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How to become a better cook

How to become a better cook

A recipe can be a starting point for a meal, inspiring with its combination of flavors or techniques. In this case, you do not need to read it carefully. But when you’re starting out, reading the recipe before you start cooking and then following it precisely will ensure you learn something new and progress.

Look for clues, not hours. Consider cooking times as a guide and instead use all of your senses while cooking, paying close attention to the visual, auditory and olfactory cues listed in the recipe. Are the onions just translucent or deeply browned? Should the stew simmer gently or boil vigorously? Following these indicators will lead you to a tastier result than any timer.

Think critically about the exchanges. Precision is essential for baking and pastry recipes, which often don’t appreciate exchanges. On the other hand, savory cooking can accommodate substitutions with ingredients that cook the same way. For example, tender herbs, such as cilantro, parsley and dill; root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and turnips; and hearty greens, like kale, escarole, and collard greens, can often be substituted.

The biggest mistake new cooks make is forgetting to taste their dishes. You have to season in stages, throughout the cooking process, and remember to taste along the way. Sometimes that means tasting things you might not want, like briny pasta water, unctuous dressings, and chalky spices, but it’s the only way to ensure your food is seasoned to perfection. heart rather than superficially. This will also allow you to identify flavors that might be going off the rails and control them before it’s too late.

You can instantly find thousands of roast chicken recipes online, but the internet is also full of photos and videos of perfectly prepared meals taken during the golden hour. It’s easy to get discouraged when there are so many things to compare. When I started cooking, I only had a few cookbooks, most without photos: I didn’t know if the dishes I was making were “right”, which meant I could enjoy the extraordinary feat to prepare a meal for me. If you get something edible, it’s a win.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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