Mingled food will try to get you cooking for your household, with humble ingredients and simple techniques, because on an everyday basis, no extravagance is needed. Below are a few guidelines for smart shopping, proper storage, and efficient preparation, all things that will make the actual cooking on a long day quick and effortless.
Apart from the fresh produce, vegetables and proteins, it helps to keep a well stocked pantry of items that last long and you can keep returning to. A few examples are flours, oils, vinegars, canned tomatoes, canned tuna, sauces such as mustard, etc, and Asian condiments, soy sauce, mirin, hoisin sauce and many more that will be featured throughout the recipes. So identify them and keep them. It also doesn't hurt to stock up rice, noodles, legumes, various spices, and other ingredients that don't require low temperatures. Furthermore, have some standard vegetables that keep relatively long in stock, for example onions, garlic, potatoes, lemons.
Proper storage and handling
Keep fresh herbs, and green vegetables wrapped in kitchen paper in the fridge. Cleaned from any deteriorating parts, but not washed until ready to use.
Keep tomatoes, and citrus on your bench, at least initially.
Keep raw cuts of meat aerated in the fridge.
Keep cooked food in air tight containers in the fridge.
Freeze fresh protein for further use, and unfreeze slowly, preferably in the fridge, or on the bench overnight.
Once opened, sauces are best kept in the fridge.
In general, if stored properly, food lasts a lot longer than you might think. Trust your senses to indicate what should not be eaten. They have not failed, through thousands of years of evolution.
A note on spices:
When spices loose their intensity they still look the same. Your nose is the best advisor to the freshness. Buy spices in small quantities often. Avoid supermarkets, and prefer to visit a spice shop regularly to stock up. Spice shops have a quick turnover so chances are they will be fresh when you buy them, as opposed to supermarket shelves where they could have been sitting for months and furthermore under light which accelerate their termination date. Plus you cannot smell them before you buy them. Once home, store them in glass jars in a dark cupboard.
Efficient Preparation and Recycling
Cut your vegetables and herbs soon after shopping, when you have some free time, and keep them in containers in the fridge ready for cooking.
Make sauces, such as a concentrated tomato sauce and chutneys, and keep them in jars in the fridge.
Prepare stocks and freeze them in bags, or other containers.
When cooking legumes, or carbs, make some more, and keep them bare (without all the other ingredients you will mingle in for the specific recipe) for another recipe.
Don't waste anything, recycle ingredients in various recipes, adopt your recipes to what is already in your fridge.
Food is scarce, use it wisely.
Before your start cooking, read through a recipe from start to finish and visualize the process. If something reads off google similar recipes, we all make mistakes. Regarding quantities what really matters are not the actual numbers, which will differ depending on the crowd you are cooking for, but the relative volumes of ingredients. I will be focusing on procedure, technique and flavour combinations, rather than quantities, giving indicative numbers for a few portions when deemed appropriate. Finally, if you are missing a few ingredients try the recipe anyway. The flavour will be slightly different but that doesn't mean it will not be nice.
Mingled Food is first and foremost about flavour, and on that concessions will never be made. Most recipes will feature vegetables, mainly low in carbohydrates, which are the above the ground vegetables, but there will also be the occasional potato salad. Furthermore, fat is used throughout (butter, olive oil, coconut oil etc), and eggs will also feature often. Plant based (legumes, quinoa) and marine (fish and seafood) protein, will appear systematically, although there will also be chicken, beef, and pork recipes in moderation. Processed food high in carbohydrate content are usually avoided, but every now and then a comforting bowl of noodles, or a decadent baked lasagna dish is the only way to go. Even more reason to make it delicious and cook it perfectly. If you are going to occasionally indulge it might as well be worth it. Finally, sugar is used in small quantities when deemed appropriate flavor wise, and furthermore, on some days there has to be a real dessert, not the least reason being the wonderful aromas that scent the house!
In other words, Mingled Food will offer options for a balanced, restrained, yet all-inclusive diet. On a Mediterranean basis, ingredients mingle with spices, condiments, and even techniques from other cuisines, mainly Asian, in a variety of recipes aimed at making home cooking exciting and delicious.