Jesse Szewczyk graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and now writes for Buzzfeed. He shares some basic tips for making your home-cooked dishes taste more like what you'd get in a top restaurant. If you've been cooking for a long time, you might know some of these things already, but it's always good to have a refresher course. For beginning cooks, it's an eye-opening list.
5. Completely dry your meats before cooking them.
Whether it's roasted chicken or seared scallops, drying them ensures you'll get a crisp, golden skin that won't stick to the pan. Pat them dry with paper towels or let them air-dry in the cooler for a few hours before cooking them.
6. For maximum flavor, toast your nuts and spices.
Toasting nuts and spices brings out their flavors and takes your cooking to a whole new level. For spices, give them a quick toasting in a dry pan over low heat or bloom them in hot oil. For nuts, toast them in a 350° F oven for 10-15 minutes before cooking with them.