5 Tips for Cooking like a Pro at Home - Gadgets, Techniques and More

 

Are you eager to start cooking from home but you’re struggling to get the basics right? Are you spending too much and not getting the results you need? Do you look at chefs like Jamie Oliver and scoff when they claim that home cooking is fast, simple and easy to work into your every day life? 

If so, then you may just be doing things wrong. Take a look at these 5 top tips for cooking like a pro at home to get on the right track.

Stock-up With the Right Things 

If this doesn't excite your senses then cooking might not be for you

We could all benefit from eating fresh food and we could certainly better from scratch cooking. But a mistake that many people make when they first make a choice to cook for themselves is to focus only on fresh ingredients and to ignore tins, dried food, frozen food and everything else. These will save you time and they are good to have.

They are also staples that can come in handy later on. Because another mistake that people make is to buy every single ingredient that a recipe calls for, even if half of those will never be used again. Instead of doing this, look to substitute what you have. That way you can get creative and be experimental. And if you do end up buying something specific for a recipe, then try to use it in other recipes as well.

It’s important to limit waste in the kitchen. You can do this by making sure you use all fresh food quickly and don’t overstock, and you can also do it by focusing on similar recipes.

Learn the Golden Ratios

Avoid too much processed food

There are a few basic rules with good cooking and if you know these then you have the knowledge you need to make everything form gravy to marinades and sauce. For sauces, gravies and even soups the ratio is 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of fat and 1 tablespoon of floor. It’s the recipe for a simple white sauce, but one that serves as a foundation for so much more.

With marinades and salad dressings, the ratio is 1/3rd acid, 1/3rd water, 1/3rd oil. So, for instance you could combine vinegar with water and olive oil, before adding a little seasoning to create a fresh Greek or Italian style marinade.

The Secret Ingredients

Fresh is always best

In the vast majority of simple dishes that taste out of this world, the secret ingredient is fat. This often comes in the form of cream or butter, but also cheese and oil. Mashed potatoes, puree, and even soup. They add a lot of calories, but they also add a depth and a full-mouth feel that every human with tastebuds can appreciate.

If you go to a French restaurant you’ll eat butter in nearly every meal, even when it doesn’t really feel like it. If you go Italian or Greek, it’s olive oil. Fat is an important part of most cuisine.

Cook Smart 

Frozen is still a great option

How many times have you heard the words, “Home cooking is quick and easy” and have countered them with claims to the contrary? If so, it’s probably because you’re not doing it right. If you’re cooking pasta, you don’t need to make the pasta from scratch. If you’re using pastry, bread or other basic ingredients then you don’t need to make them yourself.

Proper home cooking is about cutting corners where you can, while still using fresh and delicious ingredients. There isn’t much of a difference between fresh pasta and dried pasta, so it’s not worth the added time and hassle. Tins and frozen food can also come in handy here. Things like tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, frozen veg and frozen fruits are just as good as fresh versions, but they are easier to store, cheaper to buy and quicker to use.

If you’re serving tomatoes on a platter, then you should obviously use the fresh versions. But if they are being blended into sauces, pies and stews, there is no need. 

Simple, Quality Tools

Never underestimate the value of quality basic equipment

Finally, you don’t need a kitchen full of gadgets. We all buy them, but very few of us actually use them and what begins as a way to save time becomes a way to waste money and essential counter space. However, there are a few essentials that all kitchens should have. 

These include: a spice rack complete with an assortment of spices and dried herbs; a set of high quality, sharp knives such as reviewed by Cut it Fine; and a food processor, to help with soups and sauces.

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