Food and Drink

How To Turn Ordinary Foods Into Gourmet Meals

Some people love to cook, and some view cooking as a necessary evil. For the latter group, this article is for you. It’s not that you can’t cook or don’t want to learn how to cook. It’s just that turning raw ingredients into a delicious meal can sometimes seem like too much work. But what if there was a way to make cooking more accessible and fun?

Turn Ordinary Foods Into Gourmet Meals

One way to do this is by learning how to cook gourmet meals. Gourmet food is simply food that is of high quality and has been prepared with care. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, you can probably think of some gourmet dishes that you already enjoy.

Here are some tips for turning ordinary foods into gourmet meals:

Start With High-Quality Ingredients

This may seem like a prominent place to start, but it’s worth emphasising. The quality of your ingredients will have a significant impact on the overall taste of your dish. So, if you can, purchase fresh and local ingredients. And when it comes to spices, choose whole spices over ground spices whenever possible. Whole spices will give your dish more flavour and depth. Finally, ensure you have high-quality gourmet olive oil when cooking your dishes. This ingredient can make or break the taste of your food. 

Use Simple Techniques To Elevate Your Dishes

One way to make your dishes more impressive is by using simple cooking techniques. For example, if you’re making a grilled cheese sandwich, try adding a layer of fresh herbs or sun-dried tomatoes. Or, if you’re preparing a salad, try using a variety of textures and colours. These small changes can make a big difference.

Get Creative With Your Presentation

Making your dishes more special is by getting creative with your presentation. This could involve using an attractive plate or bowl or arranging your food in an eye-catching way. Sometimes, simple changes can make a big difference.

For example, if you’re serving chicken breasts, try slicing them in half and arranging them on the plate to look like butterfly wings. Or, if you’re making a salad, try using a variety of shapes and sizes for the vegetables. This will add visual interest to your dish.

One final tip is to add personal touches to your dishes. This could involve adding a special ingredient that has personal meaning to you. Or, it could be as simple as writing a heartfelt message on a plate with icing. Whatever you do, just make sure it comes from the heart.

Try Something New – Cook Outside

Cooking outside can add a whole new level of flavour to your food. It is fun and exciting, but it can also be a great way to get creative in the kitchen.

There are many different ways to cook outdoors. For example, you could try grilling, smoking, or even cooking over an open fire. Each of these methods has its own unique set of flavours and possibilities.

If you’re new to outdoor cooking, start by trying some simple recipes. Grilled chicken or pork chops are an excellent place to start. And for those who want to get really adventurous, there are plenty of smoked meats and fish recipes.

So, get outside and start cooking! You won’t regret it.

Garnish Garnish Garnish

Another way to add visual flair is by adding garnishes. Garnishes are small pieces of food used to enhance the appearance of a dish. They can be as simple as a parsley sprig or a Parmesan cheese sprinkle.

Get Creative

You can turn even the simplest dishes into gourmet masterpieces by following these tips. So, get creative in the kitchen and see what you can come up with!

4 Tips For Opening Up Your Home After Covid

The coronavirus pandemic took a huge toll on many people’s social lives. You probably spent a significant portion of the last two years either stuck at home in lockdown, self-isolating, or attempting to maintain a two meter distance when meeting up with friends and family.

Opening Up Your Home After Covid

All these regulations and restrictions were for a good cause, with the intention of keeping as many people safe from harm as possible. But now things are slowly returning to normality. Restrictions are being lifted all over the world, and we can now socialise freely.

But the virus isn’t gone. Although we have found ways to live safely and move on, its shadow is still very much looming over you. Many people remain anxious about its dangers, particularly those who are vulnerable or can’t afford to take time off work if they get sick. These concerns are entirely justifiable, as even the fully vaccinated face the risk of becoming seriously ill.

If you are the type of person who loves opening up their home to guests, you are probably itching to get back to your regular social events. But whether it’s dinner parties, garden barbecues, or just a couple of friends over for a glass of wine, you still need to think carefully about your approach. Your loved ones may be worried about the risks, and the last thing you want is your cocktail night to gain notoriety for spreading the virus amongst your social group.

To help you alleviate any concerns and throw a Covid-safe event, here are four tips for opening up your home in 2022.

Talk to your guests

Your friends may not be worried at all, especially if they’re young and healthy. But there is a chance that one or more of them are secretly worried about mingling in a confined space but don’t feel comfortable enough to bring it up. The best thing you can do is to create an open, non-judgemental atmosphere with your loved ones. You want to feel like they can share their concerns without worrying about what anyone else thinks of them. Speak to your friends individually before they arrive. Ask them if they have any worries and if there is anything you can do to make them feel safer.

Put safety measures in place

It only takes a few simple measures to greatly reduce the transmission risk of Covid. Buy hand sanitiser and place a few bottles strategically around your home, as well as some disposable face masks for anyone who might want one.

Test

By taking a lateral flow test before the event, you can have peace of mind that you won;t be infecting anyone. You can’t force your guests to test themselves, but you can ask and encourage people to put safety at the forefront and help to protect others.

Provide options

Some people may not want to be cooped up inside all evening, so provide plenty of options for attendees to move about and feel safer. If you’re throwing a party, you could open up your garden and move things onto the lawn for some fresh air.

Challenging Yourself As A Home Cook

Curating a love for food is often like falling in love with both a craft and an art – as well as a beautiful expression of culture. It’s easy to take the plate of food in front of us for granted, but it will always tell a story, from the preparation methods used to curate it to the sourcing of the ingredients itself. 

Home Cook

As home cooks, it can be easy to fall into our own way of doing things, with our own indulgences, and our own desire to align with a certain diet. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. Feeling comfortable in the kitchen is important, particularly if you have a family to feed daily and only so much time to do it in.

But when you do have time to experiment, perhaps on a weekend or maybe when meal-prepping, challenging yourself as a home cook can be a great way to learn and feel renewed in your efforts. In this post, we’ll discuss how to achieve that, and what benefits this approach could grant you:

New Cooking Methods

It can be nice to try new cooking methods from time to time. For instance, when was the last time you tried sous vide meats? It could be that purchasing a small water bath, vacuum sealing a steak, and then cooking it slowly over hours provides you with a delicacy of flavour that you hadn’t thought possible. This can allow you to extend your reach as a cook, even if that just means using a pressure cooker to steam vegetables rather than using your regular boiling method.

Sourcing Supreme Ingredients

It’s also important to source supreme ingredients from time to time when you can. For instance, this online butcher provides a range of amazing meats, allowing you to try different steaks and cuts that you may have been oblivious up until now. Perhaps you can sear a good steak, but have you tried to cook a beautiful filet mignon before? Expanding your repertoire and trying to be creative with your options can lend you a truly beautiful outcome, helping you feel more confident in the kitchen, and even giving you the impetus to try new things at the behest of your new supplier.

Dinner Parties

If you really wish to test yourself, it can be nice to invite those you love and appreciate to dinner parties in order to have a good time. Note that this doesn’t have to be an ultra-formal event, it might just be that you invite a friend over to try a range of cheeses you’ve imported in order to get a real taste for them, and what kind of wine pairings they go with. Or, you might decide to try inviting a friend around for a venison meal now that you’ve finally figured out how to cook the meat properly. After all – what good is food if it can’t be shared? It might be that a friend or relative returns the favour.

With this advice, you’re certain to challenge yourself as a home cook, and benefit in the best possible way.