Want To Improve Your Cooking? Here’s What You Need In Your Kitchen

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One of the easiest ways to become a better cook is to stock your kitchen with some key ingredients. You will certainly be surprised at how much top-quality ingredients can improve an everyday dish. And sometimes, they can be very forgiving to cooking techniques that aren’t so professional! So even if you are terrible in the kitchen, some important ingredients can really transform a dish. And after a bit of practice, you may even become confident enough to host your very first dinner party! So what do you need in your kitchen cupboards to improve your cooking? Read on to find out!

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Seasoning

Salt and pepper aren’t so important, right? Wrong! These two little pots that sit on your table are two of the most important ingredients in your kitchen. They shouldn’t just be used to sprinkle salt and pepper onto your finished meal. Move them closer to your hob so you remember to use them throughout cooking. But why are they so important? It’s all to do with flavors! If you add salt and pepper correctly, your food won’t taste salty or peppery. Actually, they can help enhance all the other natural flavors of the food. Especially when it comes to meat. In recent years, there has been a lot of bad press against salt as many people believe it is unhealthy. However, if you season during cooking and not at the table, you won’t be using too much. When you are frying meat or vegetables, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the pan. After a few minutes, taste the ingredients and see if you need more. But be careful not to add too much, though – you just need to bring out the natural flavors and not make the dish salty.

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Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is very concentrated tomato sauce. It is jam packed with flavor, and just a small amount needs to be stirred into a pan of meat and vegetables to give the meal a rich umami flavor. You can use it with tomato sauce or without. Using it with will add an extra depth to the sauce’s flavor. You don’t just have to add tomato paste to a pan during cooking, though. It also works very well on homemade pizzas. What’s more, it is extremely cheap, and you can find it in almost every supermarket. Once you’ve opened it, remember to keep it in the fridge as it has quite a short shelf life.

Vinegar

There are so many different types of vinegar, it can be easy to lose count! But you will certainly find a type to add to your dish, whatever you are cooking. Vinegar is an acidic ingredient, and its acidity can bring out lots of flavors in a dish. It’s a form of seasoning, just like salt and pepper, and works in much the same way. Make sure you have a number of different vinegars in your kitchen. Each one is perfect for certain dishes and can bring out subtle differences in flavors. Not sure which vinegar you should be using in your dish? Try to go by the vinegar’s color. Red wine vinegar is perfect for tomato sauces and rich beef dishes. Whereas white wine vinegar is best added to creamy sauces and fish dishes. Apple cider vinegar is another common one. This tastes great in sauces and gravies that will be served with pork.

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Condiments

Condiments are things like tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, and other sauces and dips that you put on your meal at the table. Even though you don’t necessarily cook with them, they are still crucial in helping a meal taste great. If you just buy the budget brands, you will find that they lack depth to their flavor. Obviously, the more you spend, the better product you will have. However, that doesn’t mean you need to blow your whole budget on them. Sticking to mid-range condiments is perfectly fine. There are lots of new exciting brands on the market these days, most of which put modern twists on traditional recipes. And certain brands, such as Hampton creek in Walmart, offer quirky recipes that go great with a variety of meals. Are your kids refusing to eat your healthy meals? Let them add a tasty condiment to add some natural sweetness to their food!

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Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Not only does olive oil taste delicious but it also keeps your heart healthy. So there is no wonder why so many people have a bottle in their pantry. When you are out shopping next, try to find extra-virgin olive oil. This type is unrefined and has a very pure color and flavor. However, one thing to bear in mind with extra-virgin olive oil is that it has a low smoke point. This means it smokes at low heats. When this happens, the oil can turn carcinogenic. So remember only to cook with extra-virgin olive oil at very low temperatures. For frying and oven roasting, stick to other oils. Extra-virgin is perfect for making dips and salad dressings, though. Mix it with a drop of balsamic vinegar to create a delicious dip for bread. It’s so tasty; you may never go back to spreading butter on your bread! It also works wonders in cakes as well. There are many baking recipes that use it as a substitute for butter. This gives the cake a fantastically rich flavor and makes it slightly healthier!

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Organic Ingredients

When it comes to all your other ingredients and foods, try to find organic versions. Organic food is renowned for being good for us as it is not exposed to organic chemicals. It is also often fresher than non-organic food, so you can be sure it is always of a high quality. When you are buying meat, try to find cuts and joints that are from animals that were free range and fed on natural ingredients. It is thought that an animal’s diet has a big impact on the flavor of its meat. So for the best flavor, stick to the best cuts of organic meat.

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