1. It may actually be easier to prepare a glamorous dish (foreign name and all), than the run-of-the-mill dishes you’ve been eating all your life.
2. Read all the way through a recipe first; check to be sure ingredients are at hand. You will save time and achieve bet ter results if you understand, in general terms, what you are going to do before you start to do it.
3. Never try to make more than one unfamiliar recipe for the same meal! A wise chef never tries a new recipe when there is “company,” either. Always get the recipe under your belt at least once before you attempt to produce it with eclat for strangers.
4. Accurate measurements are essential; accurate timing is essential. Never hesitate to make your personal penciled comments next to the recipe; the annotated cookbook is a chefs most valuable possession.
5. Gourmet cookery requires the best quality in ingredient. Please, no substitutions 1 Real butter, real cream, the freshest mushrooms, the best olive oil… all are essential for a gourmet dish.
6. When there are 4 or 6 people for dinner, the chef dictates the schedule: Finish the drinks, wash the hands, and sit down! But for more than 6 people (even if they will be formally seated at the table), it’s wise to plan a main dish that can only improve with overcooking!
7. Wipe meats, poultry and fish on paper toweling, rather than washing-and never season before cooking, as this toughens the flesh. Seasonings go into sauces, or should be added at the end of the plain-cooking.
8. Spaghetti sauces, curries and stews are easy ways to use up leftovers-the easiest things to stretch for unexpected guests-and the simplest things to prepare when the cook wants to enjoy the fun as well as set a distinguished meal on the table.
Stewart Alves is semi-retired and spends his increased leisure time researching old time cooking recipes, healthy eating options and re-publishing out of print cookbooks and recipes. Find out more about gourmet cooking at his “Easy Gourmet Cooking ” blog http://gourmetfood4us.blogspot.com/