Perfection in a Dish — How to Cook Meals Flawlessly

Trying to juggle a hectic lifestyle; being a good employee, supportive spouse and perfect parent is never going to be easy, but turning out excellent meals on top of all that? It’s tricky, but with a little thought, preparation and — most important of all — practice, your kitchen skills will transform in no time at all. 

The taste is in the timing

Cooking the perfect dish is all about timing, and making the most of the time that you have. For a busy parent who does not have all day to spend in the kitchen, there are two ways of tackling this. You want to look for recipes that cook long and slow, or alternatives that are simple and quick. Knowing a bit about your ingredients, too, and the best way to prepare them can help. Putting pasta into a slow cooker will turn it to mush, while flash frying slices of brisket will have your kids chewing their first mouthful a week later. On the other hand, a slow cooked beef stew is a wonderful thing to come home to, while freshly cooked pasta and a tasty sauce will keep most families happy.

Slow and Steady

Slow cookers are a handy invention for creating family favorites. Depending upon the time that you have available, you could prepare the ingredients the night before and store them in the refrigerator for the next day’s cooking. Knowing what to use a slow cooker for is where to start. Slow cooking is ideal for tougher items that take time to soften up, such as cheaper cuts of meat; it’s the tough chewy gristle that breaks down and bastes the meat better than fat. Chicken works well in a slow cooker: take off the skin but leave the bones in for succulence and flavor. Vegetarian dishes are also a cinch and mushrooms hold up well and have a great depth of flavor. 

Hungry now?

Quick meals are exactly the opposite; the ingredients should be light and fresh, cooking to perfection in a matter of minutes. Stir fries are the simplest meals to pull together quickly, and are mostly composed of shredded vegetables, protein, noodles and sauce. Vegetables should be as fresh as possible, and almost undercooked to keep their freshness (and vitamins.) This is ideal for using up leftover meat. If using fresh, be sure that it’s cooked through before adding the other ingredients, especially chicken. Pasta is a good staple and stirred through with pesto makes one of the easiest, quickest hot meals, or for a more substantial supper, spaghetti carbonara is almost as swift. 

The perfect dish is all about knowing your ingredients and how long to cook them for, to enjoy them at their best. Even so, it should not take too much of your time to create meals your family will love.

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  1. David Fultner says:

    I find laying Laying every thing out in order helps.

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