Cooking à la Yucca
In my experience, cooking is easy. I didn't learn to cook in my childhood
at home or at school but was forced, by circumstances, to learn it by
My golden rules for cooking are:
- Use good raw materials. "Good" doesn't mean 'expensive' but
'fresh, natural'. Don't believe snobs who say that using an XXX variant
of some ingredient is a must. If you feel that virgin olive oil
is superb for all purposes and you can afford it, then by all means use it,
but please let others disagree - de gustibus et coloribus non est
- Get some good manuals (cookbooks) and use them. Beware that
cookbooks sometimes contain instructions contrary to my golden rules.
Don't read cookbooks as law; you can and should experiment with
modifications, preferably with one modification at a time.
- Keep it simple. When applying recipes, simplify rather invent
new features. For instance, to prepare a fish for eating,
assuming it has been properly gutted, just put it
into an oven, checking a cookbook for temperature and time.
Nothing else is necessary. It is of course possible to
add salt and spices before this or to prepare a sauce after it.
- Avoid salt and strong spices.
People used a lot of salt and spices
in the middle ages to preserve food and
to hide the fact that ingredients were usually spoiled;
do you want to convey the same message?
Gradually decrease the amount of salt, and you will
notice that food becomes more tasty, in addition to being more healthy.
Let everyone add salt at the table according to one's taste.
- When preparing meat, follow the three basic rules:
- Use only best fillets for beefsteaks, and use relatively high
temperatures and short times. (Pork chops are OK, too, of course.
My statement basically applies to beef.)
- Use an oven for other meat dishes, and use
low temperatures (about
90 degrees Celsius!) and long times, checking the inner temperature
with a meat thermometer.
- Serve mutton hot. (Reason: mutton fat,
tallow, has a high solidifying temperature.)
I have written down a collection of my
recipes in Finnish -
olen koonnut muutamia omia ruokareseptejäni (suomeksi).
Date of last update: 1999-06-30; technical changes