I’ve always been afraid of cooking. I’ve decided to get started.
2016-09-11 – Today I bought a piece of salmon from Cold Storage. I didn’t really know how to choose, so I just picked one almost at random. Then I brought it home and put it in the fridge. I looked up “how to cook salmon” on YouTube and found this video from Greg’s Kitchen. Surprisingly simple. Just put olive oil on the pan, heat it up till there’s some sizzle and smell, then put the salmon on it for about 3-4 minutes while you watch the color change from pink to white-ish. Then flip it. I served it with cucumbers and tzatziki and a drizzle of lime, and it was great. I’m very happy. Tomorrow I’ll try and cook some minced beef with spaghetti, and slowcook some chicken, carrot and potatoes.
DaveSapien 3 hours ago
My advice (to the question, not the brilliant article), is to learn how to cook. A good or great diet, with fun food as well as easy healthy food is one big way to improve everything about your life. Its truly amazing what a difference it can have.
mbrock 1 hour ago
You don’t have to read the heartfelt blog posts if you don’t want to, just scroll until you see a recipe.
Note that they all have five ingredients or less (excluding salt & pepper).
They’re also all really nice and tasty, as far as I’ve tried them.
I like this because it sees food as just simple combinations of cooked edible things. You don’t have to combine dozens of spices or do anything super fancy.
Just get a chef’s knife that doesn’t suck. If you want to, look at some videos of chopping techniques, especially for specific tricky things like onions—you can do it so much faster and better with a simple technique, astound your friends!
And do some basic “mise en place,” which is just the French word for “preparing your stuff ahead of time even maybe using a few different bowls.” If any moment of cooking a meal stresses you out, notice that and think about if you can do it in a way that isn’t stressful. Like, if you’re suddenly chopping an onion while you’re watching garlic in a skillet, you should have prepared all that stuff beforehand.
Be fundamentally nonchalant about measures and times, for almost everything, except in baking. (Rice/water ratios etc are good to follow if you don’t want soggy/hard rice.) Recipes say “2 tablespoons” because they need to give some indication, but it will probably be fine if you put in more or less. It’s nice if you can look at a recipe, get the gist of it, and then just go with your intuition—if you’re wrong, you learn something.
jarcane 2 hours ago
As a former professional cook, my advice has remained consistently “Watch every damn episode of Good Eats you can get your hands on.”
Alton Brown’s recipes aren’t always my preferred method, but he’s an excellent teacher, and great at explaining the science and the “why” behind how cooking works instead of relying on pure folk wisdom like most cooking teaching.
Honestly, if you watch all 10 seasons of Good Eats you’ll probably get more out of it than you would a culinary degree from all but a handful of schools.
Interesting. Does it cover the French kitchen? How about the world kitchen?
Indirectly yes, but it is more focused on ingredients and techniques, rather than cuisines and recipes. For example there will be an episode about butter, which just talks about exactly what butter is, how it behaves in different situations and everything you can do with butter and another episode episode about braising, that just breaks down what braising is and how it works. Once you have all those basics down pat, you can go on and make and adapt recipes from other sources with far greater skill and confidence.
paloaltokid 1 hour ago
Here’s a way to get started:
* watch YouTube videos Jamie Oliver – he has lots of great intro videos, including all the equipment you’ll need. You can always get one of his books. His video on knife skills really helped me out.
* get “The Joy of Cooking”. It’s a treasure trove of recipes which you can learn from.
* learn basic knife skills. You need 3 knives – a chopper, a paring knife, and a bread knife. Others will help you both those 3 are the essential.
* start simple and work your way up. You should be able to make eggs in just a few minutes. Learn a simple breakfast recipe, a simple lunch recipe (like a fancy sandwich) and a simple dinner.
* watch a few cooking shows. Even an entertainment show like Chopped will give you some ideas for how chefs look at a pile of recipes and compose something.
* if you drink, learn a few basic cocktails. also learn the basic red & white wines.
With a little bit of practice you’ll realize that you just need to have a few stock ingredients on hand to be able to take care of yourself every day and cook for friends and family.
The feeling you get the first time you cook a meal for someone else is a great one. 🙂
sgift 3 hours ago
Take a cooking book, search something you like, buy the parts, start. Really .. cooking is not hard. When you are more advanced you can improvise and experiment, switch ingredients for others and so on, but that’s optional. For 99% of all things you want to cook there is a recipe out there that was already tested by someone else.
If you really do not know how to start there are always cooking classes. They can be fun, but they are not strictly necessary.
reitoei 50 minutes ago
Pick up Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (classic version) and start trying some of the recipes. You’ll pick this book up for next to nothing second hand (if someone is foolhardy enough to part with it in the first place).
I grew up in a household where everyone cooked, it was (and still is) a massive part of our family. This book was the cornerstone of my ‘education’ even before I was a teenager. My Mum always had her nose in it. I cannot recommend it enough. It’s also worth seeking out some of Delia’s cooking shows, there are probably a ton of them on YouTube.
Follow her instruction and you will not go wrong. I guarantee it.
MIKarlsen 2 hours ago
I feel like one of the basic premises for doing this is understanding the different nutrients and their contribution to your health and energy-levels. In addition, the price-factor is also something that means something to me as a student.
Apart from cooking – which as a few people mention is pretty easy once you realize it’s more about common sense and taste than chemistry – the fact the most people think that fat will actually just turn into fat on your body, and that dieting is the way to go, is something I imagine is misrepresenting the importance of being able to put together a healthy and nutricious meal.
Unfortunately, I don’t know any good english books on the subject, but I imagine there are plenty of shorter books that will explain how fat, carbs, protein and vitamins play a part in respect to your wellbeing. I would start here.
Next, I would take a look at my wallet and my daily schedule, and figure out when buying take-away is going to be the most realistic option (both in regards to price and context), and when I have the ability to prepare lunch or dinner from home. If you have access to a fridge, a simple lunchbox with carrots and chicken provides a sturdy and surprisingly satisfying meal. Both carrots and chicken can be prepared in large batches, and both holds up for 4-5 days which is a typical workweek. In the morning, you simply fill a box with ingredients, and you have one cheap, nutritious meal down. I usually spice something like this up with a handful of almonds or nuts, and perhaps purchase some milk or juice to go with it.
I don’t even know if this makes any sense, but I have this stereotyped view on americans as people who rarely cook their own meals, partly due to the fact that it’s cheaper to buy take-away due to lower salaries effect on the price-levels (I can see that being a factor in Europe).
If you’ve never been comfortable cooking yourself, I can see that this might be a daunting task. I know people who are afraid to cook without a recipe, which is something that I hardly ever bother to spend time finding anyway.