With Australia in the midst of a cooking resurgence, it’s no surprise that 87 percent of respondents enjoy preparing a homecooked meal for family and friends. However, the survey also lifted the lid on the pressure cooker, with the majority of these food lovers (74 percent) admitting to being nervous about hosting a dinner party.
While Aussie home-cooks are most worried about people not enjoying the meal (64 percent) they will be relieved to know nearly all dinner guests would most like to see a familiar meal on their plate, with over half of the respondents (57 percent) stating they’d rather have an everyday food such as pasta or roast lamb that is cooked to perfection.
“Most dinner guests just want a delicious home-cooked meal, so it’s worth thinking about how you can take the stress out of entertaining, simply by putting a twist on a recipe you feel comfortable with,” said celebrity chef “Fast Ed” Halmagyi. “When I have friends over, I like to select a dish that everyone knows and loves – but incorporate a simple twist to make it my own.”
Food coming out on time caused concern for almost a quarter of home cooks (22 percent), which shows an opportunity for frazzled cooks to add quick and easy flavor boosts that easily maximize the taste of food.
“Herbs and spices are the best way to liven up your every day cooking, adding flavours and aromas that bring creativity to your meal and leave an impression on your guests,” said Ed. “Focussing on quick and easy dishes that I’m comfortable with also means I get to spend more time chatting at the table than slaving in the kitchen.”
Although cooking for strangers causes the most fear overall (42 percent), over a quarter of the Aussies surveyed (29 percent) admitted to being most nervous cooking for their friends, followed by 14 percent who most fear their in-laws.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re entertaining, there are certain meals that are fun to make, and sure-fire crowd pleasers,” said Ed. “Cooking should be enjoyable, not a chore, so put a simple twist on a meal you’re comfortable with bring a touch of creativity to the table.”
Garlic, mixed herbs, basil, and Italian herbs were voted the four most popular MasterFoods Herbs and Spices respectively, while the most underused were revealed to be saffron, chicken salt, nutmeg and Moroccan seasoning.