How to learn to cook well: the sixth sense of the dish


While cooking, we are accustomed to trusting the five senses, but there is one more thing, the sixth “feeling of the dish,” which unites all five and provides a conscious cooking process. How to develop the sixth sense of the dish and each time to cook better and better - read in this post.

Here's an excellent kitchen tip: when you roast the nuts in the oven, leave one of them on the cutting board and you will never forget about toasting nuts, which means you will not burn them.

As you prepare the other components of the dish, this nut on the cutting board will interfere all the time, it remains only to remember why you put it here.

This is one of the examples when vision helps you, not smell, because when the smell of nuts comes to smell, most likely it will be too late.

It may seem that cooking is most important to taste. There is even something like a mantra among cooks: "Always try what you cook." But we try food not only to determine the taste, but also to evaluate what is produced in general.

Each of us prepares food, relying on all five senses. They are all necessary, and here's why.

Not only the taste, but also the rest of the senses.

It would seem, why use a rumor while cooking? In fact, it is of great importance. For example, by the increased hiss coming from the frying pan, you can understand that the melted fat from the bacon was heated to a high temperature and there was not much cooking left.

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The smell is also an important part of the process, and not just as a signal that the dish is ready (or spoiled), but also as an indicator of what stage of the process you are at.

For example, if you finish cooking additional ingredients for the ribs that are roasting in the oven at this time, and you do not feel the delicious smell of roasted meat, it's time to check the oven. Maybe you forgot to turn it on. If, on the contrary, you smell the roast meat too early, you need to reduce the heat so that the meat does not burn.

Touching is also very important, and it is worth paying attention to, because in the struggle for sterility and the absence of any bacteria, some people are afraid to touch the food.

We touch the dough to see how it has risen; we intuitively press on the steak to see how well it has prepared inside; we touch the tip of creme brulee to appreciate how smooth and brittle it is, not soft and sticky. So do not be afraid to touch your food - this is the only way you can understand how well a dish is cooked before you begin to eat it.

Vision, of course, is also very important. By color, you determine that pine nuts have been fried, or you see that fried chicken looks just fine and it's time to get it out of the oven. You can see how the vegetable oil behaves when you pour it into the pan, and by this determine how well the pan is heated and whether it is possible to start frying already.

However, this is not all. It turns out that it is important not only to evaluate the dish on the look, taste, smell and texture during cooking, but also to imagine the dish before you started cooking.

Introducing the finished dish

The presentation of their food is of paramount importance. What you expect to see in the end is an important part of the process.

For example, when you are preparing a sauce, you must imagine in advance how thick it will be in the end. You should see it in your imagination. Then, when you add all the ingredients of the sauce and stir it, the picture of the finished product should be in your head, so that you gradually bring it closer to what is being translated into reality.

You have to imagine what color your perfect fried chicken will be, what ratio of broth to other ingredients will be in the soup and how much fat will be in bacon.

But there is one aspect that can interfere with presenting the perfect dish and bringing it to life. This is your environment, which can greatly affect the way of cooking and the result.

Michael Ralman, the author of books on the art of cooking, told a story that perfectly illustrates this fact.

Michael studied at the school of cooks and worked at the grill station in the courtyard of the school restaurant. A student named Chen was cooking a sauté right in front of Michael, and his grill station was literally littered with all sorts of garbage: pieces of food, bits of burned paper towels, covered with salt and pepper.

Dan Tergen, a cook instructor, saw this mess and, despite the lack of time, decided to intervene in Chen's work, because the student clearly needed a lesson.

“When I sink into the waste, when I really start to sink into the cooking waste, I stop,” said Terjeon. “I say:“ Wait a second! ”- and I start washing my station.”

Then the cook took out a bucket of sanitary liquid, which was necessarily present at each grill station, and with an exaggerated slow motion began to wash the Chen station. When the student’s workplace was clean again, without stains and debris, Terjean straightened up and said:

When you work in the trash, the mess begins to grow. And if you look inside your head, there will be the same.

This is actually the case. What your eyes see in their surroundings affects the image of the finished food in the imagination. Disorder confuses you.

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If something that is not related to cooking is on the kitchen table or cutting board, for example, pieces of bread, salt, crumbs or, even worse, car keys or glasses - remove them before you start cooking.

Remember that all your five senses — taste, touch, hearing, sight, and smell — merge into one more important feeling.

Feeling dishes - the sixth sense of a good cook

This cannot be written in the recipe, and Google will not help you find the Bolognese sauce, but it is crucial in the ability to cook well. Unfortunately, at home, people often lack this feeling.

The feeling of the dish is a combination of all the other senses. It makes you clean up on the kitchen table, before you start cooking, add more salt or lemon juice if you try the soup and it clearly needs to be enhanced.

This feeling includes the experience that we continue to accumulate throughout our life. When you first cook steak, you still can not determine whether it is ready inside or not, just by pressing on it.

But when you fry it, cut it and see that it is ready inside, it is important not only to find out, but also to remember the feeling of roasted steak. The next time you do not have to cut it - you can squeeze the steak in a frying pan, remember this feeling and understand how ready it is.

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The moment you remember what your cooked (or undercooked) steak feels like, you get the feeling of this dish.

Chef Judy Rogers of Zuni Café prepares an excellent roast leg of lamb. And she does this not because she is a great cook, but because she has fried thousands of legs of a lamb and paid attention to each one, memorized all the deviations during cooking and added them to her cooking experience. And it is this ability that makes people great cooks.

All our senses merge together to form the most important component - awareness. Keep your attention. Use all your senses.

Enjoy the texture of homemade pasta, the view of roasted chicken, the aromas of the kitchen, the taste of raw tomatoes, slightly salty and still keeping the sun warm from the garden, the sounds of oil squeezing in a frying pan.

And never forget that it gives the feeling of the dish that you cook. Our world gets better when we cook for the people we love. Well cooked food provides health - ours, our family members, our environment.

This is exactly the feeling that cooking gives you and which will help you prepare consciously and really well.