I love cooking! When I have the time mind you. I always aspire to have my food look like that on Masterchef. Taste good and just look good too! I love these tips from Jenny on how to do gourmet cooking on a budget.
Sometimes you get tired of making chicken nuggets or grilled cheese and you crave the finer foods in life. When you aren’t sipping from your kid’s apple juice you daydream about yummy meals that you once attempted to prepare but quickly toss away the idea because of how much groceries can add up. But cooking like your favorite five star chefs doesn’t have to be expensive. There are some tricks of the trade that can help maintain your budget while still satisfying that hunger for fine dining.
1. Look for the special offers: Lots of recipes require the best cuts of meats and the spices that are harder to find. A grocery store tip is to shop right before their meat truck comes in. Right before shipment, stores will put all their meats on sale to make room for the new batch. Stock up and then store in a freezer. Also buying spices can get expensive; don’t be afraid to use any vouchers and special offers!
2. You don’t need expensive spices and garnishes: A good thing about gourmet recipes is that they don’t always use that much of a certain spice. If good idea is to find other recipes that require the same spice. So many times people buy expensive spices and never use them. As for garnishes, don’t be shy. Garnishes are a great way to spice up your dish by adding that little extra something to the taste. Maybe a little tomato relish?
3. Substitute certain ingredients: Most of the time the reason we love a dish, happen to be because of the sauces, marinades, spices and flavor, not so much the meat. If the recipe requires you to use veal, try swapping it out for chicken. Some special sauces require a certain dry wine that could cost you a pretty penny. Skip the fancy name brands. No one will ever suspect a thing.
4. Think outside the box on presentation: Want your meal to look expensive? Make it pretty? Who said looks aren’t everything… well in cooking they mean a lot. Try using a lot of color on the plate. If you are cooking a creamy chicken pair it with flavorful green vegetables. And a few fresh herbs on top. And don’t forget the garnishes and to always clean up any messes on the plate.
So take the kids to visit their grandparent’s house for the night and prepare a lovely meal for two. There are many ways to make your meal gourmet without breaking the bank. Find recipes that are good for substituting ingredients and that don’t use the most expensive of proteins. If there is a will, there is a way and that definitely applies to working in the kitchen. Start shopping and start cooking, here’s to a meal that is under budget and over flavorful!
What are your budget gourmet cooking tips?
Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for the topics of au pair. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @ gmail.com.
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