Cooking is fun, especially if you are trying out a new recipe, perhaps something that your great grandmother has passed on to you. And contrary to the beliefs of some people, you really don’t have to go to a culinary school to make good food and cook like a professional chef. With a few tricks, you can certainly pull together a restaurant-style dish that would impress everybody.
To up your kitchen skills, here are the best cooking tips I learned in culinary school:
Don’t Be Afraid of Salt and Sugar
No matter what you make, under-seasoned food is a no-no. It’s the seasonings that bring out the flavor of the food, so don’t be scared to add some more. And, no, we are not talking about rare seasonings or spices here. Salt and sugar!
If your food is somewhat bland, maybe all it needs is a little bit of salt or sugar. When using salt, it is highly recommended that you add it every step of the way and also at the end.
Lock That Slippy Cutting Board in Place
I’m sure you’ve already had those times when your cutting board keeps on slipping, leaving a huge mess on the floor. The trick is, you should lock it in place using a damp towel. Just put the towel underneath the board.
Use a Few Pats of Cold Butter
This is probably the oldest culinary trick school trick there is. If you are unsure of your sauce, or if you want to make it look rich and shiny, simply add a few pats of cold butter. Doing this would make even the simplest sauce look appealing and taste decadent.
Toast Your Nuts and Spices
Cooking something that requires nuts and spices? Toast them first and you will see a huge difference in the taste. Toasting releases the flavors of the ingredients, adding a little extra depth to the dish.
Make Your Tomato Sauce Less Acidic With Baking Soda
Do you love making marinara sauce, but you find the tomato sauce so acidic? What do you do? Add sugar? Oh no! Never do that. You can address this issue by adding a little bit of baking soda. That should change the pH of the tomato sauce and make it less acidic.
Smoothen Your Scrambled Eggs With Sour Cream
For extra-smooth scrambled eggs, add sour cream instead of milk. They will become creamier and richer without taking away the eggs’ bright yellow color.
Invest in a Set of Knives
Knives are fundamental kitchen tools since they are the most commonly used. With that said, you should invest in a good set. Not the cheapy ones, but those that are of high quality and can last many years.
Cut Your Cake With a Warm Knife
Cutting a cake or any sticky dessert with a warm knife would help you make a clean cut. Simply run the tool under hot water and then dry it off.
Reserve Some Pasta Water
When making any pasta recipe, the sauce may be too thick. The best solution is to add some pasta water to it and not tap water. This should give your dish that glossy, pretty look.
Add a Touch of Acid
Making a stew, braise, or perhaps seafood and it tastes like it’s missing something? You can add a touch of acid. It could be wine or lemon juice. A little bit of vinegar would work well, too. All of which are flavor enhancers.
I hope you learned something from these culinary tips. I repeat you don’t have to go to school in order to make excellent dishes. All you need is to learn a few tricks.