Cooking is a form of art. Foodies always search for innovative foods to try and traditional folks stick to what is passed on since generations. Both ways are perfectly fine! But how you cook what you cook becomes crucial and we often find ourselves faltering in method, or taste or both sometimes. What if you could cook with grace like a pro, every time you are in kitchen? Yes, we agree hands down that cooking is art that is mastered with time. But here are a few tips that will help you be the perfect home chef you always want to be. Take a look at 7 Chef's secrets that home cooks need to know.
1. Use of right kitchen tools and appliances
To begin making any recipe, you will need to begin with prepping of ingredients. You might need to grate, dice, chop, shred, or puree. When you set up a kitchen, or plan to start cooking you need to ensure you invest in the right set of kitchen tools and equipments needed. There is definitely no running away from a sharp chef’s knife, paring knife, grater and slicer, peeler, ladles and spatulas, chopping boards, mixer grinder, pots and pans, serving dishes and dinnerware. If possible use stainless steel and iron for cooking your dishes.
2. Selecting the ingredients
If you plan to get into the kitchen to cook recipes and make a great meal for the family, ensure you go all out and make things with fresh ingredients. Make pre-planned list of groceries to be bought which will save you a lot of last minute runs to the grocery store. This rule applies not just for bigger house parties but also for every day’s cooking. Also keep durable ingredients like pulses, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic bulbs and spices in stock all the time. Managing the stock in the pantry along with fresh ingredients is crucial for smooth functioning of kitchen.
3. Prep before you start
Keep all the ingredients prepped up for a recipe that you require for cooking. Most professional chefs do it all the time and hence have everything handy to cook smoother and faster. Home cooks can also definitely prep a few ingredients like one onion to chop or few chillies to be slit when the process of cooking is on. But this skill of prepping while cooking comes with regular cooking.
4. Know your ingredients
Recipes are open for modifications but have a selective blending. Get the ingredients cooked to the right point that the recipe permits. Some recipes call for a slightly charred and smoky taste of veggies and some will require a crispy texture. Combinations of textures and how ingredients and spices are combined comes with regular practice of cooking. So following well written recipes in your initial days of cooking will help you in a long way and most importantly, use the recipe only has a guideline and not a rule book. Experiment with flavors and over time you will get to know how each ingredients makes a difference to the recipe. Use spice racks, to help you identify them and use them more often in your cooking
5. Chopping board tip
You wouldn’t want your fruit salad smell of onions or the taste of onions which might come from a chopping board. That’s why you need to keep separate chopping boards for fruits and vegetables and clean them with a dish washing cleanser every time they are used.
6. Caution on oil for healthier cooking
While cooking, not all the time do we need to add a whole lot of cooking oil to make food tasty, unless you are deep frying. Always start with just a teaspoon of oil and you will most always find that, you typically don't need more oil than that. Using a right cooking oil dispenser also helps you to reduce the amount of oil you use in cooking a dish. Use the heat adjustment in the stove top and lower the heat if required to cook, such that the recipes goes by as per plan and the end result is yumminess at its best and you can see your family licking their spoon when they try!
7. Be fearless in experimenting
Try newer recipes often and try picking recipes from various cuisines and be open minded in selecting recipes to cook. After all, human life is short and there’s so many recipes out there in the world that can’t get exhausted in one lifetime! Though you might be afraid of failures, you can always try again to get it right!