chef in France to introduce in the 1980′s fusion food, which at the time was unknown, and was considered an expert in that field by press people.
He made two cookery schools, one in Saint-Tropez and the second in Lorgues, near Saint-Tropez
He made a cake, well-known in France, “Le Canelou de Provence”, sold today in the three major supermarket chains in France.
He was involved in the creation of the French cookery book “La Cuisine de Mistral”, with Alain Gerard and Robert Callier. Several of his recipes also appeared in “The World Class Cuisine of Italy and France” book. He is about to publish a new book on the US market.
Jean-Louis Vosgien

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