If you enjoy dining out at a restaurant for a fancy meal, you know it can be a real feast for your palate. If your budget is tight or you can’t get a babysitter to watch your children, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a restaurant quality dining experience from the comfort of your own home. The following are five tips that will score you a five-star meal.
Find the Right Tools
If you’re a calorie counter , you may be intimidated by restaurant-sized portions. You can get the same dining experience at home and be mindful of your portions. You can start by using tools similar those used by the restaurant experts. You probably already own many of the functional cooking utensils such as a vegetable steamer, saucepans, zester, grater, measuring tools, cookie sheets, baking pans and a non-stick skillet. A quality stainless steel chef’s knife also allows you to dice, cut and chop like the experts.
Boost Your Flavor
Flavorful food comes from using the best ingredients. If you live in a region where you can purchase local eggs, produce and meat, it’s best to purchase fresh and seasonal fare. Although dried herbs may prove handy, fresh herbs have an earthiness that can make your meals pop. It can be challenging to add flavor to soups, stews and sauces. Chicken base is the most used restaurant product as it offers delectable flavors that you would typically get from a skillfully-tended pot or saucepan. It’s great when used as a rub, to enhance stocks or make your sauces sinfully tasty.
Get to Know Your Spice Rack
One of the primary reasons people enjoy restaurant foods is because of the rich flavor. But bold, big flavors are easy to adopt when you get to know your spice rack. Popular spices include curry, cumin, cardamom, tarragon and allspice. The spices do more than just add flavors to meats, veggies and side dishes. Many of them also have been proven to contain nutrients and minerals that can aid the health of the human body. Adding more spices also eliminates the needs for additional sodium in a dish.
Master Various Techniques
Chefs are typically schooled for a number of years to hone their cooking skills . They also may train under successful chefs to learn the proper techniques. If you’re a home chef who is looking to prepare restaurant quality food, you may find it helpful to learn the most used methods. Browning, searing, grilling, sautéing, poaching, braising and blanching are a few of the basics. You’ll also cook like the pros when you learn how to make a roux, vinaigrettes and sauces.
Prep and Plating
When you’re looking to cook like the restaurant experts , it isn’t just about taste and flavors. To get the overall sensory appeal of your restaurant meal, you also want to ensure that your food is a sumptuous banquet for the eyes as well as your taste buds. You can begin by setting the mood. This includes setting the table with your good dishes, napkins and proper stemware. Candles and flowers can also set the right tone of the meal. Experiment with placement and height of your foods. Instead of piling rice or potatoes on a plate, make them into a neat mound. Place the meat against your side dish. Sauces should be spread underneath the protein instead of smothered on top. When using garnishes, use items that are edible and compliment your meal. This includes lemon wedges, parsley, carrots, pepper or bacon garnishes. You could also use chocolate or fruit for dessert accompaniments.
Going out to dinner is a gastronomic treat. But if you’re not able to score a reservation at your favorite restaurant establishment, the above five tips will help you tantalize your taste buds by cooking your own five-star meal at home.