Many of us started cooking more in lockdown and experimenting with new recipes. However, cooking your own meals at home can be challenging and somewhat disheartening if you aren’t improving. You need to understand the basic rules of flavour, cookware, and timing. You can learn these skills through trial and error, or you can do a little research and teach yourself.
Here are a few simple tips to elevate your meals from basic to delicious.
Try new ingredients
Do not underestimate the power of high-quality ingredients. Food can get expensive, and sometimes the more affordable versions are just as tasty as the branded products. However, it’s worth spending a little extra money on kosher salt, organic meat, and vegetables. Your meals will instantly have more flavour and texture.
It’s also good to try new ingredients and flavour combinationsso you can find what works for you and your family. Just remember to clear out the fridge every other day and be wary of the dates on different items. When you are buying lots of new ingredients, it can be easy to lose track!
Outdated and worn-out cookware might be hindering your cooking ability. Look at getting a new pan set to improve your home cooking, and you will never have to ‘soak’ a pan again. There is nothing worse than food burning to the bottom of an old pan and setting off the smoke alarm.
You should also be wary of how much food you add to the pan when sautéing. Make sure the food is dry, add a little oil and sauté in small quantities to make sure everything touches the pan.
Chopping is an essential part of cooking. You need to master your chef’s knife skills so you can chop efficiently and safely. Choke up on the handle of the knife by putting your thumb and index finger on the side of the blade above the handle. Keep the knife sharp and use a wider blade for speed and control. Try to cut everything to the same size so they will cook at the same rate. Precision and evenness is the key to good chopping skills.
If your cooking is still a little lacklustre, try out an online cooking class for some expert tips and tricks. You could invest in a meal kit subscription service, like Hello Fresh or Gusto, to have the ingredients and recipe delivered to your door. It’s much easier to commit to a recipe when everything is laid out for you.
If you’re desperate for inspiration, a cooking TV show might be the answer. Watch a few YouTube videos on how chefs cook and little tips they may have. You don’t need to follow a written recipe – sometimes it’s a video, or your gut instinct is best.
Have fun with your recipes and find a cooking style that works for you!