Whether you’re having guests over for a dinner party or you’re simply preparing a dinner for your family, you want to be able to prepare tasty dishes that impress all who taste them. The tips in this guide will help you to prepare restaurant worthy food, whatever the occasion. Read on to learn how!
Make Sure Your Presentation Is 5 Star
Although the taste of your food is of the utmost importance, you must make sure your presentation is 5 star too. Giving your guests an incredible food presentation will make the dish appear even more mouthwatering. They’ll likely decide they love it in their heads before they even taste it!
But how exactly can you make sure your presentation is a cut above the rest? The easiest thing to do is invest in a bunch of white plates. White plates help to show off the colors of your dish more. You can also then decorate with the likes of fresh herbs and a little sauce. Asymmetry is welcomed in dishes, so don’t think that everything has to be perfectly symmetrical to be a success. Make sure you leave a bit of white space on the plate too. You want your guests to have enough to eat, but you don’t want to fill the plate as this doesn’t look very good at all.
It sounds cliche, but with something like this, practice is going to make perfect. Practice presentation even when you’re just cooking for yourself, and it’ll make a massive difference when it comes to serving for other people. Don’t just focus on the presentation of your food either; make sure your table is set well, and that you present yourself well – in a good mood! All of these things will impact your guest’s overall experience! It isn’t just about the food, it’s about everything else involved too.
Use Fresh Produce As Much As Possible
It goes without saying that it’s far healthier and tastier to use as much fresh produce as possible when creating dishes to wow your guests. Make sure you shop at a reputable store, and check the dates to ensure your food is as fresh as can be. Using fresh herbs and vegetables adds color to dishes and really does make a huge difference to the flavor. You can look online at Unsafe Foods to get an idea of what not to buy, if you want to make sure your dishes are completely safe for your guests to eat.
Frozen and canned foods can work too, of course. If you’re really strapped for time or money, of course you can use those instead. It’s just worth remembering that for special occasions, fresh produce looks better, tastes better, and is often healthier.
Know How To Buy Quality Produce
It isn’t enough for stores to tell you that they sell quality produce. Make sure you know what to look for. Know what color quality cuts of meat should be. Know how to buy quality vegetables. Make sure they’re just right and ready to cook or eat raw. They shouldn’t be too ripe or not ripe at all.
Know What Beverage To Serve With Your Meal
Sometimes, the beverage you serve with your meal can actually make or break it. If you’re having a dinner party, make sure you carefully look for the right wine to go with the food you’re serving. The flavors will dance on the palate of your guests and make them enjoy your meal even more. You definitely don’t want any clashing flavors going on that could distract from your dish and the effort you’ve put into it.
Reading labels carefully is a super simple way to do this. You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to serve the best beverage for your guests.
Get The Portion Sizes Right
Portion size is a huge deal. Ideally, you want your guests to feel satiated but not stuffed. You don’t want them to still be hungry after their meal, though! Ensuring you stick to portion sizes as recommended by your recipe and carefully weighing them out will be a safe bet. You can also place nibbles on the table, such as breadsticks or something a little more creative to ensure that your guests have enough to eat.
However, it’s worth considering the theme of your night before you decide how much food to serve your guests. For example, Italian portion sizes are often huge! If you’re hosting an Italian night, you want to make sure your guests have ample, even oversized food on their plates.
Add Some Citrus
If your dish is lacking a little something in flavor, try adding some citrus, with some fresh lemon or lime. This can also balance the flavor out, and works for both sweet and savory dishes. You could give each person a chunk of their own so they can control how much they put on. However, this is up to you. You could even use a splash of vinegar. This can work for salads, stir fries, and so much more. You won’t believe the difference that a tiny splash of citrus can make!
Get The Pan Super Hot
Getting the pan super hot is crucial if you want a delicious dish, whether you’re cooking tofu or meat. The pan needs to have a decent amount of oil in it (if the produce calls for it), and you really can’t be afraid of using a hot pan. This will sear your produce and make it super crispy and tasty. If there are bits left at the bottom of the pan, don’t waste them. Scrape them up and them to your dish to add an even tastier flavor.
One helpful tip that will make sure you take your food out of the pan as delicious as can be: don’t mess with it in the pan. People tend to want to mess, move the meat around, flip it and all sorts while it’s cooking. If it needs to be flipped halfway, of course you should do that. However, messing with the food too much is going to impair the look and the flavor.
Do The Taste Test
You can’t serve something to your guests without tasting it yourself. Do the taste test as you cook. Just make sure you’re hygienic! Taste your dish after each added ingredient, and stop when you feel it has hit peak flavor. Make sure that you taste from a clean spoon and put it in the wash after. Don’t continue to stir your dish with the same spoon you’re tasting from. This might be fine for your close family, but dinner guests wouldn’t like it. Think about how you’d feel if you found out someone had done that to a dish you were served!
Invest In Your Meat
Investing in your meat comes with many benefits. One of the main benefits being that you have to do very little to it for it to taste incredible. Doing this every day of the week is not realistic, but doing it for a special occasion is definitely a good idea. Instead of trying to find the cheapest cuts, treat your guests to something spectacular. You’ll barely need to add anything, and only need to ensure that you’ve cooked it the way your guests like. You can then serve with something so simple, like buttered asparagus. Your guests will love you for it!
Get The Timings Just Right
When it comes to cooking many things, it’s all about timings. Steak is one example of this. Cook it for a minute too long and it can go from medium to well-done in a flash! Make sure you know exactly how long you should be cooking something for. It can make the difference between serving something juicy and delicious, or dry and unappetising. Make sure the temperature is right, and you won’t need to check it every few seconds to make sure it’s cooking. Just set a timer and trust it!
Whether you’re cooking steak or a simple egg, timing is everything. You can find helpful timing guides online, so there’s no need to guess. It’s a good idea to try cooking something for yourself i’m advance, before you host a dinner party, if you’re nervous about trusting these timings.
Invest In Decent Appliances and Tools
Although cooking delicious restaurant worthy food isn’t about your appliances, they can make a huge difference. Having the right tools can add a better texture to your food, make it easier to prepare, and help your presentation. If you’re serious about your cooking, find the right appliances. They’ll take you far! Plus, they’ll usually make your kitchen look better too.
What do you think of these tips to help you prepare restaurant worthy food? Start using them today, and the more you practice, the better your dishes will be. If you have some tips that you swear by, leave them below. You might even come up with a few tips of your very own after building confidence and experimenting a little. Thanks for reading!