Although she rarely makes recipes she sees on cooking shows, Abby Slutsky often watches them for many other reasons.
Why I Watch Cooking Shows
I enjoy cooking and have my own baking business. Although I watch cooking shows occasionally, I almost never make the recipes on them. Why? Many of the recipes, but not all, do not meet my dietary needs. Given the baking business, I like to save the little butter that I do eat for desserts. Nevertheless, there are other reasons to watch celebrity chefs cook on television.
1. Get Ideas for Beautiful Plating
Did you ever notice that the finished product almost always looks beautiful on a cooking show? When celebrity chefs plate items, they usually use vegetables and garnishes that add color and pop to the dish. Sometimes they will drizzle a deep vinegar or colorful sauce on the dish that adds interest and vibrancy. Eating is an activity that incorporates more senses than taste, so getting ideas to improve the visual appearance of your food is useful, especially if you enjoy entertaining.
Furthermore, if you are someone who does not cook, but occasionally reciprocates when you are invited to a friend’s for a meal, you can make market food from the prepared counter more special if you know how to make it pretty. Frequently, it just requires arranging it on a plate, adding a little parsley or dusting it with some seasoning or fresh herbs. A cooking show can help you learn how to plate with ease.
2. Find New Recipes to Modify to Your Taste
You can make a healthier version of almost any recipe with a few minor tweaks. Try reducing oil and replacing it with some with chicken broth. Use less salt or a salt substitute. Change the dish by adding more vegetables. Use half the amount of butter that the celebrity chef uses. Ideas are endless, and you can make a similar, stream-lined dish that the celebrity chef made.
So, yes, although I do not make many recipes that are identical to the ones made by celebrity chefs, some of their recipes are a good base for dishes that I would eat. I just have to modify them for the way I cook and eat. This is not to say that I do not occasionally make a celebrity chef recipe as it stands, but it is rare.
3. Get Great Ideas for How to Use Leftovers
Some cooking shows will make more than one dish out of the same main course. If your household is anything like mine, sometimes the leftovers just do not get eaten. However, if you can turn them into a whole new dish, your family gains new interest in leftover food. This is especially handy for holidays that showcase large pieces of meat or turkey. You do not need to follow the exact recipe to get ideas for what to make out of leftover food.
4. Learn New Techniques
Sometimes I see a cooking technique that I do not use when making a particular food. For example, most of the time I am a boil the corn girl. Nevertheless, the char marks on grilled corn are attractive and give the vegetable a summery look. Recently, I tried the grilled version of corn, and it came out quite well. Best of all, I did not have to clean a pot.
5. Steal Their Time-Saving Ideas
Sometimes watching a cooking show can give you ideas for saving time when you cook. Picture the typical celebrity chef making a recipe. Usually all of the ingredients are measured out before the celebrity chef is making the dish for the audience.
After a long day, you may not feel like spending 45 minutes or more cooking dinner. Suppose you pre-measured all the ingredients the previous day or in the morning before work? Your 45-minute dinner would be a lot faster to make when you are tired, and the cleanup would be less extensive because any utensils from the prep would already be put away.
6. Try New Food Combinations
Occasionally, food shows will pair foods together in a recipe that I might not think of on my own. Nevertheless, the combinations sound and look good, so they encourage me to experiment with those ingredients to create a new dish that expands my palate. Other times, the combination might be something I would never make, but if I see it on a restaurant menu I might be tempted to try it.
7. Reinforce Your Love of Food
Let’s not forget that not everyone who watches cooking shows has the desire to learn how to cook--some may hate cooking. Nevertheless, they love food and may even enjoy talking about their next meal. Cooking shows can give people inspiration for their next meal, even if they do not intend to cook it themselves.
Regardless of whether you intend to cook the recipes that a cooking show shares, watching a celebrity chef may help improve your enjoyment of food.
© 2021 Abby Slutsky