Chef Requirements – Hints &Tips for Food Preparation

126 of 365: Kate's birthday lemon meringue pieA chef school can provide a tremendous amount of experience for the aspiring cook, but one of the most valuable benefits will be learning all the hints and tips from your fellow students and instructors. Cooking suggestions help you side step the many problems in the kitchen and will make dish preparation easier. While it has been said that experience, patience and knowledge are key when cooking, it is the hints and tips that will give you the chef skills to truly become a master in the culinary arts. This article offers basic cooking suggestions that every culinary student should know before attending a culinary program.

Healthy Food Tips

Having food that tastes its best is most easily accomplished when you make sure that the products you buy are fresh. As you shop in the supermarket (or produce market, or farmer’s market) you should closely examine each of the items you purchase to make sure it is the highest quality freshness or ripeness. Packaged foods can be judged by an expiration date, while fruits and vegetables must be looked at individually. Always familiarize yourself with the general produce that is available, and be able to spot quality produce in whatever market you shop at. As far as meats go, make sure that the meats (beef, poultry and fish) you purchase are fresh. Additionally, keep all meats refrigerated until using them. Any utensils you use with the meat or that come into contact with the meat should be cleaned with soap and water.

Regarding serving, make sure that meats are cooked thoroughly and reach a safe temperature. Always use a cooking thermometer to make sure your meats reach a temperature of 140 degrees F. While cooked foods should be heated to 140 degrees F, foods such as dairy products that need to be chilled, should be so at temperatures of less than 40 degrees F.

It All Gets Easier With the Correct Tools

As you probably know, a good mechanic always uses the right tools to fix a car. Thus, a good cooking suggestion is to likewise keep the right items in your kitchen to help you create dishes easily and properly. What exactly you need depends on what kinds of dishes you want to prepare, but knives, pots, pans, and measuring cups are standard. Many dishes require the use of a blender or a food processor as well.

Healthy Cooking

Many people believe that low fat food is automatically tasteless. On the contrary, low fat cooking can be colorful, vibrant, and very tasty. A few simple tricks to make your dish taste its best include adding plenty of fresh spices and herbs, also olive oil, and always thinking your dish through carefully. Use a small amount of oil with lean cuts of beef and pork, and you can make almost any meal low fat. In general, chicken and turkey are usually low fat and fish is also a great option for any low in calorie dish.

Beverage Selection

For one last cooking suggestion, it’s important to remember that a meal is more than food – you need a great beverage selection as well. Most meals can be improved greatly through simply adding a tasty beverage. The tone and flavor of your meal can be changed drastically through adding wine, sparkling mineral water, or perhaps a cocktail.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dumbledad

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About The Mommy Circle

Nanette is a part-time work at home mom of two beautiful kids - a boy and a girl and is married to the man of her dreams, her soul mate and best friend. She blogs over at AMomBlog.com where she's living and loving life as a mom!