10 Ways to Be a More Creative Cook
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newbie, cooking can be a great deal of fun, rather than a daily chore. Try these inspiring ideas the next time you work with wok and ladle. Bon appetit!
- Make friends with individual flavors. For example, if you have always used a mix of herbs to top your pasta or pizza, try just one the next time. Get to know its full flavor, aroma and texture. This will help you put the herb to more creative use.
- Use kosher salt instead of regular table saltókosher salt brightens flavor and lends an interesting touch to food.
- Cook with kids. They don’t have preconceived ideas of what a dish should look like, so they can kick start your imagination, too. I once asked my son to shape cookies, and he created the most amazing whirlies. From then on, we became regular partners in the kitchen.
- Give yourself an occasional challenge. Take four ingredients, for instance: flour, sugar, butter, milk. Now try to create something from these without thinking cake/doughnut/pancake. Who knows what you might come up with!
- Wherever possible, use something nourishing instead of fattening. For instance, I like to load my pizza with colorful veggies instead of full-fat cheese. The pizza tastes amazing, and it is good for me.
- First learn a few recipes until you know them to perfection. Then bend the rules: add or substitute an ingredient. For instance, pancakes. Go beyond fluffy: fold poached pears into them and give them a luscious name to make them sound more appetizing!
- Every weekend, try one new recipe.† And while youíre at it, donít go strictly by the book: itís always fun to play around with ingredients and ideas.
- Alter your cooking techniques from time to time. For example, we in India have a standard recipe for potatoes and cauliflower, which is to stir fry them in a little oil, with spices such as turmeric and coriander. One day, I chose to roast them in olive oil with herbs and coarse salt, and suddenly, the everyday veggies took on an exciting new avatar.
- Brighten up your kitchen. Stuck with boring counter tops and sink? How about attractive ruffles, herbs on the windowsill, your favorite cookbooks, a splash of fresh paint? The attractive decor will coax you to discover the chef within!
- Donít be afraid to experiment with new ingredients, but do it in small quantities, so that even if a dish goes wrong, itís only a mini disaster!