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Director : Dean Israelite.
Producer : Brian Casentini, Roberto Orci, Haim Saban, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen.
Release : March 23, 2017
Country : United States of America, Canada.
Production Company : Lionsgate, Saban Brands.
Language : English.
Runtime : 124 min.
Genre : Action, Adventure, Science Fiction.

‘Power Rangers’ is a movie genre Action, was released in March 23, 2017. Dean Israelite was directed this movie and starring by Dacre Montgomery. This movie tell story about Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

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Mise en Place – LBB#6

Before we start working on individual techniques and our master set of recipes and formulas, I’d like to take a moment to talk about two key stages in the process of cooking or preparing food: the things you do to prep the basic ingredients (“mise en place” (or “mise” for short) in the professional western kitchen) and then the basic scientific principles behind the assembly and cooking processes.

I find that the biggest difference between learning to cook at home and then working in a professional kitchen is the mise factor. Professional kitchens require a great deal of organization to get a large number of menu items to a stage that they can be finished or prepared when needed, as opposed to what usually happens at home, where you start and finish a dish or meal in one sequence.

For the professional, there are three parts to the day – prep, service, and cleanup, and we generally approach our tasks differently for each. Prep time requires a big picture look at the day, knowing everything that needs to be prepped, in what quantities, and then setting a course to get it all done efficiently. Service requires having all of the mise on hand so that you can go directly from an order to the plate in a fairly short period of time – in my world it was always starters in 15 minutes or less, entrees in no more than 30 minutes, desserts in 15 minutes or less again (of course this varies according to the type of restaurant you are working in, and many require SHORTER time frames from order to plate)

To get your mise together, you generally have a few basic rules of thumb to keep in mind:

Try to find efficiencies; start the things that take the longest or need to cool down first; try and minimize your trips back and forth to the fridge and storeroom; clean and sanitize between tasks; and try to work on one thing at a time.

I also try and group like tasks together, especially when there is equipment involved. You have to remember in a busy restaurant kitchen you only have a few hours for mise in the afternoon to get ready for a dining room of people and a service period that is usually twice as long as your prep time, so here are a few things I have garnered over the years that are worthy of sharing:


Set up a station and wash all of your veg at the same time. Not only does this get everything ready to go, you also have a last chance to see if you’ve missed something in your shopping.
Get messy and bulky tasks out of the way early, so that you can clean up and make room for prepped food as you go

    Cutting and Chopping

Sharpen your knives before you start, so that you can quickly hone them with a steel between tasks.
If you have the same or similar tasks to do for multiple dishes, do them at the same time, and separate the prepped product as you go. If you have a need for sliced onions in one dish, and diced in two more, it saves a ton of time to cut them all at the same time. You can also utilize different parts of the same raw material for different tasks if they are better suited. This is really true when you are doing things like veg prep – where you might want a nice square dice of carrot, parsnip, celeriac, etc, and have the odd shaped bits from the outside that are perfect for cooking to make a puree.
Think about the best use of the product you are using – you shouldn’t be cutting up the most pristine section of a fish fillet for a chowder when the tail section or trim from the belly would be a better choice!
Keep separate containers for: trim that can be used for stock; compost; garbage


Marinades are great for infusing flavour or tenderizing, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can over-marinate! Marinades containing acids will tenderize to a point, but too much acidity or leaving product too long in it may end up “cooking” the protein or leaving an unpleasant flavour. Marinades are also only effective when the product is submerged, or otherwise coated completely in marinade. Otherwise, the portion exposed to air will not be protected, tenderized, etc, and may spoil or dry out. I find it best to toss the product in the marinade first, and then transfer to a clean container that is just the right size and pour the remaining marinade over top. I either like to use a nonreactive container that is big enough to hold all of your protein snugly or else a resealable plastic bag, so that you can remove all of the excess air from once the marinade is covering it (you don’t want to need litres of marinade to cover your meat or poultry because you have a ton of empty space to fill).


