January 04, 2012
Once you have your kitchen equipment and larder ingredients to hand and know which fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts are best to buy each season, there are a few general cooking tips I’d love to share with you.
Cooking is made easier when you have bench space around you – when I cook for any more people than just Colin and me, I clear away any clutter so I have as much bench space at my disposal as possible. And I do think it helps to create a pleasant atmosphere, so the next thing is to open as many windows as you can, and, if cooking during the day, let in the natural light. Then there is the issue of music – for me it’s either classical or jazz, played very loudly when I’m alone in the kitchen. I’m happy to temper this a little if I am accompanied by a willing helper who has a glass of wine ready for me – and having someone to help with the clean-up rounds off the whole experience!
Some of my key essential ingredients and cooking tips:
There is no reason not to have something beautiful to eat at every meal, every day. This doesn’t mean being a slave to the kitchen or having to spend a fortune; It is all about understanding the things that will make cooking easier, knowing what questions to ask of your providores and what to look for when shopping for ingredients. I hope that the following tips on ingredients I love, and techniques I use all the time, will help you to achieve success in your kitchen.
My Four Rules for Fail-safe Results:
- Find the freshest and best possible produce to cook, and treat it with care
- Keep it simple, especially when cooking for friends – don’t become hooked on showing off for dinner parties
- Get all the ingredients out before you start (if you are really keen, you could even measure them first)
- Have the right tools and equipment to hand