Hey there, I'm Jill, the founder of GrownupDish.com and your go-to gal for everything midlife. As a recovering CEO, food lover, world traveler, and self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I've got a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with you.
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Have you ever wanted to cook like the pros? While you might not have a professional chef on hand to teach you, you can use a couple of tips to take your cooking to the next level. Here are a few of my favorite tried and true tips to help you cook like a professional chef.
One easy way to ensure that all your ingredients make it into your dish is to prepare them before you cook. The French term “mise en place” describes this perfectly, and it means to gather all your ingredients into one place before you cook. You’ll find that all the best chefs gather and prepare their ingredients before they cook.
Another one of the tips to help you cook like a professional chef is to use high-quality equipment. For example, to slice ingredients safely, you’ll need a sharp knife. A cheap, dull knife simply isn’t going to cut as smoothly as a high-quality blade, such as a Japanese knife. One of the reasons why professional chefs use Japanese knives is because they are extremely sharp and precise. So, when you purchase cooking equipment, make sure that the tools you bring home are long-lasting and high-quality.
All experienced professional chefs clean as they cook. Cleaning as you go ensures that you have plenty of space to cook. Additionally, cleaning as you go is much easier than waiting until you finish cooking to tidy up. (Would someone please explain this to my husband?) When you wait, the mess becomes larger and larger until it seems overwhelming, so it’s best to clean here and there as you cook.
This advice might seem odd, but home delivery meal kits are a great way to hone your cooking skills. You’ll get fresh, healthy ingredients delivered right to your house along with step-by-step cooking instructions. It’s a great way to try recipes and cuisines that are out of your comfort zone, as well as to learn to cook with unfamiliar ingredients.
I’ve tried a bunch of the meal kit services and my two favorites are Blue Apron and SunBasket Meals. I’ve been a Blue Apron customer for years, but recently I switched to SunBasket as I’ve been trying to eat lower calorie dinners. I like that there is no minimum order and they have lots of low calorie, paleo, Whole30 and vegetarian options. Their receipes feature organic produce and proteins and their packaging is recyclable. Most important, the recipes are really yummy! Check out my unboxing video. If you want to try SunBasket you can use my code to SAVE $90 ON YOUR FIRST MONTH.
Food waste is a giant pet peeve of mine. Everyone has food that gets pushed to the back of the fridge. Professional chefs try to avoid wasting food and ingredients since they can usually transform them into delicious dishes. Maybe you have wilting celery or squishy tomatoes in your fridge. While these might not be the best ingredients for a salad, you could certainly add them into a homemade stock, soup or a bolognese for some extra flavor.