Depending on what you are making, you may be able to mix batters and doughs prior to cooking and set them aside. In some cases this is preferred or required, other times it has no impact on the outcome either way, and others it may be detrimental. At the least, for most baking processes, dry ingredients can be mixed ahead of time. As we go through some of the basics, I’ll identify when and when not to do this, but in general terms, pastry doughs are usually best made ahead so they can sit for a while to relax the gluten and make them more tender and shrink less, batters using baking powder and baking soda as leaveners can sit for a short period before cooking, but not too long (an hour or two) as the leaveners are activated by moisture, and any product using air for lightness such as sponges and souffles is best made immediately before cooking to prevent collapse. I have also noticed that doughs containing potato (like gnocchi, for instance) tend to attract moisture if they sit, so are best mixed immediately before cooking. Emulsions without a stabilizing agent have a tendency to separate over time, so are also best made in small batches or quite close to when they are needed.


Rubs and seasonings tend to have more impact the longer they sit, but salt draws moisture out of food. As a rule, I try and leave salt out of marinades and rubs unless drawing moisture out is an intended result, such as when brining or dry-curing items. Sugar has a similar effect, so should also be approached with caution when prepping product in advance.


Sometimes prep involves par-cooking so that when you need to finish the dish it is a fairly quick process. Some key examples that really speed up the process of getting the final dish on the plate, especially if you are trying to cook and serve a multi-course dinner: blanching vegetables, which can then be reheated with a little stock or other liquid and finished as you like; par-cooking risotto, other grains or lentils and then cooling them down quickly on a tray for later finishing (a great restaurant trick!); blanching noodles, spaetzle, gnocchi, etc; preparing long braises that can be cooled and reheated to order ahead of time (also if you want to use the product for a secondary preparation); making soup and sauce bases, etc.

Most important to keep in mind when par-cooking is that you need to cool things quickly to stop the cooking process and then ensure things are stored correctly to prevent spoilage. For blanching veg, ice water is critical to cool and preserve colour, for many other things, transferring them to shallow trays will cool them down quickly without using water so they can be stored properly, and for liquids such as soups and sauces, the pot can be submerged in cold water to cool down quickly, and for larger batches, an ice wand (a sealed container filled with water and frozen) is a great way to cool them rapidly.


Storing food properly is REALLY important. There is nothing more frustrating that prepping something only to find it was not covered or drained properly and hours later is ruined! When storing food, you have three things to watch for – air, moisture, and temperature. Improper amounts of either will affect different foods in different ways. For things that will dry out, ensure they are covered snugly or have a moist paper towel on top. For things that tend to create moisture, having a drip tray or dry paper towel underneath can be the difference maker, and always make sure things that are perishable are stored in the fridge or on ice.

Make sure you have a variety of sizes of containers at your disposal, with tight fitting lids, and preferably that can stack neatly in the fridge. I use plastic storage and freezer bags for many things, as they are strong enough to not tear, but can also have almost all of the air removed easily. A collection of small ramekins or bowls is great for little garnishes, chopped herbs, and other things that you want to keep in very small amounts.

That’s all for this time. Next post, we’ll talk about some of the key things that happen when you apply processes, moisture and heat to foods, and then we’ll be ready to get to the master recipe list!

Think like a Chef – LBB#3

The best chefs I’ve met are ones that can do two things really well:

a) have a clear vision for what the finished product will be and then go out, select the best ingredients and prepare them accordingly
b) when presented with any number of ingredients, quickly be able to determine how best to utilize them to their fullest potential and in combination

Cooks that can do both experience the complete freedom that comes with those skills. The exhilaration that comes the first time you walk into a market with nothing but some money and have a great meal determine itself is incomparable. Some people may never get excited by this, and always set out, recipe and shopping list in hand. There is nothing wrong with that approach and it usually delivers predictable results, but to truly feel in command of the craft and be confident that you will be able to make something interesting no matter what you find is something else. I liken it to the experience so many others who work with their hands express in various ways and metaphors – that it is the block of stone itself and its characteristics that determines the finished sculpture, if you will.

This approach opens the doors to a world of new ideas and infinite possibilities, so that one begins to stop following recipes and ideas they have seen and instead begins to create them easily. The intention of these scribbles is committing these principles to heart and also to provide some reference to those basics upon which all good cooking is built.

(Forgive the overdone cliché, but I’ve always been a “teach a man to fish” person myself, and believe wholeheartedly that the greatest gift you can ever share with others is the knowledge you have gained, and hopefully they will do the same.)

So where to begin? let’s talk about making food INTERESTING!

