onionringcheeseburger.jpgWhen Pinterest came out, I was fascinated by the beautiful recipes. I’d pin all the perfect photos of meals, appetizers and cocktails from food bloggers, hoping that one day, I’d have the skill to prepare something just as flawless. However, while their dishes are pretty to look at, there is no way I could replicate them without food styling. That being said, though I can’t copy the experts’ artistic presentation, they occasionally have great tips and tricks to help with the cooking.

Still, the options on Pinterest can be overwhelming, and it’s too easy to pin something and forget about it. That’s why I’ve almost abandoned Pinterest and have started using apps again: following one cooking influencer is much simpler than doing a random Google/Pinterest search. Here are two free apps to turn you into a culinary pro.

Buzzfeed Video

Say what? This isn’t a cooking app. Or is it? Along with all the other content, it has a cooking series called Tasty. These beautifully produced video segments are usually less than a minute long and give you step-by-step instructions on preparing the most ridiculously delicious entrées or appetizers. I follow the series on Facebook and am amazed how people with varying degrees of culinary experience can actually make the recipes the hosts present. They break it down so well that you feel confident enough to test it out. Why didn’t I think about preparing Cheeseburger Onion Rings for my next BBQ? I will now! The app let’s you go through its database of experimental recipes and gives you a snapshot of how each is prepared—and then you decide if you could actually do it. Warning: it’s highly addictive.

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ lb cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large white onion
1 cup flour
5 eggs, beaten
3 cups panko bread crumbs
Oil, for frying
Ketchup, for deliciousness

Directions

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat to 350℉

In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Peel and slice the onion into 1-centimeter rings, and detach the rings from each other.

Take a spoonful of the beef mixture and press it into the bottom of a ring.

Push a cheddar square into the center of the beef.

Seal the top with another spoonful of the beef, pressing it flat.

Repeat with the rest of the rings.

Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into three separate bowls.

Dip a ring into the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, the bread crumbs, then back to the eggs, and one last time into the breadcrumbs.

Repeat with the remaining rings.

Fry the rings for 5-6 minutes, until deep golden-brown.

Drain on a paper towel, then serve with ketchup!

Jamie Oliver

lambchops.jpg

Jamie Oliver is one of the most famous chefs in the world and arguably the first to become a brand. I would only expect that he and his team would produce a visually inspiring application that would keep people coming back. The app is free, but there are premium features that obviously come at a cost. Remember, Oliver is a brand and needs to make money somehow. Nonetheless, you’ll get a lot out of the free version.
The app offers a number of unique collections, such as cheap and cheerful, guilty pleasures, and ten- to twenty-minute meals. When you find something you like and are ready to make it, there is a “Start Cooking” option. You’ll be navigated to photos that illustrate the steps to preparing the dish. It’s like you are actually cooking with Jamie Oliver—sort of. If you’re a visual learner, this feature will be useful. The next meal I’ll be making is this Lamb Racks, Roasted Vegetables & Mint Sauce. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 quality 8-bone rack of lamb , fat removed
  • 1 2-piece pack quality lamb neck fillet , approximately 250g
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • white wine vinegar
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes on the vine

 

Directions

 

Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Put a large frying pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Fill and boil the kettle. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Halve the rack of lamb, then season with salt & pepper and add to the frying pan with a lug of olive oil.

Wash the potatoes and trim the tops of the carrots. Add everything to the large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Rip the leafy tops off the bunch of mint and put aside for the mint sauce. Make sure the band is still around the stalks, then add them to the saucepan. Just cover with boiled water and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Put the lid on.

What’s your favorite cooking app? Share with us in the comment below.

squarepan.jpeg Square Grill Pan  tfal.jpg
T-Fal Actifry Deep Fryer