All you need to be a successful home cook are some basic skills and techniques to fall back on, flavor-boosting ingredients, and some good recipes to start with. here is a list by chef stephanie izard of simple tricks and steps to abide by:
1. Season Dishes Properly
“I think that people are afraid to use salt to bring out the natural flavors. Not that we want to make anything too salty, and not be healthy, but [you should add] enough seasoning and [use] the right mix of ingredients in dishes so you have the right balance of sweet, salty, and savory. She recommends salting throughout the whole process and tasting as you go.
2. The Secrets of a Good Salad
Texture, consistency, and freshness of ingredient. But the real kicker is the dressing. The key is to make sure that everything is in the salad for a reason and then to finish it with a bold dressing.
3. Flavorful Chicken Dishes
Izard suggests skipping the boneless, skinless, chicken breasts for chicken thighs. “Because that’s where all the flavor is.”
4. Properly Cooking Proteins (with Patience)
With fresh fish like salmon or halibut, “It’s all about proper seasoning and proper cooking.” Izard says. Let the natural sugars in proteins caramelize, by stepping back and letting nature take its course. Don’t push.
5. Flavor-Boosting Pantry Staples
“I’m a huge fan of Sambal,” says Izard. Dijon mustard, soy sauce and fish sauce are also often used.
6. Don’t Be Discouraged
Kitchen blunders “happens all the time!” she told us. It’s important to keep trying and not give up.
7. Basic Beer and Wine Pairing Suggestions
Have some fun with this. The important thing to keep in mind with beer and wine, she explains, is that it’s all about a personal preference. There are some basic suggestions in her book that you can start with or try recommendations from your local wine shop, but then it’s up to you to experiment and find what you like.
8. How Much Food is Enough for a Dinner Party?
“I always make too much food, because I forget that people will only have a taste of each dish.” Leftovers are great to give to friends as a parting gift.
9. Where to Begin
Izard recommends beginning with a cookbook following the recipes very closely at the beginning, then slowly stepping away and coming up with your own recipes and twists. “Pretty soon, the cookbook will just be decoration on your coffee table.”
read article on Yahoo! Shine from The Daily Meal: How to Be a Successful Home Cook