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(BPT) - Whether dining out or watching chefs whip up gourmet foods on TV, you may feel inspired to add a little pizzazz to the meals you make at home. However, you may not have the time, energy or resources to spend hours in the kitchen creating upscale fare.
Fortunately, there are a few incredibly easy cooking strategies that can transform any mediocre meal into a masterpiece that will impress the eyes and the palate. In mere minutes you can upgrade your dishes, you just need to embrace your inner artisan to make every day gourmet.
Tip 1: A sprinkle of parm
Known as the "king of Italian cheeses," Parmesan is a versatile cheese that adds flavor and visual appeal to virtually any dish. Upgrade to Stella Organic Parmesan cheese — carefully aged for over 10 months to give it a distinctive and slightly nutty flavor. A quick sprinkle and you have a mouth-watering dish for a holiday celebration or an everyday feast.
Tip 2: Drizzles of fine oils
No matter the dish, a drizzle of fine oil can give an elegant finish to any dish. But what's more impressive is the flavor depth this smart addition can provide your recipes. Make sure to use fine cooking oils to ensure the desired effect, such as high-end olive, avocado, toasted sesame seed, peanut or walnut oils.
Tip 3: A slice is nice
At fine restaurants, most dishes come with a garnish. Adopt this strategy at home, but skip the ho-hum parsley in exchange for something delectable. A small wedge of cheese is the perfect plate accompaniment. Try a hearty slice of sweet, buttery Stella Fontina, a rustically-cut chunk of robust Stella Gorgonzola or a circular slice of milky, Stella fresh mozzarella.
Tip 4: A sprinkle of gourmet salts
Forget table salt, today's top chefs are experimenting with specialty salts that bring new sophisticated flavors to dishes of all kinds. You can mimic this movement at home by adding a quick dash of the most in-demand salt varieties to your own kitchen creations. Try pink Himalayan, fleur de sel and smoke-infused options — you won't be disappointed.
Tip 5: Fresh herbs
A fantastically healthy way to upgrade your meals is to make use of fresh herbs. Whether folded into foods or chopped on top, the fragrance and flavor boost you'll enjoy will make you feel like you're dining at a 5-star eatery. From fresh rosemary and chives to sage and oregano, fresh herbs are guaranteed to leave a lip-smacking impression, and adding them to foods takes just a few extra seconds.
Want a simple recipe that utilizes these gourmet food tricks? Click to watch a video featuring savory Cheesy Parmesan Crusted Crescent Rolls by Stella Cheese.