Cooking is not everybody’s forte. But, an individual who has great cooking skills won’t find it hard to impress his guests. Whether your guest is your new boss, colleague or friend you have to make sure that each food you offer is worthy of praise. If you want to impress someone with your cooking, there are things that you need to consider first. Some of these are the following.
- Know just how well you can cook.
Not unless you’re Joël Robuchon or his famous mentee Gordon Ramsay, cooking the most complicated meals won’t be an issue. But, if you wanted to impress someone with your cooking but are not that confident about your cooking feat, it is best to go the safest way and that is to cook simple and quick yet delicious recipes. However, if you really want to show off that inner chef in you, go ahead and start whipping up a perfect beurre blanc while keeping your eyes closed. In other words, once you decide to impress someone with your cooking, make sure that the recipe you’re about to cook is something that you know pretty well. Corrie’s recipes, from the website Corrie Cooks, will help you earn that positive compliment you’ve been yearning for. Do your homework and see what recipes are perfect for the occasion you’re cooking for.
- Start cooking ahead of time.
Plan your recipes and consider cooking some of these in advance. For example, if you’re planning to offer cakes or tarts for dessert, have these completely prepared ahead of time. If there’s a recipe that has to be cooked in the oven, better start doing the legwork earlier in the day. This way, you won’t have to find yourself frantically juggling between several dishes that need to be finished at once. It is best to cook the easiest recipe by the time your guest arrives. This will greatly spare you from having to look too tired and sweaty in front of him or her. Knowing that there’s only one recipe left to cook would make you feel less stressed while you’ll also have more chances to enjoy your conversation together.
- Perform a practice run for dishes that are a bit complicated.
Just in case you couldn’t resist your eagerness to cook a dish that’s a bit complicated, make sure to perform a practice run at least a day before your scheduled “big day”. Do this to ensure that any potential issues that you may encounter while cooking this recipe will immediately be addressed. Avoid cooking something for the first time while your guest is already in the kitchen with you. You could end up feeling so pressured that it would be too difficult for you to perfect the recipe. But, when you practice beforehand you will have greater chances of gaining that good impression that you’re dying to have.
- Tidy your place in advance.
Nothing disappoints your guest more than seeing clutter all over your kitchen and dining room. Make your place look more special by decorating in advance. Lay out all the nice cutlery and avoid doing it during the last minute.The table should be all set up just before your guest shows up at your front door. Your place should look impressive even when your cooking gets too intense. Tidying up and decorating your place in advance will eliminate much of the stress that you may feel when your guest comes in. It would also be easier for you to just focus on your cooking if you know that you only have one meal to prepare and that you won’t have to worry about where to put the table napkins, forks and other cutlery.
Not sure what to cook ? Consider following these menu planning tips:
Think of a recipe for an appetizer that’s easy to prepare, delicious and light. Some of the best appetizers include salad or soup. For as long as you have a blender then it would be so easy to prepare a pureed soup. Think of a good tasting main ingredient such as carrots, pair it with a vegetable or chicken stock then mix it with your chosen aromatics like chopped onions, celery and some ginger. Toss these into your blender, add some salt and pepper or more water, if necessary.
If you prefer to have salad for your appetizer forget about those boxed mixed greens. Opt for something more exciting such as roasted beets, asparagus and cauliflower. Add more fresh veggies such as baby kale and arugula. Before plating, don’t forget that Caesar or any other punchy dressing.
You may also opt for crab meat salad, mixed with diced avocados, vinegar and olive oil. Wrap these in a warm flatbread and voila! You now have quick and delicious appetizer.
The best recipe for a main course would be a stew or braise. With these, you won’t have to worry about cooking it an extra several minutes since it could hardly be noticed once it is poured in a pot. But, an overcooked roast chicken will most likely make you earn two thumbs down. This is why it is better to opt for slow-cooked meals which do not require you to be hustling at the stovetop. You can have a braised beef, lamb, shanks or dark-meat chicken, depending on your preferences. But, if you insist on having a roasted meat for your main course, note that the oven will serve as your best buddy. When roasting, the process have to be “low and slow”. This will spare you from the hassle of poking and prodding your meat for 20 minutes while praying that it gets perfectly done. Roasting it slow in a low fire gives you more chances of hitting its ideal doneness. The result would be a truly impressive dish.
Desserts don’t have to be complicated and fruits won’t let you down. Think about cutting a ripe peach in half then have it broiled with a little amount of black pepper and brown sugar. Garnish it with whipped cream before serving.
You may also have seasonal berries for your dessert. Drizzle it with balsamic vinegar and add a pinch of salt and sugar. Don’t forget to serve it on top of vanilla ice cream.
Make sure you’ve taken these tips by heart before donning an apron and unleashing that inner chef in you. Remember that practice makes perfect, so never get tired of practicing if you really want to make cooking as your skill. By the time you’ve mastered the art of cooking it would become easier for you to impress just about anybody.