Are you looking to get flavorsome home-cooked meals on the menu, but the world of cookery is as distant as Mars to you? Maybe you have the books or, at least, the internet, but are tired of coming across exotic words like ‘al dente’, ‘sauté’ or ‘confit’. The good news is that you don’t need to learn another language to get delightful flavors happening in your meals. However, you will need to spend more time in the kitchen, because practice really does make perfect when it comes to cooking. Everybody needs a starting point, so here are five easy ways to improve your culinary skills:
Invest in Quality Equipment
If you’re cooking on pans that your mother gave you ten years ago, there’s a decent chance that you’ll never achieve the level of culinary mastery you’re hoping for. Excellent cookware makes a significant difference when it comes to the quality of your food since it provides better heat distribution and allows you to develop flavors without burning or scorching your ingredients. With plenty of affordable stainless steel, non-stick and induction cookware options on the market, you should have no trouble finding a decent set that’ll allow you to up your cooking game in no time.
Choose Fresh Ingredients
The most straightforward modification in cooking that takes a meal from bland to grand is to use better quality ingredients. This doesn’t necessarily mean scouting rare, artisanal produce that will cost you a fortune – instead, follow the philosophy of ‘fresh is best’. Swap those frozen berries for seasonal varieties, grind your own peppercorns and buy grains and legumes like lentils and chickpeas in bulk rather than old canned options that have lost their flavor.
Three Color Rule
When it comes to putting together a meal, aim to include a minimum of three different colors on your plate. For example, reds are usually spicy fruits and vegetables like capsicums and chili, whereas greens are made up of salads and root vegetables. Not only will this improve the presentation of your dish, but it’ll also make for a more pleasant, balanced meal because you’re incorporating a greater variety of flavor and nutrients!
Upgrade Your Seasonings
You don’t need a lot of different seasonings to give a meal a burst of flavor. It’s easier and better to swap to high-quality seasonings that aren’t processed. Make the switch to kosher salt, which contains no additives like iodine and has a more delicate taste than regular salt. Instead of buying pre-ground oregano and chili, start a windowsill herb garden for a steady supply of fresh aromas. Rather than introducing processed seasonings full of artificial enhancers and preservatives, you can naturally improve the taste of your meals by opting for natural, healthier alternatives. For instance, you can start having superfoods. They’re nutritionally dense and thus thought to be better for your health. They contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals and possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Infusing may sound impressive, but it’s actually a very straightforward task. We’re not just talking about wholesale jus; you can choose to infuse any ingredients you like! Some common choices include adding herbs to your steamed vegetables or spice to your rice as it cooks. This allows for a more complex flavor profile to your meals. You can even add rosemary, garlic or any aromatic herb of your choice to create infused cooking oils, either in the bottle or as you heat them, getting an extra kick that’ll leave your dinner guests charmed!
Now that you have some tips on how to create delectable dishes, you can return to your kitchen with confidence and get cooking!