For those who love great food but can’t afford to eat out all the time, it’s great to know how to cook well so you can make your favourite dishes at home. If you know the tricks to make restaurant style food at home, you’re not only getting a plate of delicious food, but you are also saving money at the same time.
Unlike older generations, cooking skills aren’t passed down from our parents as much as they should be. A lot of people learn how to cook via trial and error, or they just stick with ready meals and takeaway.
Here we share some basic cooking techniques which will take your home cooked dishes to the next level. Chefs use these tricks to create their dishes, so now is the time to learn some of their ways:
- Par Cooking
“Partial cooking” does exactly what it says on the tin. It involves partly cooking a dish now and finishing it off later, closer to the time it needs to be served. It’s a great technique that keeps dishes that may dry out moist for longer. If you have a lot going on at once – a dinner party for example – par cooking means you can get most dishes ready to go way before the party starts.
Ever wondered how restaurant veg stays so crisp and colourful whilst your home cooked veggies look limp and grey? It’s all to do with blanching. By placing your cooked veg into cold water or an ice bath immediately after cooking, you stop the cooking process. This is how you get perfectly cooked vegetables that are hot, crisp and crunchy.
- Carryover cooking
When you remove a steak from the pan or a chicken from the oven, the residual heat keeps cooking the meat for another few minutes. This carryover cooking finishes cooking the dish for you, and is the best way of keeping meat from drying out by cooking it for too long.
- Toasting and Blooming Spices
A popular technique in Pakistani cooking is to toast your raw spices before you add them to your food; or bloom ground spices in oil before you cook in it. By toasting and blooming, you help release the true flavour from the spices, seeds, nuts etc.
You’ll find these techniques in all the dishes at Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in London.