5 MISTAKES WE ALL MAKE WHEN COOKING FROM THE SICILIAN CHEF
You’ve been to his restaurant. You’ve got the book. You’ve seen the TV show. But still you can’t quite cook like The Sicilian Chef; everything you produce lacks a little something.
With a repertoire of authentic regional recipes, Celebrity TV chef, Enzo Oliveri, has brought his traditional Cucina Siciliana to London. Today, Enzo is telling us 5 mistakes we all make when cooking from The Sicilian Chef.
- Seasoning food incorrectly – we either forget to season at all or are too heavy handed with the salt, pepper and herbs. It’s important to remember the natural salt/piquant content of the ingredients you are using so you only add what is needed. Otherwise you run the risk of overpowering all the wonderful flavours of the dish. That said, salt, in particular, is there to bring out the flavours of the food, so don’t be too shy either!
- Cooking meat straight out of the fridge – steak, fish, chicken and any other meat you’re using needs to come to room temperature before you cook it. This takes at least 15 minutes but big items like whole chickens or joints of meat for roasting should be left out for longer.
- Adding oil to the pan too soon – guilty as charged! It’s tempting to put the oil in as soon as you put the pan onto the heat but, actually you need to heat up the pan to your optimum temperature before you add the oil.
- Overcooking the chicken – the fear of salmonella poisoning has probably tarnished us forever where cooking chicken is concerned; best to crucify it than undercook it, right? Using Sicilian cooking methods, there are plenty of ways to slow-cook chicken on the grill, preserving flavour and moisture. Use a thermometer and cook at the recommended temperature of 165F, if you really want to be precise.
- Forgetting about the presentation – you’ve spent an hour cooking a lovely meal then, in a rush to serve it up, you slop it onto an ill-sized plate with sauce dripped all over the edges. Presentation is everything; sight is the first sense, alongside smell, to make you want to eat it. Always use a bigger plate than you need, stack the food or lay them against each other, and don’t forget to wipe the edges of the plate!
ABOUT TASTING SICILY ENZO’S KITCHEN
Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen brings the best of Sicilian culture to the capital, and not only in terms of cuisine. Stunning artisanal decorations from Sicily decorate the space that recount the cultural heritage of the island, such as the Sicilian cart wheel – famous for powering the carts that carried produce, food and wine to our forefathers across the Mediterranean – and a staircase made with tiles from the Caltagirone Lava Stone.
Run by celebrity chef, Enzo Oliveri, the master has cooked for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul Hollywood, and John Travolta, and has worked on several TV shows with the cooking legend Gordon Ramsey.
Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen is a 3-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus Tube Station and Leicester Square, quietly tucked away from the bustle of central London.