There are many cooking techniques used for preparing your vegetables. You can fry them, sauté, caramelize, or pan roast them. But among the many ways to use your stovetop, one stands out as simple, creative, and providing a mouth-watering smoked flavor to your food. That’s right: grilling directly over the heat of your stovetop burners. Keep reading to discover some tips on the process itself, as well as the health and taste benefits of cooking your food this way.
Open the Window
Whether you are using an electric or gas stove, you can expect the result to be a bittersweet and smoky taste. To facilitate the cooking process, don’t use the ventilation hood. Go for opening the window instead.
The Tools You Will Need
You won’t have to invest much to start with this technique. The essential tools you will need for open-flame stove cooking are a metal wire rack for grilling and a pair of tweezers. The rack will have to fit over the stovetop burner. So, once you get those and the delicious food you are planning to char grill, you can take it to the stovetop.
A Grilling Technique For Delicate Vegetables
Veggies are softer in their natural state and are characterized by quick grilling time. You must be careful because once you put them on the stovetop, it is a matter of just a few minutes to get them ready. Some even may take seconds to start blistering. Whether it is green beans, asparagus, or cherry tomatoes, get them off the flame as soon as they are ready and toss them with some olive oil and spices. This way, they are ready to serve within a few minutes after being exposed to the heat.
How to Handle Solid Vegetables
The sturdier the vegetable you are about to grill over your burner, the longer it will take them to cook thoroughly and get that smoky flavor. This is where those tweezers will come in handy. Use them to turn the veggies over so that each side gets enough exposure to flame. This will make their interiors jammy and sweet while they stay singed on the outside. But don’t worry, the skin can peel off easily if you let them sit in their own steam for a few minutes, right after you get them off the heat. Cover them with a bowl and let them sit.
If you love your veggies tasty and juicy, and you want to impress your guests, use this cooking technique and let the smoky flavor do its job!
These Celebs Risked It All To Do Their Own Stunts
Liu Yifei gained immense recognition as Disney’s Mulan. But did you know that she did 90% of all her stunt work needed for the film? Her involvement in the stunt department made the live-action film a bit livelier.
In the movie, Liu does a host of action scenes be it battle sequences, sword fighting or horse riding. Mulan is a bravery tale of a Chinese warrior who conceals herself as a male member of her family to protect her father from serving in the Imperial Army.
Adam Driver chose to do all the stunts for all his three movies in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Driver plays the role of Kyle Ren in a galaxy far, far away. To make his character more believable, Driver chose to do his own stunts and let go of his body double.
To make his action sequences as close to real as possible, Drive undertook training in hand to hand combat, kendo, fencing, and other saber fighting techniques.
Now celebrated for her titular role in Maleficent, Angelina Jolie has done some pretty hardcore stunts in her movies. Jolie’s body of stunt work includes her films such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Salt, and Wanted.
However, she is most noted for her impressive stunts in Tomb Raider. Interestingly, Jolie was in two minds before signing the movie as she felt her character wasn’t in line with her personality. But, we are glad she did! Wasn’t she an amazing Lara Croft?
Burt pretty much did all of his stunts on his own. The actor also respected other actors, who did their own stunts, a great deal. However, he regretted doing one stunt in his Oscar-nominated movie Deliverance.
While shooting for it, Reynolds miscalculated the stunt and ended up cracking his tailbone. (Ouch! How that must have hurt!) Years later, he candidly referred to that stunt as ‘a dumb macho thing to do.’
Cameron Diaz is one such actor who insists on doing most of the action scenes for all her films. The actor has done some splendid stunt scenes in Knight and Day and the Charlie’s Angels film series.
The actor in 2010 said that she loved going to the Golden Globes with a scraped knee, bruises, and cuts which she got as a result of filming action scenes for Knight and Day. She impressed her director so much that he suggested she’d do stunts full-time.
Charlize Theron does stunts like how a fish swims in the water. Effortlessly! She makes it look so easy and simple like it’s some child’s play. In Atomic Blonde, Theron pulled off some awesome action sequences like a pro.
She did 98% of her stunts that involved fighting, running, and a couple of other activities. In 2020, Theron again performed some memorable action scenes in the Netflix release The Old Guard.
Christian Bale did a lot of action sequences in the movie The Batman. Bale is said to perform around sixteen fight scenes in Batman Begins. However, the actor discovered his limit while shooting for his 2015 release Rescue Dawn.
