Have you ever thought that you could be a better cook if you had a few tips from a professional. Today we are gonna talk about five habits you can implement for a better experience in the kitchen.
Imagine a dinner party your trying to execute flawlessly but at the end of the night your absolutely exhausted mentally and physically. Well, everyday in the world kitchens perform things your trying to do in a much larger scale. So, think of your kitchen as a "canvas" and these tips as tools your going to need to paint the picture.
I. "Mise en Place"
This is a French phrase for everything in place. Perfect example, cooking eggs, get the eggs almost completely finished and you don't have the cheese sliced or unwrapped to put into the pan to melt the cheese. Or, pull the golden brown biscuits out of the oven and there is no butter to slather on the tops of them. Not sure about you, but if a batch of biscuits have just came out and the melted butter sizzles as it runs down the side of the pan, i just about get chill bumps of culinary pleasure.
When I start cooking something, especially when people are paying me to show them how to make something or I am catering an event I like to have all ingredients, utensils, and equipment needed before I start. Now, as you get good you can turn the water on to boil, or turn the range on to heat up the pan. Until you know all the items needed get everything your going to need right down to the salt and pepper and this will make things so much less hectic.
When it comes to herbs and spices there is a time and place for these, but for now we are going to talk about the basics. Salt and pepper are my foundation of cooking. I have always thought if you let the food shine for themselves with minimal ingredients it is more flavorful.
Some of you are amateur cooks, expert cooks, and profesional chefs. However this is a very simple concept to understand. From salting water your cooking pasta in to putting salt and pepper in your food before you cooking it this will make a huge difference in the final product you put out. Next time you think, "there is something missing" when you taste your food, add more salt.
III. Pots and pans
When you go to flip a piece of fish or scrap a bowl if you don't have the right tool you will possible break the fish or spend a few minutes licking the bowl with your finger. HA! So the following are my go to utensils to use that will make your life easier and more productive.
Did you know that most knife accidents happen from a dull knife? What happens is when you use a dull knife and press extra hard on the product and slip, oops, there goes a finger. Remember you need to keep a very sharp knife in the kitchen to prevent from cutting yourself.
I use a chef knife and a pairing knife for almost every need in the kitchen. I would reccomend a japanese set. Very high quality and extremley sharp hold of the blad. You can get a good chef knife and pairing knife for about $250-300. If you take proper care of the knife it will last you a very long time.
ramekins- I like to have several sizes from 1-6 ounce
spatula-three different ones: fish, turner, and rubber
pan-saute pan, braising or higher walled pan, and large pot
seasoning- salt and pepper to start and others will be covered later
Five tips for successful meals came from people asking me all the time how commercial kitchens keep it together better than home cooks. Now you have the insight you can implement in your kitchen at home. Remember, all chefs started somewhere and you too can be as efficient with these tools in your knife kit.