Violence in cooking
Human civilization is structured on violence. Barring very few races, all races have survived and thrived on violence. The spread of civilizations across the continents was achieved through invasion of land, killing of habitants, plunder of culture and assimilation the Governments. We can not change now. Vegetarianism is also often violent. In this era of Television and Internet we all are dubious actors. Cosmetic smile and artificial blush is an accepted way of social life. Smiling while grinding teeth underneath is a new expertise in multitasking. In this era a polite ‘NO’ is replaced by manipulative smile and display of helpless atrocity. Honesty has a back seat or no seat at all. We all do it. An unwelcome guest had always been a problem. Violence to unwelcome guest by inviting him to a dual is a thing of past. Now we treat such guest with a new weapon: ‘Unpalatable food’. Bad cooking is not always enough. It is important that we channelize the violence into cooking to make it impossible for the guest to eat or to forget the nightmare, ever. Here are some tips to turn bad cooking into a disaster for visitor:
Under cooking and over cooking
Under cooking certain dishes may still keep such dish palatable even if it constitutes bad cooking. Same is over cooking. We must make it certain that to use the knowledge about under cooking and overcooking to ensure that we execute this plan properly. Whole lentils/pulses. kidney beans and Black Gram are the pulses which must never be overcooked because often, overcooking enhances the taste and give good-looking stock which must be avoided to keep cooking unpalatable. Under cook these to the extent these pulses remain hard and become difficult to chew. Further, the under-cooking keeps the gravy or soup separate from the pulses which gives a weary look to the dish. Only a brave heart with stomach of steel lining can eat such dish. Some non Vegetarian dishes also fall in this category. Make sure that the meat is not tender at all. It will not only be unpalatable but also be remembered for may days to come with overnight stomach ache.
Vegetables have tendency to get cooked easily. Vegetables even if under cooked, retain taste and can be chewed easily. Therefore the idea is to over-cook the vegetables. Once overcooked, the vegetables not only look ghastly but also unsavory in taste. To take care to pressure cook the vegetable, even if not needed. Add needless spices and job is perfectly done. Let the brave-heart try second helping.
Rice is the most popular cereal and it is easiest to cook. Therefore it requires skill to spoil it. Overcooking the rice renders it in lump and gives a bad appearance. However it can still be eaten with only marginal loss in taste. To make it completely unpalatable, the trick is to under-cook it to such an extent that it becomes non-chewable. There is another quality of rice that if it is under-cooked any attempt to warm it in Micro-Wave will make it more dry and therefore more hard to chew. Make sure that we do not sprinkle it with water before placing it in microwave which may make it palatable.
Keeping less oil and more water in any dish is key to ensure bad results. Improper kneading also helps a lot. Icing on the cake is carbon. Keep temperature high. When it appears to be slightly cooked, raise temperature further to burn the top surface. It will ensure a bad look beside the lump inside. One slice made with knife should make the knife blade dirty. That is the trick.
Marinating is the key for good grill. The thicker the marinating material, with right oil saves it from burning. Now to ensure our object we shall act in reverse. Use thin marinating coat and apply just before grilling. Do not turn it over. Let it rot at the bottom while keeping it uncooked at the bottom. Apply oil only after removing from grill that will give the appearance of proper grilling while making it hard to eat.
This is a powerful technology. If rightly used it can cause a dish to burn from inside without any one knowing it. However this does not apply on small objects. Make sure not to add any moisture or oil, lest it may properly cook. To burn, double the time without and stop in between. To make it under-cook, deep-freeze before placing the dish in microwave. It will appear that it has been properly cooked but actually it will be mere warming up, keeping the dish totally raw.
Stock, Soups and Gravies
The real taste in liquid dishes arises from harmonization. Which results from simmering, steaming and mixing all the ingredients by adding these at right interval. Hence do the opposite. Just add all the ingredients and pressure-cook the stock, soup or gravy. It will make sure that while everything is tender and has the appearance of being well cooked remains an anarchy of taste. Do not waste time to simmer. Take it off the pressure cooker and serve with water constantly at war with other ingredients. It is assured no one will dare to pour it in plate what to speak of tasting.
Oil, Butter or Cream
The timing and quantity of Oil, butter and Cream plays a special place in cooking. Add cream or butter first so that it may split and give rotten looks to the dish by making unsavory design at the surface. Pour Oil at the last, when the dish has cooled down and serve without heating it. Smell and raw looks of will keep every one distracted.
Simmering or settling of food under lid
This is the most important aspect. Even badly cooked food tries on its own to assimilate and develop some harmonized taste. Never leave any cooked dish, covered with a lid. It will ruin all previous efforts. Keep it without lid at all times. Best is not to let it cool, lest it may harmonize. Quickly cook and serve immediately. Let the Guest enjoy it as it is.
Human body has over 70% water. So why any dish should have less. After-all that is the natural or golden ratio. Make sure that every dish has enough water. Let the diner ask for a life-belt, if he/she wants to venture deep. Remember the watery Ice cream or Custard/Jelly? Prisons in India serve watery lentils. The prisons bet with each other as to how many lentils they will get in a particular bowl.
Keep an eye on watch
Start with a fixed time to complete the cooking say 20-30 minutes for several dishes. Some will automatically be undercooked and overcooked respectively. Make sure that right dish is under cooked and overcooked, respectively. Do not waste any time in cooking. Excess time spent on any dish may make it palatable. Do not let that accident happen. After all it is a war, which we have to win at every cost. Add rotten fruit or sour yogurt to the meal. After all use of imagination is not prohibited.
Good cooks and bad cooks are all around us. What we need is a subtle disaster on Dining Table. Let no one escape. Hurt each and everyone.