Home & FamilyChoosing the Right Ingredients for Perfect Meals Every Time

Choosing the Right Ingredients for Perfect Meals Every Time

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you can’t live without? Do they have a signature dish that makes them famous in your town? What is it that makes that dish so special? Chances are, it’s because they are using the right ingredients. The good news is, then, that you can recreate your favorite restaurant meals at home.

perfect mealImage Source: Pixabay

You see, making scrumptious meals isn’t just about measuring, cooking at the right temperature, and precise preparation (although all of those are important). When you use just the right ingredients for all of your food and beverages, every single dish comes out perfect! In fact, choosing the perfect ingredients can transform any dish from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’.

So, how do you go about choosing the right ingredients? Whether you want to wow your family every night at the dinner table, or you are entertaining family and friends, there are a few basics to keep in mind when planning your menu, and choosing just the right ingredients for each dish.

Syrups, Sauces and Spices

saucesImage Source: Wikimedia

These can be used for both food and drinks and can add that wow factor you’ve been craving. There are a wide variety of syrups that can make any beverage ‘pop’. For example, Monin syrups have a great selection of natural, concentrated and fruit purees that will suit almost any drink recipe.

When you’re choosing sauces and syrups, it’s important to read the label, and when possible, choose low-sugar varieties.

Spices are at their most flavorful when they’re fresh, so don’t keep them in your pantry for too long (ideally, not longer than six months). Blending spices together can be a great idea if you’re cooking with dry rubs or preparing a marinade. For example, Mexican dishes will benefit from a combination of cumin, chili powder, oregano and cayenne.

Vegetables

vegetablesImage Source: Pixabay

When you’re choosing vegetables, fresh is always best. You’ll have to educate yourself somewhat so you know which vegetables are in season when, and how to tell if they’re ripe in the grocery store. For example, Brussel sprouts and asparagus should have bright hues, while lettuce, kale, peas and spinach should be crisp to the touch.

Fruit

fruitsImage Source: Pixabay

Again, fresh is always best, and you’ll have to learn how to tell which fruits are in season, and what to look for in ripeness. Ripe bananas, for example, are not bright yellow, but will have light brown spotting. Cantaloupes should not be rock-hard, but have some give. Some fruits are ideal for cooking, such as Macintosh apples, while others are better eating raw, like the bell-shaped pear.

Meat

meatImage Source: Maxpixel

The type of meat you choose comes down to mainly two choices, regardless of whether you’re cooking beef, chicken, lamb or pork: tender vs. lean cuts. When choosing your meat, look for a moderate amount of fat marbling, and few connective tissues. Lean cuts of meat are ideal for slow cooking and braising. Choose your meat carefully, as this is usually the cornerstone of your dish, or the “star of the show”. Choose wrong and your whole meal will be a disappointment, no matter how great your side dishes are.

And, of course, whatever you’re cooking, you gotta add some love! That’s why grandma’s dishes always tasted so good! Nothing can replace the love and care that goes in to preparing a meal for your family that will be remembered for years to come. Use these tips to help make sure that your meals make memories!
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