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How To Become A Home Chef Overnight
January 30, 2018 / Robyn Pottinger
As much as we’d all like to sit here and brag about our immaculate cooking skills, truth is that most of us have no idea when it comes to anything remotely related to kitchens. For some, walking to the fridge and warming up a ready-meal is the reality for weeknight dinners, but it doesn’t have to be that way at all. If you’re in desperate need of a quick sharpening up of your cooking skills in the hopes of being a domestic god or goddess, then you’re in the right place! With help from us, you’re guaranteed to become a home chef overnight by following these simple steps, so you can always invite your friends and family over for a night of fine-dining!
Invest In A Meal Kit Service
Some might see this as cheating a little, but why make weeknight meals more complicated when you could simply source your ingredients and recipes elsewhere and cook them for a fraction of the fuss? There are many amazing meal kit services out there, and while providers such as Home Chef and Plated cook your meals for you and simply allow you to reheat it upon arrival, others such as meals.blueapron and Hellow Fresh simply provide you with the instructions and pre- measured ingredients, allowing you to unleash your culinary skills in the kitchen without the added stress!
When deciding to subscribe to a meal kit provider, you’ll be pleased to know that there are numerous plans that you can choose from in order to satisfy your needs. If you’re living with a roommate at university, a two-person plan would be ideal, but many meal kit providers also offer meal plans for families, so there really is a solution for everyone. With the recipes already laid out in front of you, it’s a simple process of throwing the ingredients together and producing a flavoursome meal that everyone will love! It’s a no-brainer, right?
Learn How To Properly Cut An Onion
This sounds slightly bizarre, but you’d be amazed at how many dishes actually incorporate onion into their recipe and how few of us know how to cut one! From Spaghetti Bolognese to your standard salad, both white and red onions are seen in our favourite dishes, which is why you need to learn the proper technique for slicing and dicing one if you want to become a home chef overnight! To learn the proper technique, (yes, there is one!), carry on reading.
  1. Prepare:
    Remove the top of your onion, cut in half lengthwise and peel off the skin.
  2. Slicing:
    Place the flat side of the onion down, and then rest the knife against the flat of your knuckles, sliding your fingers backwards as you slice.
  3. Dicing:
    If you want to dice the onion, you should lay the half on its flat side and make incisions vertically, but don’t cut through the root, as this keeps the incised segments together while you dice. For best result, turn your onion 90 degrees and make crosswise slices.
  4. Mincing:
    Dice your onion, and then lay a flat hand across the tip of your knife and cut the onions using a rocking motion, which should continue until you’re happy with the fineness of your onion.
Not Everything Needs To Be From Scratch
Even the most professional of cooks can settle with pre-made ingredients, so don’t always strive to make every component of your dish from scratch. If you’d like to push the boat out and make a beef wellington for example, chances are that recipe is going to be complex enough without having to make your own pastry from scratch, so why not just settle with a ready-made pastry from your local supermarket? Being a home chef doesn’t always mean that you need to prepare every meal with ingredients that you organically grew yourself, or with meat that you nourished from your very own farm. Take advantage of convenience and use ready-made products where you can.
Furthermore, people are often persuaded to cook their meals from scratch to ensure that they know what they’re eating, and while this can be true sometimes, relying on ready-made ingredients doesn’t always mean that you’re sacrificing the organic factor in your meals. Instead, simply take more time to research and understand what’s inside the products that you’re buying, and this way you’ll be able to cook the most adventurous meals with the peace of mind knowing that it’s fresh and natural.
Master The Egg
Similar to onions, eggs are found in an uncountable amount of recipes, but what’s more is that there are so many ways to prepare and cook and egg. From poached, to scrambled, and many more, you’d be surprised to find out how many different egg types there are! When it comes to boiled or poached eggs though, you have the ability to control the consistency of the yolk – do you like it runny or hard? As simple as it sounds, getting the yolk perfectly runny on an egg without the white being simultaneously liquid-like is a challenge, so we’ve helped you out with all the timings and instructions you need to make your egg perfect, no matter how you’re cooking it!
Boiled Egg
Boil in water for:
3 minutes for soft boiled yolk and set white
4 minutes for a slightly set yolk and set white
5 minutes for a firm yolk and white
6 minutes for a hard-boiled egg
Poached Egg
Crack egg into a bowl and gently tip into simmering water. Poach for 3-4 minutes.
Fried Egg
Line pan with butter/oil over medium-high heat. Crack egg into pan and immediately reduce heat to low. Cook until white is completely set and yolk begins to thicken
Prepare Your Dinners In Advance
When you’re working every day of the week, and you’re not getting home until roughly 6pm or even later, cooking your dinner from scratch is an absolute nightmare, but you can cut the stress completely if you prepare your meals in advance. Firstly, to make matters even easier, sit down at the weekend and plan out exactly what meals you will be eating during the week, as not only will this make spending in the supermarket easier, but it will also ensure that you’re not tearing your hair out over what you’re going to eat for dinner when you get home in the evenings.
Then, once you’ve mastered that and you’ve purchased all of the ingredients that you need, you can start to prepare these meals in advance, shortening your workload during the week. Whether it’s simply cutting up vegetables, or even cooking elements of the meal and freezing/chilling it ready to be reheated in a couple of days’ time, you can become a home chef simply by improving your organisational skills!
Take Care Of Your Knives
It might never have occurred to you that actually, it isn’t your culinary skills that are the issue when it comes to preparing meals! The utensils that you use in the kitchen play a just as important role in being a home chef, meaning that you need to keep them all in good condition - knives especially. A sharp knife is everything in the kitchen, and there is no tool more helpful or simply used when it comes to cooking.
There’s nothing more frustrating than chopping vegetables or cutting through meat for ages simply because your knife is too blunt or, even more commonly, not suitable for that job! Firstly, you should never put your knives in the dishwasher, as the heat can dull your knives and make them ineffective. Instead, wash them carefully by hand, and also hone them before and after every use to keep them in optimal condition. By ensuring that your knives are sharp and suitable, you can significantly cut down the amount of time it takes to cook a meal in the evenings, so you can become a skilled home chef within minutes!
It doesn’t matter whether you have some experience in the kitchen or whether you’re a total novice, these tips are guaranteed to give you a big shove in the culinary department. Home cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, and instead you can find the process enjoyable as long as you take the right approach!
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