How to Cook for Just One or Two People

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How to Cook for Just One or Two People

My go-to fall roast this year was butternut squash plus grapes, which I folded into a farro and arugula salad for lunch and added to yogurt with honey for breakfast the following morning. In a way, cooking represents my journey with self-growth.

If you rely on the time listed on the recipe, you may end up eating much later than you planned. Use dry measuring cups (right, plastic) for dry ingredients and wet measuring cups (top, glass) for wet ingredients. Read the entire recipe thoroughly to make sure that you have all the tools and ingredients you’ll need, and that there are no timing surprises that will have your meal finished at midnight.

A class could provide a valuable intro to a specific type of food, like Chinese dumplings or pizza dough. There are even classes that can help aspiring cooks practice their fundamental knife skills.

Using a high-quality, sharp knife in the kitchen can save you from frustration as well as potential injuries from trying to saw away at something with a dull or blunted knife. For beginners, a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated bread knife are all the cutlery you’ll need. Because you’re sticking with basic recipes, you can keep your cooking equipment simple, too. When you first start learning to cook at home, all you need is the bare minimum of cooking supplies.

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Even if you fall in love with cooking throughout the learning process, there will be days you don’t have the time or motivation to whip up a full meal from scratch. Cooking some meals in bulk so you have enough leftovers to store in the freezer will provide you with a good back-up dinner plan for busy days. Just like a reliable set of pans is a must, well-made knives are crucial for good cooking.

How to Make Vietnamese Pork Chops (Thịt Heo Nướng Sà)

I started with next to nothing and did the best with what I was given. While it wasn’t the greatest, those frozen meals kept me alive until I could get to a point where I had the resources and time to make something better for myself. Even then, I still needed a taste of something great to convince myself learning how to cook would be a worthwhile task. I still break the occasional egg or burn toast, but ultimately I’m happy with the meals I make for myself. Other people might not enjoy my recipes or think they’re good enough, but I do and that’s the most important thing for me. Written by professional chefs, each free cooking lesson on Chef2Chef features up-to-date culinary tips and advice as well as tons of tasty recipes. Topics include basic cooking techniques, seafood, meat, and vegetable preparation, and more.

The Kitchn’s Cooking School

Stir-frying requires oil in a scorchingly hot pan plus ingredients in constant motion. Those simple building blocks helped me build confidence that I could treat several different ingredients with these methods and work from there.

Underestimating how long you’ll need to prepare a dish can cause cooking stress and grouchy diners. Grilling is similar to roasting but uses much higher temperatures, often reaching up to 500°F (260°C). Steaming leaves the food suspended over boiling or simmering water, letting the moist heat—but not the water—reach the food. And sautéeing is a light fry in just a bit of oil, usually on the stovetop. Cooks often purchase perishable items for each specific recipe.

Use pans with plenty of room for your ingredients to spread out. This can also leave you space for stirring or turning your ingredients, without flopping them over the side of the pan and onto your cooktop. When you pack too much food into a small space, it may cook unevenly. Plus, overcrowding can cause steam to build up, which could prevent the food from browning as it should. Many recipes include a time estimate…but they are often referring to cook time, ignoring the prep work entirely!

Baking involves dry heat applied uniformly to food in an oven, while roasting uses direct heat from either an oven or an open flame. It wasn’t until a few years ago, after a Chopped marathon, that I decided I should teach myself how to cook. The structure of the show is formulaic, and after watching enough episodes, I began to notice chefs leaning on the same few staples to build their dishes. They make compotes by reducing in a saucepan, blend ingredients to form sauces, and pulverize crumbly foods to make “croutons.” What changes are the flavors. Read more about Food Blogging here. Bissonnette recommends having a saucepan standing by while chopping up vegetables. Bissonnette chops them up, removes the seeds, and throws them in to add flavor. If you’re serving a roast for your holiday dinner, Goff recommends transforming carrot tops into chimichurri, which can act as a delicious side sauce.

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