Cooking 101

So you want to learn how to cook. I applaud your desire. There are so many reasons to cook at home.

First, it is a great way to save money. When you eat out, only about 30% of the cost is for the food. Sure it is convenient, and sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking but every meal you cook at home will save you significant money. For example a local restaurant charges $8.50 for spaghetti (one serving). Add $2.99 if you want meatballs. So, $11.49 for one person and we will assume you get a piece of garlic bread. At a well known big blue box store you can buy a whole box of spaghetti, sauce, an entire package of Parmesan cheese, and frozen garlic bread for $5.70. You could feed four people with that. For another $4 you could add ground beef and make a whole mess of meatballs.

Second, you can adjust recipes to your personal taste. Don’t like onions? Leave them out. Love mushrooms? Add more. Most recipes are just guidelines, you can easily adjust them to what you like. (I exclude baking from that statement. I highly recommend you don’t try to adjust baking recipes without a lot of baking experience)

I’ve put together a collection of articles, videos and recipes to help anyone that wants to develop their culinary skills. Just remember cooking is like any other new skill – it takes practice. Expect a few problems but don’t let them get you down. Be bold, you got this.

Kitchen knowledge foundation articles:

  • Intro to Cooking – introduction to basic kitchen gear and tools
  • Setting up your first kitchen – my list of the basic gear any kitchen should have and where to find those items at a decent price.
  • Kitchen Substitutions – what to do when you don’t have an ingredient you need for a recipe
  • Basic Cutting techniques – thenest.com put together a great collection of short videos demonstrating basic knife skills. A must for any aspiring cook.
  • Tomato Concassé – A quick lesson on how to prep tomatoes. Something chefs learn early in culinary school.
  • The Maillard Reaction – Sounds exhilarating right? Trust me, this is good stuff that chefs know but most home cooks don’t. A short article on the science and magic of browning food to create those delicious toasty flavors.
  • My trip to the CIA – a few lessons I learned from my trip to the Culinary Institute of America

Great recipes for a new cook:

I also have a collection of simple videos where you can watch and learn the whole process on a variety of recipes.

If you found this article helpful or have any questions or comments please feel free to use the comments section below.  If you want to see more good stuff from the Old Guy In The Kitchen click the “follow” button here on the blog or visit my other sites:

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