Con-artist cooking

Gazpacho

Janice Harper over at Huff Post Food has a really fun article for people who don't like to cook - and, frankly, even for those of us who love to cook but just may not be up to the task at the moment. In her piece, "Con-Artist Cooking - How to Fake It If You Really Can't Make It, " she has 10 clever little tricks to help the not-so-savvy (or the tired savvy) around the kitchen:

  • A good presentation does wonders for a mediocre meal.
  • If you don't have enough sauce to drizzle, spoon it on.
  • Use cookie cutters.
  • Garnish with flair.
  • Grind your salt.
  • Remember: certain things get thicker and richer when you crank up the heat and boil them down.
  • Most food is ruined when it's over-cooked, over-complicated, or over-processed. Keep it simple.
  • When in doubt, watch You Tube.
  • Remember, even if your con game fails and your guest turns out to be a culinary genius, they'll adore you. 

Her explanations behind each of these are down-to-earth and funny. Oh, and we won't tell if some of our great cooks use a few of these tips now and then. As Harper concludes in her 10th tip: "Finally, remember the three principles of the con: greed, social compliance and distraction.Your guests are greedy for a good meal, a good time, and easily distracted. So tousle your hair, unbutton your clothes, and drizzle them with your talents. After all, when con-artist cooking meets con-artist dining, everyone ends up laughing."

P.S. We thought this gazpacho photo captured some of these hints extremely well - and gazpacho is a beautiful thing. Here are some online gazpacho recipes from the EYB library if we've inspired you.

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