In 1989, I read “Chez Panisse Cooking” by Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters, and it really changed the course of how I felt about approaching food as a young cook. In addition to some great recipes and ideas, there are two chapters in that book, one on quality ingredients and another on making a menu that have lasted with me my whole career. My copy is well worn and full of highlighted passages and key concepts that any cook should take to heart. One that has always stuck with me is this:

“A menu that does not excite those who cook it will not excite those who eat it”

SO true, and in order to make food exciting to cook, we have to look at what makes food exciting to eat.

Food touches all of the senses. We taste, we smell, see colour and shape, feel texture and temperature, and hear sounds as we eat.

All of these elements together create a palette from which an infinite number of combinations affects you differently whenever you put food on your table. Chefs are always trying to push the senses to the limits in never before thought of ways, but the underlying principles that make food taste good are unchanged. Here are those I always go by:

Variety and diversity in textures and the elements of taste make for interesting food; avoid monotony
Contrast is as important as harmony; but avoid extremes and imbalance
Food that comes from the same place (time/season or location) usually works together
Fresh and ripe rules every time

Let’s explore this a bit more, as I walk you through the process I use to go from “what am I going to make” to a finished meal:

Step 1: Visualize

When deciding what to cook, we have to draw on what we have to work with. Working through the following will usually have you pretty close to an idea of what you want to do.

Available ingredients – what do I have, or can I get NOW!
Past experiences – what worked, what didn’t, likes, dislikes, etc
Olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) memory – picture how something will taste or smell in your mind
Sensory triggers – something catches your eye or a smell, a sound, the feel of a raw ingredient gets you thinking of an idea

Step 2: Flavour profile

Once you have the basic idea or main ingredients in mind, think of the flavour profile.

There are a varying number of elements to all of the things we taste depend on your cultural background, but essentially there are a handful of elements that compose all of the taste profiles found in the foods we eat. Western definitions of taste traditionally have broken everything down into 4 major elements:


Asian cultures have added the following to the list

Umami (literally “pleasant savory taste”)

Step 3: Introduce the other senses

The other senses contribute to the overall experience in a variety of ways. Imagine if food didn’t have the following attributes, which in many cases provide our first impressions, the lasting memories, and our overall like and dislike of a certain dish or dining experience:

Temperature – both real and perceived (such as mint as a cooling sensation or spice as heat)
Colour – use a wide palette
Shape – create visual interest
Texture – some of each creates contrast
Mouthfeel – dry, fat, rich
Smells – avoid overpowering or distracting
Sound – noisy, difficult foods may spoil a mood or setting

And always try to remember a few guidelines as you go along:

Think outside the box – try new things
Too much of anything is never a good idea
Great dishes hit on multiple senses in a variety of ways
Look to classic combinations for inspiration, then make logical leaps: If flavours work together in one context they will do so in another. A great example of this is the recent trend of bringing savoury pantry items into desserts.

For a bit of fun, try this experiment I did with my co-workers to illustrate the above concepts.

Select four ingredients that each have a very distinct flavour on their own, but have different characteristics, and not things that you would normally think to put together. Try and touch as many elements as you can from the lists above.

I chose the following, based on what I found when I opened my cupboard and fridge:

Salt and vinegar potato chips (salty, sour, crispy)
Smooth peanut butter (creamy, nutty, smooth, salty, sweet)
Spicy red pepper jelly (sweet, spicy, cool)
Fresh cilantro leaves (astringent, umami, chewy)

Now, try combining them and see what “the whole” tastes like. We took a chip, spread it with the peanut butter, topped it with a thin layer of the jelly, a few fresh cilantro leaves, topped with another chip, and then ate the resulting “sandwich” all in one bite. We found that the dominant characteristic of each item disappeared and settled into a more harmonious balance that had an interesting combination of texture and flavour that was actually quite pleasant. Let me know what you tried and if you had a similar experience!

Next up: Let’s talk about ingredients!

The Principles of Cooking – LBB#2

Cooking ANYTHING essentially boils down to a set of four basic principles:

1. selecting ingredients according to their preferred characteristics.
2. applying processes to the raw ingredients in order to transform them into finished products.
3. using a common set of known formulas in order to achieve the goals of # 2
4. evaluating the outcome and adjusting either 2 or 3 accordingly

The fundmentals of each of the principles can then be broken down further and applied according to the individual recipe or dish you are trying to prepare.

