I believe anyone can cook. Of course, as with anything, practice makes perfect. A lot of people think cooking is difficult, and thus it becomes a chore. It’s actually quite easy, especially if you have a recipe in front of you to follow. And cooking, unlike baking, is very forgiving.
Ironically, I used to be one of those people who thought cooking was hard, or required way too much effort. It wasn’t too long ago that I would have been happy eating cereal for dinner. And actually, what’s so wrong with that? But I digress…
Here are some of my guiding principles:
• Don’t try a brand new recipe if you are in a hurry or have very limited time.
• If spending a few extra dollars to get pre-cut broccoli or pre-washed mushrooms will save you 20 minutes preparing the meal, do it! (It’s still significantly cheaper than eating out.)
• Assemble and prep all of the ingredients BEFORE you start cooking. This makes the process smoother and faster.
• Remember that you can always add, but you cannot take away. For instance, if you’re not quite sure how spicy you want the dish to be, add only half the spicy ingredient that the recipe calls for, then taste it. You can always add more.
These principles are closely related to tips on being more efficient in the kitchen, but they’re meant to serve as a guide to encourage a beginner. Thinking back to when you first started cooking, what was helpful to you – the perfect utensil? Finding a grocery store with specialty items? An all-purpose cookbook? Experimenting with different seasonings? Safety & sanitation tips?