Made with love is a statement we often see on food labels these days. What does this acclaim of nurture really mean? Is the loving energy of the creator transferred into the dish via cooking tools? Does a sheer passion for cooking magically improve the end result?
In my opinion, made with love means, simply, that the time was taken to scrape every last bit of sauce onto the pasta, that an extra dose of olive oil or salt was added for good measure, that, instead of relying on a kitchen timer, one is standing at the stove waiting to remove the dish from heat at the precise second.
Ask for Luigi chef, J-C Poirier cooks with serious love. One bite of food at his cozy Strathcona Village eatery and you’ll see.
Here are five cooking tips from J-C that will improve your kitchen game and help to create food that taste like love.
1. Invest in a bottle of high quality olive oil.
“A little drizzle can really bring your food to the next level whether it’s pasta, pizza, fish, meat or salad. It’s not to cook with, but to finish with. You don’t want to cook with olive oil (for searing, I use rice bran oil).“
J-C’s recommends Frantoia, Olio Carly (find it at La Grotta) and Partanna (quite spicy).
2. Cook pasta for one minute less than the package recommends.
“Transfer it from the pot directly to the sauce in the pan and finish it there for a couple of minutes — you’ll have a way better result. People usually cook it too much and then they either throw out all the pasta water or rinse it. With the starch and seasoning in the pasta, you’re building the flavour of your water. If you need to reduce your sauce more, use pasta water.”
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