Bale learned Keysi martial arts to get under the skin of his character of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. He still remains committed to the action sequences he does. No wonder he is a favorite for many, among all the other actors who played this character.
Daniel Craig’s identity is quite inseparable from his character of James Bond. A large part of this goes to the stunts he has himself done in the film. Craig has pulled off some high-octane stunt scenes in the movie while getting injured in the process.
In Quantum of Solace, he ended up losing one of his fingertips while performing an action scene. In Casino Royale, Craig lost his two front teeth while protecting himself from a blow.
Dwayne Johnson, in many interviews, has emphasized the importance of performing his own stunts in his movies. According to him, performing his own stunts makes him seem authentic and more credible in the eyes of an audience.
But Johnson and action go a long way. Johnson has been a professional wrestler in the past, and is often featured on the cover of men’s fitness publications. He will be next seen in a fantasy action movie Jungle Cruise.
Elizabeth Olsen has performed a couple of action scenes in Avengers: Endgame. Olsen is also quite candid about the bloopers that accompanied her attempts while performing such scenes.
Besides bloopers, she also injured herself quite badly on the arm while performing one such particular scene. In an interaction with Buzzfeed, she said: “I had so much fun being on a wire. I think my favorite moment was the first time they were showing me what it feels like to be 30 feet up in the air.”
Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot is truly a wonder when it comes to performing action scenes. The actor in one of the interviews said that she had to think hard about how a female superhero fights due to the scanty references in the movies regarding the same.
She also revealed that her fight scenes were inspired after she had a moment of epiphany post watching a Cirque du Soleil performance. That is some inspiration!
Gina Carano did the maximum share of her stunts in The Mandalorian. Carano is an erstwhile MMA fighter and has done a lot of action movies before. Carano in 2009 fought Cris Cyborg in Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.
She has also been the face of Women’s MMA in the past. Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on Showtime became one of the highest-rated fights in the history of the network and was the first-of-a-kind fight to be headlined by two legendary women.
Jackie Chan has given some iconic action scenes to cinema. In a 1999 documentary Jackie Chan: My Stunts, Chan and his team behind the stunts give an insider tour of some of the magnificent scenes Chan has executed.
Chan also choreographs his own stunts. He almost drowned while filming an action sequence for his 2020 released Vanguard. In 1986, he fractured his skull owing to a near-fatal fall while filming Armour of God. Take care, Jackie! We love watching you.
Action heartthrob Jason Statham has been associated with stunt scenes since the start of his career. Statham has performed some noteworthy stunts in Crank, The Transporter, and The Fast and the Furious franchises.
He considers Bruce Lee as his inspiration. Statham is also vocal about the rights and recognition of stunt doubles in Hollywood. He had a brush with danger while shooting for an action sequence in The Expendables 3. Statham is as tough as he looks.
Jennifer Lawrence did a lot of stunts in her movies Alias and Peppermint. However, this year, she suffered a major injury while filming for Don’t Look Up. But, Lawrence is not a newbie to stunt-related mishaps.
During Catching Fire, one of her stunts went south leaving her with a temporary punctured eardrum. She took all these bottlenecks with a pinch of salt and swiftly returned to set to complete her part.
When it comes to doing his stunts, Jeremy Renner is one such actor who totally dedicates himself to the demands of the scene and the script. That means sometimes he gets carried away (so much) that he doesn’t realize his injuries at that particular moment.
While performing his stunts in Tag, Renner broke both his hands. The actor fractured his right elbow and left wrist. The actor described the incident as falling 20 feet off a stack of chairs.
Josh Hutcherson did all of his own stunts for The Hunger Games. Previously, Hutcherson had his brush with the stunt work while shooting for Red Dawn.
Apparently, Red Dawn’s director Dan Bradley coaxed all the actors to take ownership of their stunt work. And, that included Hutcherson, too. Since then, Hutcherson seems to have a burgeoning relationship with the action sequences. He has also done most of the stunt work in the Hulu series Future Man.
Karen Gillan has found her groove as an action star. Gillan has performed some high-octane stunts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2.
In 2021, Gillan headlined Netflix’s female assassin drama Gunpowder Milkshake for which she took inspiration from the John Wick franchise, Atomic Blonde and The Villainess. To prepare for her role, Gillan had three weeks of time to perfect her punches. Needless to say, she did it with aplomb.
