If you’re serious about your cooking, you’ll be fastidious in your approach to ingredients and preparation. Follow our simple culinary tricks to begin cooking like a pro.
It’s All In The Ingredients
Any meal is only as good as the ingredients. So make sure you shop smart.
- Stick to seasonal produce for the best results. Pick the best that the current season has to offer.
- Always test food for freshness before buying. There are lots of telltale signs.
- Know your cooking oils and fats. Know which to use and when.
- Be authentic. E.g. if you’re cooking an Italian meal, find a reputable importer of Italian food.
- Know your herbs and spices.
If you buy quality ingredients, the flavor will be evident. Therefore, the less you do to the food, the better.
Store your food correctly to keep it fresh and prolong its life. This is particularly important for foods that are refrigerated and frozen. It can prevent contamination and illness. There are also some foods that should never be refrigerated.
If you’re entertaining and cooking from scratch, prepare in advance. Do as much as you can before the event. This includes chopping, marinating, weighing, etc. This will take away a lot of the stress and allow you more time with your guests.
If You’re Short Of Time
If you have a busy life, always make twice as much food as you need. It won’t take much longer to prepare, and you can freeze half of it. This provides you with healthy ready-meals on nights when you get home late or don’t feel like cooking.
If you love garlic but hate the odor on your hands, follow this simple trick. After preparing your garlic, rub your hands on stainless steel. For example, the sink or a bowl. You can even buy stainless steel soap for this purpose. The steel will remove the odor. It also works on fish and onions.
If you’re crushing garlic cloves, try placing it inside a plastic bag. You can then use the back of a knife to crush it. This prevents the knife and chopping board smelling of garlic.
Always opt for homemade vinaigrettes and dressings. They will taste much better than their bottled counterparts. And you have full control over exactly what you add. No more unnecessary sugar and salt.
If you have leftover sauce, freeze it into ice cube trays. You can then defrost it as needed at a later date.
Use recipes as a guide only. If they contain ingredients you don’t like, replace them. Let them inspire you and add your own flair.
A cast-iron pan is a useful kitchen implement. It provides an even cooking temperature and is easy to clean.
Save your cheese rinds. You can add them to olive oil and broths, etc. to add flavor.
Clean As You Go
Keep a sink full of hot soapy water and wash the dishes as you go. It’s much easier to do it this way. It will save you spending an hour in the kitchen later when you just want to relax.