I would like to welcome Vera Miller from Kitchen Expert to share with us her tips on how to improve your cooking skills. We all gotta eat right?
Here is what she has to say-
Cooking for friends these days can be a daunting task. With the proliferation of cooking shows on television, people’s expectations have risen dramatically to sometimes unrealistic levels. Despite what many TV chefs would have you believe however, cooking doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In fact, it should be fun and rewarding. Below I have listed some easy tips which will help you become a better chef, and stress less when it’s your time to cook.
Keep it simple:
Often when it comes to the kitchen, less is more. It’s really important that you don’t try and overdo it in order to impress your friends and family and this for a couple of reasons.
The first is that sometimes your focus should be on bringing out the simple flavors of simple foods. People often make the mistake of trying to add too many flavors and spices and instead of creating a masterpiece, all they do is cover up the succulent tastes that most foods have organically.
Let the food itself do the talking. Use light seasonings which aim to enhance rather than dramatically alter the flavor of the food.
The second is that more complex dishes are harder to pull off and unless you’re very experienced you may end up ruining the meal. One of the great crimes of reality TV cooking programs is that they make complex dishes often look relatively simple, when in fact qualified chefs often struggle with them.
Sticking to the basics is nothing to be ashamed of. It shows that you understand basic foods pulled off well are superior to elaborate dishes pulled off poorly.
Stick to the Recipe:
Recipe books are your friend. Even the world’s top chefs use them so don’t think doing so makes you any less of a purist.
However, whether you are sticking to the basics or going for something a little more complex, its vitally important that you stick to the recipe, at least until you have prepared the dish a couple of times. While you may think more salt is required, the person who wrote the recipe probably has a better idea so be really careful when making adjustments.
Also make sure you read the recipe all the way through before you start cooking. You need to make sure you have everything you need and that you understand the method from start to finish.
There is nothing worse than getting half way through a recipe and realizing you don’t have any eggs or realizing that what you have mixed together in one bowl was in fact meant to be do distinct mixtures.
Practice makes perfect:
One of the best ways to become better at cooking like anything is to practice, practice, practice. The truth is there is only so much you can learn from reading recipes online and watching ‘how to’ videos. Sometimes you just have to jump strait in and give making something a go. The more you cook the better you will become and the more you practice a recipe the more proficient you become at the skills that recipe requires.
If you’re attempting something that you have never tried before, it’s a really good idea to complete a trial run before you make it for a big occasion. No matter how simple or easy you think something seems you can always face unforeseen difficulties. A trial run will give you piece of mind and ensure that you are serving the best food possible to your important guests.
Relax and enjoy yourself: Cooking shouldn’t be a chore. If you’re stressed out, you’re actually more likely to make mistakes. The best thing you can do when cooking is relax and have fun!
Vera Miller is an avid food enthusiast who loves everything about cooking and especially using modern tech in cooking that can make even a novice cook look like an expert chef. She occasionally shares her opinion about the latest and craziest kitchen gadgets on the Kitchen Expert blog