Many individuals enjoy cooking and some may even be considered gourmet chefs. Most all college students realize that home cooking is not only healthier, it is generally less expensive than any other alternatives. A gourmet chef requires a number of items in the kitchen in order to prepare elegant meals. This number may be reduced to two main categories for listing purpose. These two important elements are quality cooking utensils and the proper food items. It is difficult to stuff everything that is needed to prepare a gourmet meal into a tiny kitchen. This is why it is best to stick to necessities and use a little of the chef’s imagination while stocking the kitchen.
Essential Food Items
There are numerous food items that make cooking easier as well as assist in lending meals that gourmet taste. One of these is herbs or spices. Salt and pepper do deserve their due; however, there are a handful of others that should be considered. Some of these are onion and garlic powder, bouillon cubes, and baking spices such as cinnamon. Extracts are another item which greatly enhances flavor. A few of basic examples are vanilla, orange, and lemon. These may be used for both sweet and savory dishes.
Another type of spice available is premixed seasoning combinations such as lemon pepper or season salt. These are less expensive than purchasing a separate container of each of the ingredients and they require less space. A dash of salt and garlic powder added to a can of green beans does not make them gourmet. It does create a side dish that is much more palatable.
The type of cooking medium that is used to prepare meals is extremely important to flavor and quality. Frying potatoes in vegetable oil often makes then tastes like fast food French fries. On the other hand one tablespoon of butter, or olive oil for those who are health conscious, creates an entirely different flavor. Remember to keep a few sauces and dressings on hand to add flavor to dishes. Dressings are not simply for salad they may be added to casseroles and stews or used as marinades.
It is important when equipping a kitchen to do so with superior quality items. It may seem like a good idea to purchase less expensive cookware; however, it is not. Cheap cookware is just that, cheap. For one it contaminates the taste of the food, especially once the pans begin to flake, and they will flake. Once this happens they will be trashed and new ones purchased which does not save any money. Pans that are flaking and/or cheap do not cook food properly which effectively destroys the aesthetic appeal. Believe it or not, this in turn further alters the taste of the food.
The best type of cookware to search for is designed from hefty weight stainless steel, aluminum, or anodized aluminum. Each pan should have a very thick bottom and a lid, preferably made of glass, which has a small hole. If an older family member is offering their old cookware, do not refuse simply because it is used. It is difficult to afford quality cooking utensils on a college budget and theirs most likely is of a high quality. To properly stock the kitchen at least one 12 inch skillet should be obtained. If it is possible, an 8 and 10 inch skillet will come in very handy as well. Also look for one medium sauce pan and one large stock pot.