Creating a Good Mirepoix May Be the First Step

Carrots, Stalks of Celery and Onions

Cooking is an essential part of lifestyle change.  It is actually more important for weight loss to cook for oneself than it is to begin a workout regimen.  Getting a handle on cooking may seem like an enormous undertaking, but it is all about taking it one step at a time.

Creating a good mirepoix may be the first step to take.  A mirepoix is a combination of two parts onion to one part celery and one part carrot.  It forms the basis for soups, stews, and braises, and can be used for other things like creamy salads.  It is central to French cooking in particular, but is found in many other cuisines with some variations. 

Mirepoix is usually sauteed in fat, often olive oil, until the onions turn translucent and the other vegetables soften.  From there it can be made into vegetable soup stock on its own, or some liquid is added, and a protein of some kind, and other vegetables, to make a wide range of dishes. Variations in other cuisines include:

  • Louisiana Cajun Cooking - the carrot is replaced with bell peppers to form the base for jambalaya and etouffe, and gumbo of course.
  • Latin Cuisines - a "sofrito" is a mirepoix relative, combining tomato, garlic, onions, and bell pepper.  It is the base for paella, and for numerous other latin dishes, with some tweaks.
  • German Dishes - "suppengrun" is carrot, leeks, and celeriac, or celery root.  This forms the base for soups and braised dishes, and is often accompanied by parsnips, potatoes, and onion.

As one might guess, this soup-, stock-, or base- method with aromatics just requires some slight alterations to form a multitude of dishes in a multitude of cuisines.  It's a great start to building a cooking repertoire, for lifestyle changes, or even for becoming a professional chef.


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