The greatest thing about Cooking and Taste is it always rests on the tounge of the beholder. This is the gift and curse of most domestic cooks, professional cooks and chefs. Here are 5 sure fire ways to improve every cooks foundation for overall better cooking...
1. Taste Your Food Before You Serve It. We all tend to go 98% of the way in cooking and forget to complete the last 2% which attributes to tasting and proper seasoning of our dish. Not tasting your food, is like driving a car without a map or gps system. You simply will not know where to go if you do not where you are at. Taste, taste, taste:)
2. Season Your Food. Its very simple, you need to Salt & Pepper ( I prefer fresh cracked) at every stage of the cooking process. Julia Child helped Americans do this 35 years ago. Obviously, too much of anything is not good. Through proper seasoning you can take a good dish to a great dish in one pinch of salt or a Crack of pepper. Its really that simple.
3. Use Acidity. Acidity awakens your taste buds. A dash of an aged vinegar, infused vinegar or a squirt of lemon/lime juice can add brightness, balance and make you taste more of the dish you are preparing. Try it, trust me.
4. Buy a Pressure Cooker. Make the investment. Please note they are extremely safe for home use. It has become the best single piece of equipment I have in my kitchen. It is the foundation of my flavor building blocks. There is no better way to extract and retain flavor from any product in 1/4 of the time it would take with traditional pots. Stews, Braises, Beans, Stocks, Sauces, Soups and even 'Colonel Sanders' fried chicken get the royal treatment with this piece of equipment.
5. Be Yourself. Cooking can and should be a creative extension of you. At any cooking level, cooking becomes a sum of all prior experiences and habits of you. The food never lies. Over time, if you stay true to yourself, you will form your likes/ dislikes which will eventually carve your own style. Recipes will become guidelines instead of gospel. This is when cooking becomes self expression and for me is most enjoyable state to be cooking in. Stay true to who you are and you will be there in no time. JM