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Old 03-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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What is your cooking "base?"

I grew up in an Italian household, so I quickly learned that most recipes form their base like this:

1) pour in olive oil
2) put in garlic
3) sautee garlic until golden
4) add in other ingredients (usually some type of stock)
5) let simmer for a while until it reduces

This is the way hundreds of different sauces start out. So I have to wonder...what is your base? How do recipes in other cultures usually start out?


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Old 03-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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Don't know if it's a cultural thing, but many of my recipes begin quite like yours. My background is Irish, Austrian/Croation, with a little Italian thrown in.

Many recipes begin with mirepoix, which is onions, carrots and celery. Others use the "holy trinity," which is often onions, green pepper and celery. And, of course, garlic is a staple in many cuisines. So, you see, much of this is universal.

I can't imagine making many of my savory dishes without first sauteing some of these ingredients.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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A lot of Persian recipes start out similarly, but with onions. I'm not sure why, but onions seem to feature very prominently in Persian food. Garlic gets used, certainly (or I wouldn't like it!) but it's often more about the onions.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #4
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Onions are my #1 go-to ingredient, whether sauteed, carmelized or roasted. After that, it's garlic, carrots and celery, and sometimes bell peppers.

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:51 PM   #5
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The Spanish/Latin American equivalent is Sofrito - made with garlic, onion and tomato, sauteed in olive oil and frequently with roasted peppers and herbs added.
"Im going to break one of the rules of the trade here. Im going to tell you some of the secrets of improvisation. Just remember its always a good idea to follow the directions exactly the first time you try a recipe. But from then on, youre on your own." - James Beard
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:09 AM   #6
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Everything starts with onions here.
Carrots and peppers and garlic follow in that order.
Jewish upbringing - but there was way too much
red meat and full fat dairy for my tastes today.
anything that does not kill me makes me stronger
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FincaPerlitas View Post
The Spanish/Latin American equivalent is Sofrito - made with garlic, onion and tomato, sauteed in olive oil and frequently with roasted peppers and herbs added.

I'm another sofrito aficionado - with or without the tomatoes.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:11 AM   #8
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I start with either olive oil, butter, or bacon grease, depending on what I am making. I will start a corn chowder today and will start with bacon fat, add onions, then celery and carrots and finally lotsa garlic.

This year I am on a mission to grow enough onions to last me all year. I ran out mid February this year. I have started over 1000 plants this year; mostly a yellow keeper with about 150 red onions for fresh eating.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:12 AM   #9
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laying the basis for most cooking the world over are bulb and root vegetables, followed next by fruits such as tomatoes and peppers.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:19 AM   #10
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Well, here in Japan everything starts with DASHI, thats a soup or flavoring that's made from dried fish and kelp, the most usual fish being Bonito.

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