Food is something everyone seems to appreciate. Whether it’s a sausage and pepperoni pizza on a Saturday night or beef bourguignon at a fancy French restaurant, everyone appreciates a good meal. Because food is something that brings us all closer together, maybe you’ve thought about expanding your culinary repertoire. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to Le Cordon Bleu to learn how to make your dishes more interesting.
Be Creative and Fearless
Some people seem to think great dishes are created by a committee of people surrounded by beakers and measuring cups in a locked test kitchen. In reality, great dishes are discovered by ordinary people, often alone in their homes. The key is that this type of person is willing to go out on a limb and experiment with food. I guarantee you chili con carne wasn’t concocted in a science lab. The recipe, which is hundreds of years old, originated with simple cooks.
It’s also important to remember that recipes are not sacred. They can be changed, added to, and subtracted from. We should look at recipes as a reference point, but there’s nothing that says we can’t put our own stamp on them. Recipes aren’t proprietary; they tend to evolve. And even great chefs get inspiration from recipes that aren’t their own.
Experiment with Appliances and Accessories
If the only appliance you’re familiar with using is an oven, that could limit your chances of discovering the next great dish. It might also prevent you from perfecting the flavors and textures that could take your standard dishes to the next level. For example, maybe you’re used to using store-bought creams for your desserts, but what about preparing your own creams and using top-of-the-line culinary tools to dispense them for better flavor.
Maybe you don’t think you need a high-quality blender, but they can make a world of difference when it comes to the consistency of your pureed soups and homemade sauces. The same goes for something like an electric grill. Grilled food has its own unique taste, and it’s a lot healthier than fried food.
Eat Everything (Within Reason) and Learn
It’s not possible to be a great chef without eating great food. So it’s important to check out what’s out there in the culinary world. There are probably more foods and dishes in the world than anyone can eat in one lifetime, but being adventurous when it comes to food is important if you want to cook like the great chefs of the world. Some things you might want to try are:
- Visiting and sampling food from ethnic restaurants
- Learning about different foods, buying them, and preparing them
- Learning new ways to provide foods that you’ve made for years
In order to take your cooking to the next level, you have to have a love affair with food. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re eating everything in sight, but you should have a curiosity about food and be willing to try new things.
Realize Spices and Vegetables Are Your Friends
It’s really amazing how certain spices can bring out the flavor of what would normally be a bland dish. That’s the beauty of using spices. And the same thing can be said about incorporating vegetables in a dish. They’re able to elevate a meal when the food itself might be ordinary. Plain rice by itself isn’t very exciting, but add spices and vegetables to the mix, and you have jollof rice.
In addition to adding incredible flavors to foods, spices are also healthier than regular table salt. And it’s no secret that vegetables are healthy and provide a richness to certain foods that can’t be equaled. Food by itself can be great, but there’s nothing like adding spices and vegetables to complement the flavor.
Although you might not be recognized as one of the great chefs of the world, there’s nothing to prevent you from thinking like one. Doing things like being creative and fearless with food, learning the benefits of certain appliances, tasting a variety of foods, and incorporating spices and vegetables can serve to improve your culinary skills. Not everyone can be a great chef, but everyone can be a better cook.