Cooking can be intimidating, especially if you’re brand-new to it. It isn’t just a matter of following your recipe or knowing what flavors work together, either – you have to work at it to learn what flavors you’re best at featuring in your dishes. Here are five tips for beginner cooks that will be sure to give you a head start for preparing that first meal.
Take in the Whole Recipe First
It can be tempting to think you’ve got the whole thing memorized, or to even simply step-by-step a recipe that looks like it makes sense. No one wants surprises, though, and by reading the whole thing first, you’ll know just what to prep, what order to prep them in, and if there are any substitutions you might need to make, or other plans like thawing, etc, that will otherwise slow down your meal making.
Tried and True Recipes are Your Friend
Bailan Spice is not just here to provide you with quality ingredients to make you a star chef in your own kitchen, but we’ve also got recipes to keep everyone guessing what your next blast of flavor is going to be. Everything from Berbere Vegetable Soup, to a Shrimp Omelet, to Piri Piri Meatballs are perfect recipes for beginners to get started with.
Always Keep Your Knives Sharp
Some people sharpen their knives weekly or even more frequently – a sharper knife allows for cleaner cuts and less bruised/destroyed fruit, veggies and meat. It also allows you to go faster and will apparently make cutting onions less of a tear-fest!
Your Freezer is a Food Saver
Some foods freeze well and others don’t. By doing the research, you’ll know what kind of leftovers and ingredients that will actually stand the test of time under a deep freeze. This way you can stretch out your large dishes and save stuff you thought you were going to use for when you’ll actually use them. Many blanched vegetables or roasted vegetables will freeze well, especially if prepared and stored properly.
Create Spice Mixes for Your Own Signature Flavor
You can stick with classic blends, like our Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Seasoning, Piri Piri or African Hot Chicken for a reliably delicious meal every time. You should find a group of spices you love together that make a dish sing out your name whenever someone takes their first bite. Finding spices that work with the proteins and veggies you prefer to use can sometimes be a matter of trial and error, but adding an unexpected combination is a great way to make your dishes stand out.
Cooking is a chore, to be sure, but you can make it fun. The easiest way for that is to simply be prepared. Having everything in front of you is when it is time to experiment, even if just a little bit. Have fun with your favorite flavors, and don’t be afraid to try a little something new, once you’re comfortable with the process.