Category Archives: Beginner

10 First Dishes To Master

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All people who learn to cook always start with preparing a specific meal. Thus, for beginners, one of their major problems is choosing a meal that they should prepare as they start their journey with the art of cooking. Fortunately, some chefs offer advice regarding the meals that aspiring cooks should try preparing first.

  1. GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH FRIED EGG

Preparing this meal allows people to practice controlling temperature and using butter without burning it. Moreover, they become familiarized with the concept of caramelization. When preparing their first grilled cheese sandwich with fried egg, aspiring cooks should use white bread and American cheese.

  1. PIZZA

People should not be afraid to get dirty when cooking. Thus, they should not be afraid to make pizza. They can use bread, pasta, gnocchi, or dumpling dough. Though cooking pizza can mess up the kitchen very badly, it can be a very fun activity.

  1. RISOTTO

Beginners should also try cooking risotto but they should take note to use hot stock and cook risotto for no more than 20 minutes. In cooking risotto, people should be very attentive to detail.

  1. ROAST CHICKEN

People can roast chicken with basic roasting pan along with potatoes and root vegetables. Large pieces of root vegetables should be cut into smaller piece in order to cook them evenly. Ideally, chicken is roasted for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Before roasting the chicken, people should rub the meat with the right seasonings and place some herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, inside. Sea salt and cracked pepper should also not be forgotten. Meanwhile, some people also squeeze oranges or lemons on the outside before rubbing the seasonings.

  1. SPAGHETTI/CARBONARA

Everyone likes pasta, that is why preparing spaghetti and carbonara is perfect for those are just starting to cook. Preparing such kind of meals only requires only a few ingredients but requires a lot of steps. Still, these pasta meals can be prepared within 10–12 minutes.

  1. APPLE PIE

Making apple pie requires skills in peeling, removing seeds, and monitoring the apples. Moreover, people will also learn how to follow a recipe, understand important things about the fruit, and ensure that the pie’s crust turn flaky. In addition, the good thing with cooking apple pie is that people can still eat the food even when they fail to make a perfectly looking pie.

  1. WHOLE ROASTED FISH

People may use branzino or trout for roasting because they are easily cooked. They should just wait until the dorsal fin pulls right out.

  1. CREAM-BASED SOUP

Cooking cream-based soup only requires basic ingredients, such as garlic, onions, vegetables; chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water; and cream and butter. However, people should focus on the amount of salt that they add and the taste of the soup.

  1. MARSHMALLOWS

Marshmallows should be enough to entice people to try baking. Preparing marshmallows starts with mixing corn syrup, sugar and water. The mixture is then boiled to 250 degrees then cooled to 212 degrees afterward. After cooling, the mixture is poured onto standing mixer with gelatin, whipped, and poured into brownie pan. Then, after cooling, the resulting marshmallow is cut into desired shapes.

  1. GARDEN SALAD

Knowing how to prepare garden salad is important for anyone who is learning to cook. In relation to this skill, beginners should learn how to prepare a really good vinaigrette. Vinaigrette can be prepared by pounding a fresh clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle, adding some salt and good quality vinegar, and whisking in olive oil, salt, fresh cracked pepper, and diced shallot.

Cooking Tips For Beginners

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Cooking can be a scary thing to do for some individuals. This fear entails the thought of learning complex and hard-to-cook recipes. However, unbeknownst to a number of people, cooking delicious meals can be achieved by learning cook techniques that are quite easy to learn. Some these techniques are as follows:

  • BOILING PASTA

Pasta is fairly easy to prepare. Preparation of pasta should start with filling a large pot with two-thirds water. More water prevents pasta from sticking to the pan while cooking. Then, one teaspoon of salt should be added with every gallon of water used. After adding the salt, the stove should be turned on and set to high fire. The pot is next placed on the stove and heated until the water starts boiling. As soon as water boils, pasta is then added to the pot. To know when they should start adding the pasta to the pot, people should stir the water and observe when the bubbles no longer go away. One pound of pasta is then added to the pot and cooked for 8–12 minutes.

After 8 minutes, the pasta can be checked to see whether the noodles are already cooked. This step can be accomplished by biting a firm noodle and checking whether the inside is slightly soft and chewy. After boiling the pasta, a colander is placed on the sink and pasta and water are poured out from the pot.