Keanu Reeves is another actor who prefers to do all the stunts in his movies himself. In John Wick (now in its fourth installment), the actor has done almost 90% of the action sequences by himself.
To do such stunts smoothly, the actor pays special attention to his body and follows a set fitness regime as advised by his trainer. Reeves believes that by doing his own stunts; he will seem more real to the audience and cinema-goers.
Don’t be fooled by her appearance as Kristen Stewart can perform some really mean action sequences. And, she owns the frame while she is at it. Stewart has performed a couple of such scenes in Twilight.
Apparently, Stewart was so gung-ho about the action scenes that she ended up puncturing her foot during the re-shoot of a specific scene. To tell you a lesser-known fact about her, Kristen has been learning karate since she was five.
Margot Robbie is best remembered for her action sequences in Birds of Prey. Robbie has pushed the representation of female actors doing action sequences through her characters in the movie.
She is also vocal about the mental health hazards that come with these scenes. Robbie in an interview to British Vogue said that after performing such charged scenes, her body has started reacting as if it is on some battlefield. She added that her responses have become a little heightened and she can feel the rush of the adrenaline coursing through her system more than before.
Milla Jovovich became a synonymous name with action films with The Fifth Element and Resident Evil. Despite the heavy usage of computer-generated imagery in the later editions of the film, Jovovich stuck to performing her own stunts.
Like her contemporaries, she believes that these stunts will make her character more believable. In an interview, Jovovich remarked that she owes her fan base to action films. Before joining the films, the actor was toying with the idea of joining the military.
Naomie Harris refused to use her body double and did most of the stunts in the James Bond film Skyfall. In the movie, Harris plays a special agent Eve. To achieve those scenes, Harris underwent intense training sessions at the gym.
She used a combination of circuit training, fighting, and running. Though she had done action scenes before, she found it hard to do as she was lying low for quite some time.
Scarlett Johansson did almost 90% of the stunts in Black Widow. The actor feels that the scene becomes more authentic when the actor does their own action scenes. To prep herself for the role, she had a five-week of preparation window.
Johansson got herself trained in hand-to-hand fighting and weapons training as she had few one on one and multi-person action scenes in the movie. She also claimed to do a lot of stunt-based research work before embarking on her character’s role.
Sylvester Stallone primarily does all his stunts. The actor, who is in his 70s now, still does a large number of action sequences. His recent movie Samaritan (released in June, 2021) saw him doing a handful of stunts.
The actor also documented some behind-the-scenes pictures from his stunt scenes on his Instagram account. That said, Stallone is largely and still recognized for his overall performance in the Rambo and Rocky franchises.
Tom Holland, commonly recognized for his role of Spider-Man is a live wire when it comes to action scenes. Though he doesn’t do all his stunts; he does most of it.
Tom is a trained gymnast as well. His training comes quite handy when he has to deliver some hard-to-crack action scenes in Spider-Man. For the movie, Holland has done an insane amount of wirework, climbed on top of the ceiling, and more.
Before he was known as an action hero, Tom Cruise had a chocolate boy image in Hollywood. Cruise started establishing himself as an action hero with the Mission Impossible franchise where he plays the role of a spy.
He will be soon seen in the seventh installment of the franchise, slated to release by November, this year. For Mission Impossible, Cruise has done quite a new number of ‘impossible’ scenes including climbing one of the world’s tallest buildings to holding his breath underwater for close to six minutes.
In The Lord of Rings: The Two Towers, Viggo Mortensen did his own stunts. He not only impressed the audience with his stunts, but he also managed to secure some good words from the film’s swordmaster Bob Anderson.
Anderson went on to describe him as ‘the best swordsman he has ever trained.” Despite getting inflicted by a couple of injuries while practicing, Mortensen held on to his ground and perfected the sequences.
Though Zoe Bell started off as a stunt-woman, and Uma Thurman’s body double in the cult film Kill Bill; her stunts landed her quite a number of acting offers.
Bell switched to the other side with Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight. Four years later, she again joined hands with the director for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Since then, Bell has been a regular associate with the legendary Tarantino.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cinematic career is intrinsically linked with action films and stunt sequences. Arnie, as he is fondly called, has done most of the stunts in his films.
Largely known for his role in The Terminator, the actor still does his action scenes without much help from his body double. In Total Recall, he suffered a massive stunt-related action injury. Luckily he bounced back from that and took the mishap under his stride.