You want success not stress when cooking?  You might need to fake it to make it. We all want authentic, the real deal.  So why would we want you to fake it to make it?  Its simple, authenticity comes at a price.  We love traditional Pibil dishes, but the authentic method of cooking is to wrap your meat in banana skins and cook in a pot buried in the ground covered by hot coals.  It tastes amazing but it’s not very practical for most of us – so in our version you marinade overnight in the fridge.  That’s it and it tastes amazing. So let’s run through some of the ways we have found to make life easier, whilst still delivering those big, big flavours.

What would a restaurant do?

We pride ourselves on supplying you with authentic spices so that you can make restaurant quality dishes at home.  And fake it, is what restaurants do.  Not fake exactly, perhaps adapt is a better term to use.  They take home style dishes and then make them suitable to be prepared to order, after all no-one wants to wait hours for a meal.

So, we take that mindset and apply it to how we construct our recipes make them easy to follow at home.  We know you are busy, so we look for cheats and tweaks that simplify the preparation and guarantee you the results you want. Consequently you get success not stress.

Keeping it social – success not stress

We believe that cooking should be social.  Food is for sharing and there is nothing like sharing a meal with close friends.  But when you finally get to have friends over to eat, you want to be in the heart of the action not stuck in the kitchen.  Recipes with too many stages are off-putting, stressful and provide too many opportunities to make mistakes or forget things.  You want to impress not get depressed.  Cooking is meant to relieve stress not cause it.  So we have made sure that our recipes are fun and easy to follow.  If we think a stage can be eliminated or combined with another and the result is easier for you, we don’t worry about the authentic method. We just say will it still taste good.

Toasting chillies

A good example of this is toasting chillies.  It is common knowledge that toasting dried whole chillies can improve their flavour.  Gently heating dried ingredients in a dry pan tends to add a mild nutty flavour that is otherwise not present.  It also helps to release the essentials oils that deliver the big flavours.  So why don’t we advise you to toast your chillies?

Simply because the line between a perfectly toasted chilli and a burnt chilli can be very fine.  You want meals to be easy to prepare, not having to watch a pan like a hawk.  Because if you burn a chilli, it needs throwing away. Otherwise it will taint the other ingredients and you will need to start over.  Pretty annoying if you have bought your ingredients mail order.  Not to mention that you still you need to eat tonight!

So, we don’t recommend it.  We would never say don’t do it but in our experience the impact on dishes that have a long slow cook or marinade is negligible.  It is much more important that we supply you with great quality chillies that explode with flavour.  An unroasted quality chilli will always give you more than a roasted second-rate chilli. So, we focus on sourcing quality ingredients that will give you fantastic results over and over again. Success not stress.

Roasting spices

Roasting spices is another example.  Heating your spices in dry pan definitely adds flavour, but its easy to burn them.  One option is for us to roast the spices before we grind them for you. However, when you roast spices any trapped moisture is released.  We vacuum seal our spices so that moisture release could be a problem, trapping the moisture in and spoiling the ground spices.

We have experimented with roasted and unroasted spices and to be honest the difference after a long marinade or slow cook is marginal.  So, it seems to us a good trade off – and judging by your reviews you agree.

Browning the pork

Loads of pulled pork recipes call for you to brown the meat all over before slow cooking.  There is a good reason for doing this as it caramelises the meat adding flavour.  However for our pulled pork we don’t think its necessary.  The flavours in the dish are already massive, so you don’t miss out.  Secondly we spice coat the pork shoulder that slowly adds incredible flavour as the meat cooks.  The act of browning the meat acts as a sealant which would make it harder to get the fantastic flavours deep into your pulled pork.  Finally, its quicker and easier not to do it.  So that pretty much seals it for us.

Success not stress

Our goal is to produce recipes that are super tasty and fun and easy to prepare.  So, it that means you fake it to create it.  Then so be it.  Leave your stress in the office and keep your cooking social.