  • CUTTING/CHOPPING VEGETABLES

Cutting vegetables requires the use of large cutting board. However, vegetables should be washed and dried first. The non-dominant hand is used for holding the vegetable. A knife with a clean edge should be used for hard vegetables, whereas serrated ones are normally used for breads.

When cutting, the vegetable is placed on the cutting board, whereas the fingers holding it are curved with the nails touching the vegetable; this ensures that the food remains steady on the cutting board. People should avoid laying their fingers flat to avoid cutting themselves.

Meanwhile, the dominant hand is used for holding the knife. The knife is gripped with the index finger on the top, non-blade side; the thumb should be found on one side of the handle, whereas the middle, ring, and pinky fingers are placed on the other side. Downward motion of the knife is used to slice the vegetable. The vegetable is moved using the non-dominant hand.

  • SAUTEING MEAT

Sauteing meat is an effective technique for preparing moist and delicious entrees efficiently. In sautéing, a large, wide-rimmed and heavy-bottomed pan should be used. As a tip, people are discouraged from using non-stick pans. Sautéing starts with heating the pan to medium-high. Then, they should check the pan’s heat by placing their hand two inches from the surface. The pan is hot enough when they can only place their hand over the pan for a moment. After heating the pan, olive oil is added and allowed to heat before addition of the meat.

The meat should be dry enough before placing them on the pan. Dryness increases the chances of cooking meat with crisp crust. The meat is added to the pan with heat oil. People should be careful not to place too much meat on their pans. While cooking, people should wait until one side turns brown before they flip the meat. The same step is also done on the other side.

  • SCRAMBLING EGGS

For breakfast, people love to eat fluffy and lightly scrambled eggs. The key to cooking such ideal food is by using the right type of pan and mixing the eggs just-so before cooking. First, the eggs are cracked, and all the contents are placed in a large mixing bowl. Then, the eggs are mixed by mixer or with a whisk. People should be careful when using a hand mixer. To make their eggs creamier, people may add milk to their eggs.

After mixing the eggs, a non-stick pan is heated to medium-high temperature. A piece of butter is melted into the pan before the eff mixture is added. After setting on the pan, people can use plastic spatula to break the eggs apart while cooking.

  • STIR-FRYING

Stir-fries are very easy to prepare and can be used for preparing healthy meals. Before stir-frying, people should prepare all their ingredients first. The ingredients are then cooked quickly under high heat. Stir-frying requires the use of a wok or wide-bottomed non-stick pans.

Meat and vegetables are first cut into bit-sized pieces. Then, canola oil is added to the heated pan at high heat. Tossing a bread crumb can be used to check the hotness of the pan; when the crumb starts sizzling, meat ingredients are added to the pan and cooked until they turn brown. Then, the meat is removed and vegetables are added next to the pan. People should remember to only cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes. After cooking the vegetables, the meat is placed on the pan again, and soy sauce or hoisin is added for flavor. Stir fries are normally served over rice.

  • COOKING WITH A SLOW COOKER

Slow cookers are perfect those without experience in cooking. All ingredients can be poured into the pot in just one go and people can have a good meal when they come home. However, using slow cooker is not without its downsides. Slow cooking may remove all flavor from the ingredients placed in it. Meanwhile, meats may become mushy when they are cooked too long in slow cookers.

Learn How To Cook

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Most people love to eat, but cooking meals seem to be a very daunting task. Thus, some end up living on sandwiches, pizza, and take-out meals. Moreover, some people are only capable of cooking simple dishes.

No matter how hard it looks, it will be of great important if people learn how to cook. Learning how to cook is one of way of changing one’s lifestyles. In Feast Bootcamp, people are guided in developing their own cooking habit. This program has unveiled the reasons why people find cooking hard. In fact, they have succeeded in helping people overcome their fears in cooking.

LEARNING HOW TO COOK

When learning how to cook, people must be ready to take on the challenges that they may face. Moreover, they must prevent themselves from making excuses not cook. Examples of such excuses include the following:

  1. LACK OF TIME

A lot of people use this excuse to avoid cooking. However, this can be easily overcome by thinking by changing people’s manner of thinking.

