Learn to make a good sauce - Deepstash
28 Culinary School Grads Share Their Best Cooking Tips

28 Culinary School Grads Share Their Best Cooking Tips

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Learn to make a good sauce

Learn to make a good sauce

A good sauce can save almost anything.

Learn to cook at least three quick sauces from memory. A red wine sauce can turn a dried out piece of meat into a great meal - a cup of wine, butter, onions, salt and pepper. A quick marinara can taste as good as sauces you eat at restaurants.

Cooking tips

Cooking tips

  • Don't crowd the pan, no matter what you're pan-frying. Instead, get a bigger pan or fry in batches.
  • Always season liberally. Adding a little more salt will make a world of difference in your food.
  • Season everything. Don't assume one flavour will permeate the whole dish. Season the chicken, season the pasta, season the sauce.
  • Taste as you go. If it tastes good to you, it will likely taste good to others.
  • When you're cooking burgers, make a small dent in the centre of the patty with your thumb. Your burger will stay completely flat instead of shrinking.

Knife safety and knife skills

Knife safety and knife skills

  • A sharp knife is a safe knife. Dull knives are more prone to slipping and causing accidents.
  • When you know how to use a knife, you'll save a lot of effort and reduce injuries.
  • 'A falling knife has no handle.' Don't try to catch a knife that's falling. Instead, step back and pick it up once it's on the floor.
  • Always FLIP the knife over before you use it to scrape things into a pot or bowl.

Cooking with softened butter and melted butter

Cooking with softened butter and melted butter

Cooking with softened butter will yield an entirely different result than cooking with melted butter.

You'll get a much more flavourful and crispy result when you butter your bread with softened butter instead of melting the butter in the pan. It is because the fat solids emulsified in the softened butter.

Know which flavours go together

Know which flavours go together

If you have a rich flavour (creamy or buttery), you'll likely need a hit of acid such as vinegar or lemon juice to balance things out properly. Salt can also make the flavours of sweet things pleasantly intense.

'Hurry up, slow down'

When we rush, we tend to make time-consuming mistakes - increasing the heat too fast to sear more aggressively or spilling and incorrectly measuring ingredients.

'Hurry up, slow down' is a reminder that taking time to do things right the first time is usually the fastest path to success.

Kitchen tips

Kitchen tips

  • If your cutting board keeps slipping around the counter, put a wet towel or paper towel under it to make chopping safer.
  • Keep your elbows in when you cook. Pressing your elbows into your centre will stabilise your arms, so they don't shake and prevent small injuries.
  • Clean up your kitchen as you go. You'll become more efficient and always have space to work with minimal cleaning afterwards.

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