Sunday, February 05, 2017

Cooking Restaurant Standard Food At Home: Can It Be Done?

There’s something about eating out, isn’t there? Compared to eating at home, eating at a restaurant always seems to be a much more enjoyable affair. The food is always incredible - the meat is tender and perfectly cooked, the side dishes perfectly complement it, the sauce is always packed full of flavor. You just can’t beat a nice meal out - or can you?

If you’re someone who has a passion for cooking, then the chances are you’ve often wondered about recreating some of your favorite restaurant dishes at home. The only problem is that they never seem to taste as good as you remember, making you wonder whether it’s possible to achieve restaurant standard food at home.

Achieving restaurant quality meals at home is a lot easier than you would think, it’s just a case of having the know-how that all the best chefs have.

Invest in quality equipment

Ask any chef worth their salt, and they will tell you that having the right equipment is a must when it comes to cooking high-quality food. If your kitchen is lacking the basic pieces of cooking equipment, you can’t expect to be able to recreate the high-quality food that your favorite restaurant offers.

When it comes to ensuring that your kitchen is stocked with all of the best equipment, remember it’s not about splurging on all the most expensive pots, pans and utensils - high prices don’t necessarily mean quality. It’s about picking pieces that are of a high quality, not items that are over priced.

The items that are a must if you want cooking success are a selection of pan sizes, including granite frying pans and woks, utensils such as a ladle, serving spoon, wooden spoon, and whisk, as well as a cheese grater, food processor, measuring cups and spoons, and oven-proof dishes.

Be willing to buy organic, free-range produce

When it comes to cooking quality food, using high-quality ingredients is a must. Studies have shown that organic and free-range foods actually taste better than non-organic and non-free-range foods.

The best place to get quality ingredients from is your local farmer’s market - buying local is always the best option as most restaurants tend to use mainly local produce on their menus. The next best place is at your local butcher’s counter if there’s not a farmer’s market near you.

If you want to make your food taste amazing, you also need to be willing to make it with all full-fat ingredients, from butter to milk. Believe it or not, foods that are full-fat tend to have more flavor, hence why chefs choose to use them instead of their low-fat counterparts.

Learn to season your food properly

One of the main differences between restaurant food and home cooking is the fact that meals served in restaurants always tend to have more flavor. The reason for this is simple - chefs know how to flavor their food properly using a combination of herbs and spices.

If you’re working from a recipe, make sure to take the spices and herbs in the recipe into account. Far too many of us forget to season our food, meaning that it lacks flavor in comparison to the dishes served in restaurants.

It’s all down to your technique

Most professional chefs spend years studying, perfecting their cooking techniques. The food that they serve tastes so good because they know all of the best techniques for cooking with, from frying to boiling, all the top chefs know how to get each technique spot on.

If you want to be able to produce restaurant standard food at home, you need to perfect your cooking technique. This means practicing searing meat, grilling dishes, sautéing vegetables - the more practice you can get, the better. It’s also important to get to grips with which knives should be used for which tasks so that you are able to properly prepare your dishes.

Plate up like a pro

One thing that takes restaurant food up a notch is the presentation - it’s always presented so beautifully. If you are able to learn to plate up your food in a similar way, taking notice of little things like garnishes, you will find that your food looks that little bit more appealing.

So, the answer is yes, it is possible to create restaurant standard food at home. It’s just a case of being willing to take more time and care of your dishes, learning to cook them perfectly and present them in the right way.