When it comes to eating dinner at home, we tend to stick to what’s quick and simple. Oftentimes this might mean avoiding cooking altogether, and just sticking a pizza or some pre-cooked meat in the oven. After all, cooking is tricky and time-consuming, and best left to professional chefs with years of training under their belts, right?
Wrong. Home cooking doesn’t mean lesser cooking. You don’t need to settle for bland food just because you’re not at a 5-star restaurant. Creating impressive, delicious dishes in your own kitchen is surprisingly easy once you know a few tricks of the trade.
From ordering a fresh butchers meat box, to appreciating the miracle of good seasoning, here are a few easy and effective ways to make 5-star food without leaving the house.
You can’t make a quality meal without quality ingredients. Meat is the star of any dish it’s a part of, but unless you have an exceptional local butcher, it can be tricky to know whether the meat you’re buying will be full of flavour, or full of water.
Ordering meat boxes online is the best way to ensure that the meat you buy is both flavourful and ethical. Companies like the Dorset Meat Company source their animals from twenty small family-run farms in Dorset and Wiltshire, where the free range animals are raised slowly on a 100% grass diet. This results in delicious meat bursting with vitamins and minerals.
Build your own meat box today and have it delivered to your door at a time that suits you. You’ll never settle for supermarket meat again.
We all know seasoning adds flavour, but with so many kinds of seasoning available, choosing the right one and the right measure can be intimidating.
You needn’t worry too much about adding exotic or unfamiliar spices. That knowledge can be gained slowly over time. But the one seasoning you should never skimp on is salt. If a sauce, meat cut or stew tastes bland, try adding a helping of salt before tossing in more ingredients. You’ll be amazed at how much it brings out the flavours.
Alternatively, a pinch of sugar might be what’s needed to make your dish sing. Sugar helps to balance savoury flavours, such as tomatoes, roasted carrots and beets. The same is true of acid, such as a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar, which will cut through fat and brighten an overly stodgy meal.
Keep it simple
5-star food doesn’t mean complicated food. Forget all the plates of artfully constructed nonsense you’ve seen on cooking programmes, and think about how best to cook the food you actually want to eat.
If you’re hosting a dinner party, you might be tempted to prepare several courses of food you’ve never cooked before. Ignore this impulse, and instead focus on cooking a single dish to the best of your abilities. Roast chicken, pasta dishes and hearty stews are always safe bets.
Resist the urge to constantly prod, poke and flip your food in the pan, and instead let the heat do its work. This tip is especially pertinent for meat, which you should also let rest for a few minutes after cooking so that all the juices and flavours have time to redistribute throughout.
Almost all the ‘waste’ you produce when cooking can be used to further improve your food. All the brown burnt bits at the bottom of your pan? That’s called fond. Deglaze it with wine or stock to form a scrumptious base for your sauce. That pasta water? Keep a little of it spare to help the sauce cling to the pasta, better absorb the flavour, and thin it out if it’s too thick.
Take care of your tools
Any artisan will tell you it is essential to have to right tools, and even more important to keep them in top condition. You cannot hope to make the best food you’re capable of making if your knife is warped or blunt, or your pan flaking.
Don’t let subpar equipment stand in the way of your culinary dreams. Invest in new ones or take care of the old ones, and watch your kitchen transform into a 5-star restaurant.