Written By: Writer
A lot of people have sat watching a cooking show and thought “I wish I could cook like that!” While fine cooking certainly does take years of dedication, fine-tuned skills, and vast experience, it doesn’t exclude the everyday person from being a little more adventurous with their own culinary ventures. Changing how you do things in the kitchen can be a little daunting, but with a little know-how and imagination, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few tips and tricks for getting yourself started on a new culinary adventure.
1. Take what you know and expand on it. Whether you have already existing repertoire of recipes, or you’re totally new to the game, it’s good to start with the basics of what skills and knowledge you already have. A standard, familiar recipe can be altered and shifted to create something new and exciting. Take a waffle recipe for instance. Try substituting regular milk with almond milk (1),and exchanging vanilla extract for caramel extract. The almond milk adds a hearty, nutty flavor to the waffles and the caramel extract brings in a sweet, buttery note to the dish. Just these couple of substitutions delivers a new dynamic to a breakfast classic.
2. Don’t be afraid to be bold! Everyone has their favorite flavor combinations and sometimes it’s the contrasting nature of those flavors that bring a dish alive. Try combining different flavors to come up with something unique that excites the palette. One seemingly odd but bold combination is adding spice to chocolate (2). A hint of cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a basic chocolate sauce can bring something that’s ordinary to the level of extraordinary! The sweetness of chocolate combined with the heat from the spices sets off a new dimension of flavor, giving off a delectable sweet heat. A spicy chocolate sauce could be served over ice cream, used as a glaze for a cake, or even drizzled over fresh fruit. This is just one of many examples of the limitless combinations that can be put together to create something delicious. Just remember- don’t overdo it! Sometimes less definitely is more, and too many flavors can become muddled and lost amongst each other. Try different!
flavors together to see what you can create!
3. Allow for trial and error. Just like scientist testing a hypothesis or a writer brainstorming a new novel idea, creating in the kitchen is subject to both successes and failures. Some substitutions can throw off a dish’s cooking time, or some flavor combinations might contrast in a negative way, leaving the dish to be dissatisfying. The key is to not get discouraged when things don’t go right. Take your failed experiments as learning experiences, and try a different approach next time around. When successes do happen, embrace them and take what you’ve learned to and apply it to future projects. While those chipotle flavored egg rolls might not sit well with your stomach, don’t be afraid to try, try, and try again!
4. Learn, learn, and learn some more. Whether you’re a seasoned cooked or a complete novice, adding to your knowledge base is always necessary. With new and innovative ideas being brought to the table every day in the culinary world, everyone can always learn something new. Reading cookbooks and culinary magazines, trying out new recipes, exchanging information and ideas with other people, watching cooking shows or online tutorials- these are all resources that are available to most everyone! Take some time to learn a new technique or a new recipe. Whatever it is you want to learn- the knowledge is out there and ready for you to grab it!
Taking the steps to be creative in the kitchen starts with the self. What has been provided here is a basic guideline to help you get some ideas on the table and get that imagination pumping. Now take those ideas and make them happen!