Cooking is more popular then ever in the UK. Celebrity chefs and cookery programmes fill our television schedules, while the latest cookbooks top the bestseller charts each year. All this information can leave your head spinning, so here are five simple tips to help anyone become a better chef.
1. Keep it simple
Don’t try to create an upside down mackerel soufflé if you can barely manage baked beans on toast. Try simple recipes first.
2. Find free recipes first
You don’t have to buy expensive hardback recipe books nowadays. There are plenty of websites for recipes that will provide you with free inspiration, from Indian to Italian, British to Bermudan. The web has everything you could possibly need!
3. Stock up your cupboard
It’s worth buying a few basic ingredients so you’re not starting from scratch every time you want to try a recipe. Salt and pepper are obvious ingredients you’ll need to hand, but others such as flour, lemon juice, mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and many others often crop up in recipes.
4. Concentrate on knife skills
For savoury dishes in particular, knife skills are a key part of cooking. Being good with the blade means not only means that your preparation time will be reduced, but also that if, for example, you are chopping an onion, all the bits of chopped onion will be the same size and cook at the same speed.
5. Taste, taste and taste again
Watch any cooking show and the chefs will say this all the time. When cooking, place a glass of hot water near the stove. Keep a teaspoon in there and taste while you’re cooking, rinsing in hot water each time. A chef is only as good as his or her tastebuds! As you get better, you’ll know whether something needs a bit more salt, or a little bit more lemon.