How to Elevate Home Cooking according to 6 Experts

Culinary experts have curated six essential tips to assist home cooks to develop their cooking skills.

City Style and Living Spring 2024 Six Expert Tips To Elevate Home Cooking Healthy Tartine
/ K&S Media

In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, the financial strain can impact our choices and how we spend our money. So much so that Retail Insider reports that 51% of Canadian restaurants are now operating at a loss due to soaring operational costs and food expenses.

In fact, another recent survey of 5,521 Canadians by Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, unveiled that a staggering 88.3% of Canadians are opting to dine out less due to higher food prices, underscoring the far-reaching impact of rising costs on consumer behaviour.

That’s why in times of uncertainty, when finding the motivation to cook can be challenging, meal-box delivery company, Chefs Plate, emphasize the impact on both mental well-being and financial stability to embrace home-cooking. Their culinary experts have curated six essential tips to assist home cooks to develop their cooking skills.

City Style and Living Spring 2024 Six Expert Tips To Elevate Home Cooking Caesarstone cutting board
/ Courtesy Caesarstone

1.  Build Flavour with Aromatics

Instead of just seasoning, perfect the use of aromatics like garlic, onions, and ginger. Sautéing these ingredients at the beginning of your dish can add depth and richness to your meals.

▶ For instance, finely chop garlic and onions, then sauté them in olive oil until they become fragrant. This forms a flavourful base for dishes like spaghetti bolognese or stir-fried vegetables.

2. Perfect Your Rice Cooking Technique

Rice is a versatile and inexpensive staple. Learn the right water-to-rice ratio and cooking time for your preferred texture. Perfecting rice opens up a world of budget-friendly meal possibilities.

▶ For fluffy rice, use a 2:1 water-to-rice ratio. Bring the water to a boil, add rice, cover, and simmer for 18-20 minutes. This skill opens the door to dishes like budget-friendly vegetable stir-fry with rice.

3. Utilize the Power of Herbs

Instead of expensive spice blends, explore the world of affordable dried herbs like oregano, thyme, and cumin. They can elevate the taste of your dishes without breaking the bank.

▶ For example, mix dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary into olive oil and use it as a marinade for chicken before roasting. This simple herb blend enhances the taste without the need for expensive spice blends.

City Style and Living Spring 2024 Six Expert Tips To Elevate Home Cooking Caesarstone All white kitchen with marble
/ Courtesy Caesarstone

4. Embrace the Versatility of Eggs

Eggs are not just for breakfast. Mastering egg cooking techniques provides endless meal possibilities. Try techniques like frying, poaching, and scrambling. They are affordable, protein-packed, and can enhance a variety of dishes.

▶ For a budget-friendly dinner, incorporate eggs into a savoury vegetable stir-fry. Crack eggs directly into the pan and scramble them with a mix of colourful vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and snap peas. Season with soy sauce and serve over cooked rice for a quick and satisfying meal.

5. Create Flavorful Homemade Sauces

Making your own sauces is simpler than you may think. Instead of store-bought sauces, learn to make homemade sauces using basic ingredients for a tastier and fresher alternative to store-bought options which often requires little time and effort.

▶ Try mixing crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, and dried basil to create a simple and flavourful pasta sauce. Alternatively, consider making an easy homemade stir-fry sauce by combining soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey.

6.  Learn Kitchen Basics

Get familiar with fundamental kitchen tools to enhance your cooking. Understand the specific pots, pans, and utensils, and learn the basic knife skills required for a variety of dishes. This knowledge forms the basis for confidently tackling a diverse range of recipes.

▶ For instance, using a non-stick skillet to make an omelette or a cast-iron pan for searing steak or roasting vegetables. Learn basic knife skills, including chopping, dicing and slicing, to streamline preparation. These basics will serve as the foundation for effortless cooking, saving you time and effort.

Get More Inspiration
from City Style and Living

City Style and Living Magazine Spring 2021
City Style and Living Cover Fall 2022
City Style and Living Cover Summer 2019