“Food, Glorious Food”, unlike the singing waifs in the musical ‘Oliver!’ we do not have to imagine food other than gruel. Gruel; which came first, it sounding nasty or gruel actually being nasty? Setting that aside, we’re going to take a look at upping your game to create some glorious food.
Modern Food Making
Eating may arguably the true American pastime. Cooking used to be a skill that everyone had because without it you didn’t eat. Our cultural evolution introduced massive food options, so that you can hand over your money and you will get stuff to eat. As we all know, this ‘stuff’ will range from the mundane to the amazing, from eth healthy to the life threatening…bound to happen when restaurants literally have names like the Heart Attack Grill!
Cooking at home has begun a renaissance, and as DIY fans we couldn’t be happier. This brings up another interesting issue. Not everyone learned to cook at the feet of their parents as in days past. Now it becomes necessary to self-teach, use the wonder that the internet (occasionally) is to find the tools that will help you up your game.
Setting The Bar For Your Table
We all know the friend neighbor or family member that makes Martha Stewart look like a piker when it comes to cooking…or at least those folks talk a good game. The key is finding a starting point. We have a couple of looks at core items for your kitchen right here starting with knife basics and smart cooking devices to consider.
Consider two things as you chart a path to improving your kitchen game. What do you like to eat? Seems basic, but kind of important, why learn what you won’t enjoy on the table? Then look at the techniques involved. Building Boeuf Bourgogne from scratch might be better to pursue when your skills have been developed. It is worth the wait, but like any skill you want to get a good basic foundation.
A Restaurant Interlude
Yes, the place to find food that someone else put the efforts in to making is a restaurant. You have to like a place that you ask and they bring you things. They also know how to cook. Perhaps not at the drive through. But most restaurants still have someone in the back cooking things up like they are going out of style.
It only seems appropriate that we learn about how they do that, how they bring full meals out in a matter of minutes. This article gives you an excellent look at some of the most popular restaurant dishes and a walk through a variety of techniques, and ideas, that commercial kitchens use.
Breakfast is a great staring point because it will expose you to a whole gamut of basic cooking techniques to master. Cooking bacon in a pan, learning how the heat affects it, how to avoid scorching. Pancakes and French toast for working with a flat grill and learning spatula skills to flip them. Basic sauté techniques when making great, fluffy scrambled eggs by keeping the food in motion in the skillet. Baking biscuits, even from a mix, builds basic oven knowledge.
Pancakes for example, start with a good mix, and get proficient with techniques to end up with a good cake. Then take the next step, build them from scratch. You’ll learn about working through with dry ingredients, how to bring fluids into the mix properly. They’re forgiving, so you’ll get a decent cake even if you miss a step, but still get all the necessary ingredients together.
The first dinner dish to consider learning is baked chicken, especially a batch of all the same cut, like thighs. Evenly spaced on a foil lined baking sheet skin side up, sprinkled with your favorite seasoning, baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. That’s what’s for dinner! Add taters, cut in half, face down in another flat baking dish with a little melted butter, sprinkled with salt pepper and garlic, same cook temp and time, and the meal is ready.
Point being, cooking does not need to be complex. There are so many meals that you can easily put together and bring to the table for you, your family or your friends. Absolutely feel free to experiment. The chicken just mentioned. Try a Cajun spice blend to get some zip, or a smoky barbecue seasoning blend that will open a bunch of flavors. Start with the kiss rule, finding simple recipes that have great flavors, and incrementally advance as you master new skills.
Never Ending Story
The most amazing thing about cooking, is that even for those of us who got an early start and have long hours in the kitchen, there is still more to learn! Whether it is a dish or technique from another country, or the latest and greatest cooking trend, the vistas offered on the food panorama are endless. Wherever your starting point, have a great time advancing your skills, eating the tasty results, and trying new things.