Do you remember being a beginning cook? I don’t, so when I asked a group of people this question: If you could ask one question
about food what would it be? The one question that really stopped me in my tracks was: Where would I even start if I wanted to learn how to cook? After blinking several times and trying not to drown in the tremendous wave of feeling suddenly like a completely pretentious food blogger, I decided a refreshing visit to the basics was in order.
For the brand new, first time, I’m going to give cooking a whirl on the dance floor cook this is for you!
To start taking control of your kitchen you can’t live without these few things:
Carving, slicing, dicing, mincing, julianning, cubing 12’ Chefs knife.
Fruit and vegetable slicing, coring, skinning, precision cutting, paring knife so sharp you can leave the peeler behind.
A knife sharpener and a simple good quality wooden chopping board, to keep knives edges sharp and they are better at keeping that pesky bacteria at bay.
Heavy bottomed pans, heavy enough to double as a weapon if a not so smart person should break into your home.
Of all the useful home defenders these 4 should be the first you buy:
Pasta, soup, stewing, braising capable 4-quart saucepan with a lid.
Essential for reheating, melting butter, chocolate, or poaching an egg is the 1-½ quart saucepan also with a lid. Who can live without any of those?
Two skillets, a 10’ and 12’ so you can cook two things at once!
A roasting pan with a roasting rack, because roasting is easy, delicious, healthy and a money saver.
A cookie sheet, not just for cookies but also for roasting vegetables, making pizza, nachos, anything with cheese on it!
You need to move your food around in your pans with two wooden spoons. Never buy plastic utensils, they leave bad things in your food, get wood or metal instead.
One good spatula for flipping things over from eggs to fish.
A grater, good for more than just cheese.
One set of mixing bowls.
A Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup, and matching measuring spoon set.
A colander, for pasta draining and vegetable rinsing.
And last but not least is the tried and true trusty broiler pan!
Once all of your equipment is out of the boxes and put away, these are four great books for beginning cooks: Joy of Cooking, How To Cook Everything, Things Cooks Love, The Way To Cook.
The very last ingredients for a successful starter kitchen? A will and desire to learn and a sense of humor, because for every cook no matter what, sometimes things just go differently than planned, and believe it or not sometimes that can be a good thing.
What are some of your favorite ‘can’t live withouts’ in the kitchen?