Home Cook to Home Chef

home-cook The transition from ordinary home cook to gourmet home cook is not so difficult. As Jonell Galloway at The Rambling Epicure says, “Cooking is just applied physics and chemistry with a little creativity thrown in”.

It helps to know a little science but there are successful cooks who don’t know their quantum fields from mitochondria. Really it is all about persistence. Keep trying until you get it right.

Jonell has 10 great tips for making the transition on her website, such as:

No matter what the ingredient, the flavor resides in its natural juices. That’s why fresh is always better than frozen. When you thaw food, part of its natural juices are lost.

There is an appropriate way to cook every ingredient, depending on its nature.

Boiling is rarely ideal, neither for taste nor for health, because many of the natural juices escape into the water. If you do boil, save the broth and use it to make soup or sauce, because the broth will be full of both flavor and vitamins.

When pan-frying or grilling meat or fish, the drippings left in the pan are precious. They contain the essence of the flavors and should be kept.

The easiest and most common way to do this is to deglaze by leaving the pan on the burner and adding a bit of port, wine, or other spirits, or apple juice or vinegar. Use wooden spatula to scrape drippings until they form a “syrup”, then quickly add chicken or meat broth and simmer to make a sauce.

Head over to The Rambling Epicure to read the rest.

The one tip she leaves out? Be patient. It takes time to make great food and sometimes it can’t be rushed. Remember, unlike restaurant chefs, you don’t have an army of peons to help you out (unless you have kids, but their knife skills are probably not up to it)

And don’t forget to invite me to dinner.

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