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The word gourmet often conjures of visions of ornate restaurants with fancy dishes that you can’t pronounce and prices you wish you couldn’t. While many believe that gourmet cooking isn’t something that can be accomplished by the everyday cook, the truth is, with a little effort and some practice, anyone can cook great gourmet meals in the privacy and comfort of your own home. With the right ingredients and a little know-how, you can wow guests with tantalizing dishes that will leave them begging for more. Next time you have a craving for some superior cuisine, keep these tips in mind and start cooking!
• Be Creative: Much like sculpting, painting, or writing, cooking is an art. When it comes to gourmet cooking, it’s important to keep an open mind and be creative with your dishes. Some of the world’s best chef made their way to the top by putting a new twist on common foods. Next time you make spaghetti, try to incorporate some new ingredients into your traditional sauce. Like the way a certain dish tasted? Try to mimic the taste in your cooking and see if you can come up with something new and exciting on your own.
• Don’t Be Discouraged: Writers edit, artists doodle, and athletes practice. Like anything in life, gourmet cooking takes a few tries. If you don’t like the way your dish came out, don’t give up. The best thing to do is get right back on the wagon and try again. If you still can’t achieve the taste your looking for, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, check the Internet for more information, or read a few gourmet cookbooks.
• Do Your Homework: Gourmet cooking means you’ll need to add a few things to your cooking artillery. Grab a few books on gourmet cooking or do some research online and find out what you can do to improve your dishes. Be sure to read up on various spices and food combinations since these things are often the building blocks of great gourmet meals.
• Improve Your Ingredients: While everyday salt and pepper may be doing the job, gourmet cooking requires quality ingredients. While some may cost more than their low quality counterparts, you need to consider the upgrade as an investment that will improve your cooking for several months. For those of you who really need to overhaul your cupboard contents start with the basics and invest in some quality olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper, and some other spices you find you use a lot in your daily cooking. (While you do want to get quality ingredients that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune. There are many reasonable priced ingredients that will be sufficient for household cooking.)
• Add Some Alcohol: You may find that several of your gourmet favorites are infused with alcohol of some form. Adding some wine, beer, or other spirits to your cooking gives it an extra kick adding a different dimension to everyday meals. For example, a bit of dry red wine added to your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe could make a palate pleasingly different. There are many resources both in print and online that can help you ease your way into cooking with alcohol. Investing in a book about cooking with wine can be extremely beneficial to your cuisine.
• Be Inspired: Next time you go to your favorite restaurant take note of the ingredients you find in the dish descriptions. Not satisfied with what the menu has to offer? Ask your server to describe the entrée to you and see if he/she gives away some more information. You can also use your taste buds to your advantage and try to distinguish between the ingredients. The main idea is to be perceptive to what other cooks are using in their kitchens and letting those subtle differences inspire your cooking.
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