Lack of time to do something depends on people’s priorities. Thus, no matter how they hard to try, people will not learn how to cook if it’s not that important to them. In this regard, people will have to recognize the importance of cooking. This means giving up some unproductive activities and revising schedule when necessary.

Issue in lack of time can be overcome using the following procedure:

  • MAKE A LIST OF DAILY ACTIVITIES

People must first make a list of the activities that they do everyday and determine how much time they spend for each.

  • CONSIDER THE PRIORITIES

People should determine which of their activities they can give up for cooking. These things may include watching TV or lessening the time for hanging out with friends.

  • TRY OUT THE NEW SCHEDULE (THAT IS, WITH COOKING)

For one week, people should try if they can commit on cooking meals for themselves. Afterward, they should assess whether they can move forward with changes in their schedule.

  1. AVERSION TO WASHING THE DISHES

Dislike for washing the dishes is only natural as most people do not like cleaning in general. However, this task is part of the whole cooking procedure. This challenge can be overcome by the following:

  • MAKE WASHING THE DISHES PART OF COOKING TASK

While waiting for something to cook, people may already start cleaning the dishes. This way, they will not spend much time in washing reaming utensils after their meals.

  • CHANGE OF MINDSET

Instead of thinking washing the dishes as a task that must be accomplished, people should consider it as an activity to take their minds away from some matters that bother them. Though some utensils are hard to wash, cleaning them may help in clearing the minds of people. Moreover, to add some fun, people can listen to music while washing the dishes.

  • SEEK HELP

In some cases, trading chores work for people. For instance, in exchange for cooking, individuals may ask roommates to wash the dishes.

  1. COOKING IS NOT REALLY FOR THEM

Most people learned how to cook because their parents taught them to do so. However, some were not provided with such experience. Yet, it is not too late for such individuals to learn how to cook. They are instead advised to do the following:

  • START SMALL

Before they try cooking anything, people should learn some small but important skills in cooking, for example, properly placing the pot on the stove. Then, they should try some learning basic cooking methods, such as boiling. Starting in small cooking habits will greatly aid people in becoming accustomed with cooking.

  • BE REALISTIC

Most people think that learning how to cook requires learning complex recipes and cooking techniques right away. However, these things are improbable to achieve at first try. They should focus first on learning the basic skills and develop them until they become ready to tackle on more complex cooking practices.

  1. DISLIKE FOR GROCERY

Some people are quite open with the idea of cooking but they are not very fond of the idea to going to the grocery and buying cooking ingredients. This negative thinking can be changed by the following practices:

  • ALWAYS KEEP THE KITCHEN STOCKED

People should allocate part of their budget in buying constantly needed cooking ingredients, including spices, flour, sugar, and so on. This way, the time they spend in the grocery is lessened.

  • SET A SCHEDULE FOR GROCERY SHOPPING

Some remarkable cooks follow specific schedule for their grocery shopping. Such routine aids in making people accept cooking and shopping for ingredients as part of their daily life.

  • CHECK OUT THE LOCATION

People can easily reach the grocery if they are aware of the store’s location. Checking out the location or looking at the city map is a great help for those who are not frequent grocery shoppers. They should also learn the layout of the grocery so that they will have no trouble in finding the things that they want to buy.

  1. NOT KNOWING WHAT TO COOK

Contrary to what most people believe, cooking is not just about learning recipes. What is more important than learning recipes is learning some techniques and modifying recipes according to people’s instinct. People should not aim at cooking something that is served in fine dining restaurant but meals that can satisfy their stomachs.

  1. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IN COOKING TECHNIQUES

People need to worry about mastering cooking techniques. As long as they are able to chop and cook, then there’s no need to aim for perfection. People should go for it and be not afraid to commit mistakes. If necessary, they should consult recipe books or the internet for things that they are unsure about.

  1. BEING A BAD COOK RUNS IN THE FAMILY

Though some people may not be talented in cooking, it does not mean that they will never learn to do it. However, as pointed out by science, man has inherent nature for cooking. This is best exemplified by historical evidence showing that the genus Homo, even in ancient times, learned how to cook.