Everyone likes a good meal. It is one of the simplest pleasures of life. Enjoying food is akin to art. All your senses come into play as you want the taste and feel of your meal. Nothing is more disappointing than a poorly seasoned meal. However, with a few tricks, you can make sure that you always end up cooking delicious food each time you set out to cook. Here’s how you can become a real kitchen professional:
1- Know-How to Work with Herbs
Cooking is an excellent way to engage your senses. When you taste a dish, you’re feasting with the smell, sight, and feeling. To bring out the food’s flavor profile, know when each herb should go in. Utilize herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, and sage early into your cooking. They gradually add flavor to the dish. After you’re done cooking and need to leave the pot on the stove for a few more minutes, your final stages should include parsley, cilantro, and chives. Exposing them to high heat takes away their flavor. Hence, most professional cooks either add them towards the end or use them as a garnish.
2- Utilize The Fat
When working with red meat, seasoning is not enough. Red meat comes with its secret flavor enhancer, fat. The lipid of the beef is the little addition you need when you’re cooking your meal. Fat helps give the meat a more delicate and rich flavor. Suppose you wish to prepare burgers for the night. Let the meat sizzle in its fat and allow it to soak up the taste. You will notice a massive difference in your burgers. You can even try the same with white meat such as chicken by using butter.
3- Salt Is A Necessity
There is a common misconception that adding salt makes any dish saltier. That’s not true. Salt is a natural food enhancer for both savory and sweet dishes. Many people don’t realize that it’s a flavor booster for sweet dishes. If you are looking to bake some delicious peanut butter cookies for the day, add a pinch of salt to your batter. When cooking, you need salt to bring out the hidden flavors and taste. Salt is an essential culinary tool. Every dish requires salt, whether you use it in a minute quantity or need a spoonful. It also helps that salt comes in many forms. It is either incredibly fine or coarse. For meat, make sure to use coarse salt and an acceptable form of salt for desserts.
4- Use Acid as Often as You Can
Acid is a lifesaving addition. Sometimes when you feel your dish is missing something, it’s mostly the addition of some acidity. You can work with lemon or vinegar. However, make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon for the best experience. Acid also introduces bright flavors and lets you balance your dish’s flavor profile, especially if it’s too rich and sweet.
5- Know When To Add Pepper
Like any other seasoning, you need to know when salt and pepper need to go into your dish. Especially when working with meat. If you’re looking for a solid flavor, sear your meat first and then add pepper. However, if you’re looking for a mild taste, add pepper and then cook your meat. Not only are you controlling how you want your meat, but you’re also using a simple ingredient to enhance the flavor.
6- How to Prepare Your Vegetables
No one likes soggy vegetables on the side. Vegetables taste exquisite when they’re nice and crunchy. To do this, roast your vegetables at high heat. You may even add a brush of oil or dust corn starch on the top and let the heat handle the rest. You can even pop the vegetables into the oven and incorporate herbs while letting them roast. When it comes to working with onions, always go for caramelizing them. It allows their natural sugar to seep through as it gradually cooks in heat. You can utilize these onions as a burger topping, adding them to dishes, or using them to make a dark sauce for your savory meat dishes.
7- Cold Food Needs A Different Treatment
When you freeze food, you dull its flavor and aroma. It is acceptable to freeze food to avoid cooking every day and save on sauces as a pasta sauce. Make sure before your dishes go into the freezer you add the regular amount of salt and remember to taste it before dishing it out for eating. You may need to add slightly more salt if you’ve frozen food for a more extended period.
8- Learn Seasoning Tricks
Seasoning is essential for your dishes. However, if you’re not careful, you may destroy the cuisine and render it inedible. When seasonings overpower each other, it gets challenging to enjoy the spectrum of flavors. Remember, certain dishes may get saltier despite being perfectly seasoned. You need to know how to save the flavor. If it tastes too salty, add an acidic ingredient such as vinegar and lemon. You may even use something sweet instead, like honey or sugar. If the dish tastes sweet, go for an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or citrus juice or add more herbs. If it becomes too acidic, add fats, such as butter or cream.
Cooking is an art. This art can be mastered and enjoyed through some simple tricks. Every ingredient in your pantry can help make your dish into a delicious feast. Know when to add your herbs and which ones to save for garnish. Let your meat simmer in fat. Be friendly with the salt and add it to both savory and sweet dishes. Use acids as much as you can, such as vinegar and fresh lemons. And lastly, learn how pepper can help you pack flavor and modify your dish for your liking. With these simple techniques, you’ll have excellent cuisine without overexerting yourself in the kitchen.