We all can cook... Some do it better than others. Some have more experience than others. And some enjoy it more than others. It all comes down to this:
Cooking a nice meal is a combination of all of the above reasons as well as a few more...
Cooking Needs The Right Timing
If the occasion calls for you to cook something really quickly because you have to be somewhere else, as soon as possible then you have an 80% chance of cooking a real failure of a dish. Experience, talent and the love you'll put into it, won't save you in that STRESSFUL SITUATION. That's one of the usual reasons I screw up a meal and end up wishing I was more relaxed while cooking.
- Always think about how much time you really have on your hands before choosing on the recipe you are going to cook. And always add 30 more minutes to it. This is the average amount of time we didn't predict and end up missing because: -Hey..! we always forget that the pasta may be ready in 7 minutes exactly, but the water takes 10-15 minutes to boil before we can add the pasta. That's why I always categorize my recipes depending on the time they need to be made.
- Go for Quick meals like sheet pan meals, pasta dishes, egg dishes, chicken fillet dishes, fish dishes, a quick salad or sandwich. Avoid stews, soups and any type of meat dish other than fried (as depending on variety meat always take it's time to become soft when cooked)
- Or you can always use a pressure cooker like this and cook any dish you like by skipping all the time management and recipe picking process.
Ingredients Are The 40% Of The Dish's Success
You find this amazing recipe which sounds so delicious, and you get so excited about making it. So you go shopping, buy everything the recipe calls for, close your self up in the kitchen for a few hours, following the recipe's instructions exactly. And finally, the time comes to show everyone your accomplishment. Only to see on their faces when they take the first bite, that no one is as excited as they should be. Frustration kicks in and you start wondering.... -What went wrong?
Well, I'll give you an example of what went wrong... We are in the middle of winter and I'm really longing for some Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce (which I always make with fresh tomatoes) Mmm perhaps and some basil as well...
And then I start making it. But what was one of my favorite meals, turns up tasting really bland? What went wrong here, is that tomatoes were not in season therefore not ripe and sweet enough to make a sauce. Ending up ruining the whole dish.
Another example of what may go wrong with recipe ingredients... You find this recipe online of an international dish that's really famous and everyone seems to like. Let's say you are on my blog and thinking of making a Greek Tzatziki Dip. So you go ahead mix the yogurt with the cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic wait a few hours and serve. And oh my, this watery sauce doesn't look like the thick and creamy dip you saw online. Why? to make a Greek Tzatziki you need Greek yogurt not any type of yogurt.
- Seasonality of ingredients plays a very important role. Always make sure to keep this in mind when you are about to cook.
- The locality of ingredients also plays a role when cooking international recipes mostly. Try to buy ingredients originating from the Country the recipe comes from. There are special shops all around selling original products from around the world. And if you can't find any of those try searching them on Amazon where you can always find International Quality Ingredients.
Get Prepared -Rinse, Cut, Go...
The first thing they teach you in every cooking school is: -Preparation is everything.
- First of all, you prepare your working surface. The Chef of my cooking class used to say: - Clean surface clean mind. Meaning, that if your surface looks like a mess so will your mind be unable to think and work clearly.
- Secondly, the bowls knives and other utensils you are going to use should be standing by. ( Imagine your porkchop burning in the pan and you try to find the kitchen tongs to take it out?) DISASTER.
- And thirdly, the ingredients your recipe calls for should be all washed cut and ready to be used.
Choose Tools & Appliances That Cook As Good As You Do
Have you ever cooked in an oven that cooked food unevenly? Well, I have and until I figured it out I tossed 2 trays of muffins believing that it was my fault they came out black on top and uncooked at the bottom. Even if this is an extreme example of a bad baking oven there are many ovens that don't pass air right or lose heat because of their lousy-door construction. Being a cook and having worked with professional ovens I can assure you that an oven has a huge impact on food quality. And same goes for cooktops
Oh, how I LOVE gas stoves!... Food is meant to be cooked on the fire and that's a FACT. A dish made on a gas stove is of a better taste and quality from the one cooked on an electric stove.
One of the reasons is, that when you put a cooking pot on a gas cooktop, heat transfers all around the pot, therefore, cooking the food more evenly. While on an electric cooktop, the heat transfers from the bottom up cooking the food in an uneven upside-down manner that gives less food cooking quality.
All In All
-Take your time when cooking or choose a recipe depending on the time you have to spare.
-Pay attention to buying the right ingredients don't choose lower quality ingredients, and don't substitute the ingredients that the recipe calls for.
-Have everything prepared and cut.
-Invest in some quality kitchen tools and appliances. So your time and effort won't go out the window because of a cheap, bad-working kitchen appliance.
Here is a list of the top kitchen tools and appliances for 2018. Tried and tested by people like you.