Cooking 101: Kitchen Basics
A newby to the kitchen? These tips will really get you cooking.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
I've been developing recipes and writing healthful cookbooks since 1989, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's not to assume that the recipe reader has a lot of cooking experience.
Gone are the days when you can just write, "add just enough flour to thicken." You need to spell out how much flour to add. You can't say "saute this" or "sear that," because most people don't know exactly what that means. The truth is, more and more people are now growing up without really knowing how to cook.
So just for the cooking beginner, I've assembled some basic information I hope will help as you bravely go forth into the wonderful world of recipes. I've started with a discussion of breads, chicken, and pasta. You'll also find a cook's dictionary with definitions of cooking terms (and a little advice sprinkled in).Yeast Bread Basics
Most bakery products are made with yeast, baking powder, or baking soda. If you're following a recipe that calls for yeast, here's what you should know:
Quick breads are breads, such as muffins and biscuits, that are quick to make because they don't involve kneading or any rising time. Usually, baking powder or baking soda is added to the dry ingredients to create bubbles in the batter or dough as it bakes.
Here's how they work:
Here are some tips for buying, storing, and cooking this popular type of poultry:
Cooking pasta is really the easy part; it's the sauces that can get tricky. The good news is that there are lots of convenient ways to dress your pasta these days; bottled marinara, store-bought pesto, flavored olive oils with pre-shredded Parmesan cheese, etc.
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