What I learned about salt and garlic on my trip to Chicago

Hi everyone, I’m back! I took a little blogging break because I honestly have been so busy with new client work and these hot Summer days have not helped with my motivation. I can’t believe it but I haven’t made it to the beach even once this Summer. I did however have the most wonderful trip to Chicago last week. I was invited along with a dozen other designers to attend a two day training class on JennAir appliances. It was great timing because my husband and I just installed new JennAir appliances in our kitchen. Truth be told, I was unsure how to work some of the advanced options so it was very valuable for me.

The historic red Clock Tower Building below is the Whirlpool headquarters. Whirlpool is the parent company of JennAir, Kitchen Aid and Maytag.

Whirlpool Headquarters

Whirlpool Headquarters

Our group was told we were very special because we were given permission to climb up the stairs and see the inside of the clock. It was such a unique experience and this is what the inside of a clock tower looks like if you’ve ever wondered.

Inside the Clock Tower at the Whirlpool headquarters

Inside the Clock Tower at the Whirlpool headquarters

We spent two full days learning about cook tops, ovens, ventilation (hoods) refrigerators and dishwashers. I know some of you it might think it sounds boring but the way the JennAir group presented the information it was anything but.

My favorite appliance is the newly redesigned (and soon to be released) JennAir induction cook top. Induction cooking is as fast or faster than gas and much safer. Plus no accumulating gas fumes to pollute your home.

JennAir induction cook top

JennAir induction cook top

On our final day we had the opportunity to use the products and had a cooking lesson from chef Ann. I learned two things that I have been doing wrong my whole cooking life. The first one was with salt.

I learned that when you cook vegetables that are added to the pan at different times, such as  harder vegetables like onions and carrots first and then the softer veggies like tomatoes last, the salt (just a tiny pinch) should be added after each vegetable is added to the pan, not all at the end. I had no idea I was doing it wrong. Each tiny pinch brings out the flavor of the vegetable that was just added. If the salt is all added at the end you will just end up with an overall salty taste.

The second thing I have been doing wrong is how I cook with garlic. I have always added the garlic to the hot pan first along with the peppers and onions. Well, wrong again! The garlic should never be added to a hot pan because it will turn brown and loose all the flavor. Instead, garlic should be added in at the very last moment of cooking so that the flavor spreads throughout the cooking food.

Who knew??? Well obviously chef Ann but certainly not me! Did you know this???

A huge thank you to JennAir for making me an expert with their appliances and to chef Ann for schooling me in cooking with salt and garlic.

 

 

12 Responses to What I learned about salt and garlic on my trip to Chicago
  1. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Great post. I knew about the garlic, but not the salt!
    Funny so many recipes say to put the garlic in first – crazy!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Well I guess better late than never..right Jil!

  2. Adrienne Gerein Reply

    Thanks for the tips on salt and garlic, makes total sense. Glad you had a great trip

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Adrienne! I guess this old dog did learn a new trick!

  3. Deborah Main Reply

    Well golly gee……I had NO idea I was cooking all wrong with salt and garlic, two of my #1 ingredients!?!?! Thank you for clearing up that matter Linda. My hubs will be so surprised now when he sees me cook backwards. No garlic first for me anymore. How odd we didn’t know this, but I’ve never taken a professional cooking class before.

    So glad you got to go to Chicago! Great photos and what a treat to see the inside of the clock tower and learn about all those appliances. It inspires me to do 4 things:
    1. Get our Fathers Clock up and running again,
    2. Start cooking the right way,
    3. Save up for some new appliances and remodel our kitchen hopefully some day, and
    4. Take the train to Chicago again soon.

    Great post, thank you!! xo

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Deborah. The trip was very inspiring and I urge you to go back. About the salt and garlic though…boy was I surprised to learn I had been cooking wrong all these years!

  4. Kelly Reply

    Looks like you had a great time! I knew about the garlic but not about the salt. Thanks for the tip!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Kelly. Chicago was awesome but I have to say, I am most excited to learn about the garlic and salt trick.

  5. Kelly Reply

    Haha! Did you know you are not supposed to wash mushrooms? Just wipe clean with a damp paper towel. A lot of people do not know that. Lol

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I did know that about mushrooms Kelly but only learned about that recently as well!

  6. Susan Silverman Reply

    Who knew! But I’m still wondering about the garlic thing. Like Jil said, so many recipes say to lightly saute the garlic. I will have to rethink it all but it probably won’t make that much of a difference in taste in my case since I’m not the most wonderful cook anyway. lol

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I was just as surprised as you Susan about the garlic. I guess the best thing is to very lightly cook the garlic if you add it first. Once it turns brown though you have killed the taste.

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