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High-quality ingredients are a cook’s best friend. Fresh seasonal produce, succulent meat, and the perfect herbs and spices will transform any dish into a masterpiece. The wrong ingredients, on the other hand, can ruin what would otherwise be a delicious dish!
Check out our most popular articles and advice on finding and utilizing the perfect ingredients.
Eating fruits and veggies with every meal can do wonders for your health! When you use high-quality produce, you will actually look forward to eating your vegetables.
Look out for locally grown produce, and shop in-season. That means you will be enjoying more winter squashes, citrus fruit, and root vegetables in the winter, and berries, avocado, and peppers in the summer.
Because there are so many variations of some fruits and veggies — like onions — it is important to be able to distinguish between the different types and understand when and how to use them.
Grab the perfect cut of meat
Brisket, flank steak, sirloin, short loin… finding the perfect cut of meat can be confusing! Learn the differences between the most common cuts of meat that you might want to use, and how to prepare them properly.
Each cut requires different treatments. Sourcing your meat from local and organic farmers will not only help your local economy but will also result in higher-quality and more delicious dinners.
Because meat is often the centerpiece of the meal, the quality of the meat makes a huge impact. From Thanksgiving turkey to beef brisket, to juicy grilled pork chops, our recipes will teach you how to prepare any type of meat.
Pantry staples to have on hand at all times
There are some ingredients that you should always have on hand. Essential baking ingredients include all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and butter.
Pantry staples like beans (canned or dry), tomato sauce, pasta, and rice will ensure that you always have ingredients on hand to whip out a quick dinner.
You’ll also want to keep spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, and thyme in your cabinet. You will be surprised how many recipes you can make with just the pantry essentials.
Pair with the perfect sauce
Sauces are one of the most important elements of any dish. Store-bought salad dressings and bbq sauces are fine — but they are surprisingly easy to make at home!
If you want to master sauces, the first things to learn are the basics of roux and the five mother sauces. It will all come together from there as you are able to build a strong base for any sauce and tie it back to its mother sauce.
Measure your ingredients accurately
Beyond having the correct ingredients on hand, it’s important to understand how to measure them.
Do you measure your flour and sugar before or after sifting them? Do you use a dry measuring cup to measure liquids? How do you double (or halve) a recipe.
Understanding measurement basics for both dry and liquid ingredients, and keeping a measurement conversion chart close at hand will ensure accuracy whenever you are cooking from a recipe.