Recipes are cooking instructions that should be used as guides for making a specific dish. Most recipes can be made better by using your own imagination to make the dish more closely match your individual taste. If you like spicy and the recipe calls for one teaspoon of crushed red peppers, go ahead and put in two if you want. Just remember to taste as you go.
All that being said, be aware that some recipes should be followed precisely for safety. Specifically, any preserving or pickling recipes should be followed, as far as the proportions of vinegar, salt and water. Altering proportions in these recipes could lead to unhealthy food spoilage. That said, as far as that lasagna recipe you want to make, feel free to add more cheese if you like.Cooking Tips for Beginners encourages you to experiment and have fun in the kitchen.
What’s Not in the Recipe
The recipe can provide the ingredients but the cook has to provide the skill of putting it together. As you learn to cook be aware of the “look and feel” of food. For example, when making mashed potatoes, the amount of liquid added will determine if the final dish is thick, thin, smooth or soupy. Although the recipe may call for one cup of milk, you may need more or less than one cup. It depends on how you like your mashed potatoes. So how do you get what you like? By look and feel! You must learn to observe and feel the consistency of your food to ensure you get the desired final outcome.
Any recipe that calls for making a batter or dough can be altered dramatically by the consistency of the batter or dough. Cakes, biscuits, pancakes, waffles and breads, for example, all require preparing a batter or dough. With experience you will learn the look of the batter that results in what you like. You will then make the proper batter by the addition of liquid according to the “look and feel” of the batter.
Safety in the Kitchen
The kitchen is where more accidents happen than any other room in your house (possible second to the bathroom).
Salt is undoubtedly the world’s all time favorite seasoning. It was considered so valuable in some societies that it was used as money. Today we know that too much salt can lead to health problems in some people, but we still love our salt. As a beginner cook you should learn to use salt to enhance a bland tasting dish.
1) Always pre-heat your oven to the temperature specified in the recipe.
2) Use an oven thermometer to determine the accuracy of the temperature control on your oven. You will only have to do this once. If you set the oven for 400 degrees F. and find that the thermometer shows the oven is actually 415 degrees F., you will know in the future to set the control just slightly below the 400 degree setting when you want 400 degrees.
3) When making biscuits, do not overwork the dough. Just two or three folds is all that is needed. Overworking the dough results in heavy biscuits.
4) Use the cookware specified in the recipe. If it says glass, use glass. If it says cookie sheet, use a cookie sheet. It makes a difference in the final product.
5) When baking breads or any dish calling for baking soda, baking powder or yeast, use measuring cups and spoons to measure accurately. Breads to not take well to eye-ball measurements.
6) Bleached and unbleached flours can be used interchangeably.
7) Baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable
8) When baking pies or any dish with a crust on top, cover the outer edge of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent burning before the rest of the crust is brown.
9) Invest in a biscuit cutter and rolling pin for smooth edged symmetrical biscuits.
Being a good cook requires good ingredients.
1) Keep cold foods cold and sizzling foods sizzling. Along these lines, place them taking part in appropriate storeroom areas like the refrigerator before the stove.
2) Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of meat. This will ensure with that the meat is cooked through
3) Separate meat products from other food ingredients and use different utensils and equipment for raw meats.
4) Use up fresh ingredients especially fruits and vegetables. This is as the fresher an ingredient is, the tastier the finished dish will be.