Italian Chicken Marsala is simple, flavorful and quick to prepare. Golden, pan-fried chicken breasts are smothered in a de...
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If you really want to learn how to cook, then you need to practice the concepts taught in this lesson. We've compiled some "edible exercises" along with some supporting recipes that will help reinforce what was taught in this lesson.
The next time you plan a meal, think about the key points identified in the lesson. Often, ideas of what ingredients to use and even deciding what cooking techniques to apply are drawn by the images created in the mind, prior to cooking and before you even shop for the ingredients. Think about the ingredients you are using – the size, shape, color and texture of each component of the dish. Think about the cooking methods that you plan to use to cook each component.
Once you decide on what to make, draw a rough sketch of how you plan to plate the dish. This exercise is extremely useful. You may find that by drawing out the dish, one of the components will change. Drawing forces you to think about how the components will interact with each other on the plate. Visualize the dish and ask yourself a few questions for the most appealing look:
1. Is there enough texture, color and contrast on the plate?
2. What cooking methods are being used? Is everything cooked in the same manner?
3. Does each component demand last minute attention? Will the food suffer as a result?
4. To ease any stress, can a component be cooked ahead and finished just before plating?
After plating your dish, evaluate the presentation. Would you do anything different next time? You might even want to write down some notes on your drawing. Start a file and keep your notes for future reference.
When you start practicing, keep the components simple and focus on cooking the food properly and making it taste great, because ultimately, that is what matters most! Here are a few combinations to get you started.
In partnership with:
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver