WHEN you're cooking on a budget, it's hard to make meals look as good as they taste – luckily, one professional chef has three cheap items to help.
Frozen grocery store meals can resemble Michelin-starred fine dining with three additions recommended by TikTok chef Zoe Barrie.
To transform any meal, Zoe recommends adding a sauce or finishing oil, a textural element, and a pop of color.
The chef demonstrated the process with an "average-looking pasta dish" – the corn and burrata ravioli from Trader Joe's with a brown butter corn sauce.
The chef says that even though the dish is delicious, it resembles vomit – which is where the meal makeover comes in.
"Ideally the sauce or the finishing oil is a relevant or nicely-paired taste to whatever it is that you're eating," Zoe said as she added a shallot-infused oil to her pasta.
The chef drizzled one or two circles around the meal for decorative design before adding a textural element.
For her specific dish, Zoe added homemade garlic bread crumbs.
"These bread crumbs are not only going to provide added flavor, but they're also going to add a different texture to that soft ravioli."
Finally, the chef recommends that amateur cooks top their dishes off with a pop of color – either an edible flower or if possible, an herb.
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"One thing that separates home cooks from restaurants is the use of fresh herbs," Zoe advises, using fresh basil as her pop of color to complete the pasta dish.
To go even further, Zoe uses Maldon flaky sea salt to "add that last minute taste and crunch – so again, more texture."
"If I was served this in a restaurant, I would be very excited to eat this dish. Before – not so much."
She concludes her demonstration with a taste test, saying that the heightened meal is the best version of that ravioli that she's ever had.
Another home chef shared six tips to help amateur cooks – including how to cook rice and how to keep yourself from crying while slicing onions.
We also share four kitchen hacks to keep your space clean as you cook.
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