Watching My Kitchen Rules has been my recent guilty pleasure, especially with the two hot hosts. Although, I wish the editing was less misleading and the voting system more honest, but cook-offs are the only reality show that I find enjoyable.
While watching the show and listening to the judges’ comments, here’s my advice to make your own kitchen rule:
1. Theme your menu – try to stick to one cuisine, so that each dish harmonises with the next and provides a pleasing flow for the palate. Choose dishes which are popular over your own personal preferences.
2. Choose dishes you are familiar with – ones that you have cooked before and practiced so you’ll know the pitfalls ahead of time. If a dish is particularly difficult, eg Hollandaise sauce, make sure you leave time to start again if needed.
2. Preparation is key – write down your shopping list and instructions on what to do and when (also agree beforehand who will do which task). Use a timer.
3. Have a backup – always make a few extra, especially when baking, in case one of them breaks while unmoulding. Ring your suppliers to check they have your chosen produce, before you drive out there and know where else you can purchase if they are out of stock.
4. Make a dish your own – experiment with one or two of the ingredients or add a different accompaniment. Relatives can be a great source of original recipes.
5. Don’t play with your food – Restaurants cook what is popular and sells, so to get high scores with guests aim for dishes that appeal. Turning up the heat won’t give the dish the right texture if you don’t give it the time it needs.
6. Avoid using gadgets and the microwave – Pie makers are cool for kids and weekends but you can control the cooking in the oven better. Microwaving changes the nature of food and is also hard to predict. The one exception here is the ice cream maker (now that is cool).
7. Consider taking one thing off the plate – Girls, usually it’s the necklace or earrings when you go out. The same theory goes with plating up a dish. Make sure each ingredient plays a role. Don’t drizzle truffle oil on just because its expensive.
8. Keep it simple and let the key ingredients shine. Choose ingredients that are popular – avoid blue vein cheese and overpowering flavours.
9. Add a sauce.
10. Always taste test your dish and then season.