1. Selecting:

Every ingredient has its preferred set of characteristics, and depending on the desired outcome, which of those characteristics is most important may vary greatly. A slightly under-ripe fruit may be exactly what you are looking for if you are wanting to accent its acidity, firm texture, or if it is being cooked for a long period of time. However, if it is intended to be served raw and at its ideal level of sweetness, then being at the perfect stage of ripeness and its unblemished appearance is key. However, a sauce, soup, or other item requiring a soft smooth finished texture may require the cook to search out over-ripe fruit, which ordinarily may have been removed from the produce rack and relegated to a discount shelf in the back. Making the determination before you go out shopping, or having the outcome in mind will ensure that the proper selection is contributing to the success of the finished product.

2. Processes:

Every stage in the cooking process has an impact on the final product. If you have selected the wrong product to begin with, you can never expect the desired results. Likewise with the preparation techniques, using the wrong technique or poor execution will determine or compound the results, Every part of the process, whether it is the way a product is peeled or cut before cooking; how it is prepared, mixed, or seasoned; how heat is applied and when; whether or not there is moisture present in the cooking process; and how it is treated after cooking will all affect the finished product, so here a little bit of knowledge goes along way. Understanding the basic principles of food science form your ability to not only achieve great results, but adjust for any variables you may encounter along the way.

3. Formulas:

In addition to understanding the importance of the processes and procedures one uses in the kitchen, having a repertoire of known formulas or basic recipes is essential. Cooking and baking always depend on the right combination of ingredients, the right proportions, and the right cooking method. For instance, knowing the ideal proportion of dry ingredients to liquid for whatever it is you are trying to prepare is essential. You can take the same ingredients, and by varying the proportions and methods, end up with very different results. A cake batter, pancake, muffin, biscuit, and cookie all have similar ingredients, but because all are proportioned, mixed, and cooked differently, they are all distinctly different finished items. The cook who understands the basis of these differences has then an infinite arsenal of recipes and his or her hands, and can set out to prepare a variety of things from any set of given ingredients.

4. Evaluating:

Now what if the results aren’t what you were intending? Sometimes this can be a discovery of itself, as some of the greatest recipes of all time have been “accidents”. Take Crepes Suzette, for instance. The cook turned his back for moment, in which time his sauce caught on fire. Not having time to prepare another, he tasted it, and found the result to be exceptional, so proclaimed it to have been designed that way. Knowing what the root cause to the most common problems can be allows the cook to use all of his or her senses, to make the changes necessary so that the desired results and the outcomes are aligned. This does take some trial and error at first, but an experienced cook can make adjustments on the fly in many cases and turn a potential failure into a probable success.

Learning and applying these principles in the kitchen will be the focus of this series. But before we get there, we’ll talk about how to “think like a chef”

The Chef’s Little Black Book

Today I am starting a new series – an idea I have for a book that has been sitting in a stage of partial completion for a while. If it will ever make it to print, I don’t know, but at least writing it this way I can get it all in one place and share for now as it comes together.

It starts something like this……….

Every great cook I have worked with has had his or her “little black book”, a collection of recipes and menu ideas gleaned from years of working alongside others who share the passion for food and cooking. In most cases it’s a shorthand list of formulas, great menu items, and notes to self about one’s experience spending thousands of hours behind a stove. This collection goes to form the chefs we become, and the broader one’s repertoire, the more source for inspiration there exists. I have held firmly to my belief that everyone in the kitchen makes a contribution to the knowledge base of the profession, and that collective brainpower has led me to years of inspired cooking in small restaurant kitchens and at home.

This experience and knowledge once closely scrutinized, comes down to several basic principles and approaches to food, ingredients, and technique. It is that combination that gives us the variety, as every recipe I have ever seen, know, or developed has been an extrapolation of a simple idea based on one of the fundamentals.

It is my goal in this series to share my personal collection of the basics, as well as an insight into how to take a relatively small set of ideas and turn them into an endless array of recipes, menu ideas, and memorable meals. What I want to get away from is the concept that cooking is about just following recipes. Cooking food is like playing music, my other great love. You can follow the score, but at the end of it all there are only 12 notes. Every great piece, song, or melody is derived from the ability of the composer to combine those 12 notes with an understanding of common combinations and fundamentals that work, sprinkled with a good dose of imagination and experimentation.

To transcend from merely following recipes to experiencing food in such a way that you can imagine an outcome, select the ingredients and put them together with a fairly close interpretation of what you set out to is truly a magical experience that those of us who have cooked professionally for many years probably take for granted, but one I want to share with you over the next little while.

So here it begins, my “little black book”

January 2013