Introduction to Cooking from Basics
Welcome to Cooking from Basics. Over this series of recipes, I am hoping to introduce you to new recipes or at least teach you how to make others that you may have already heard of. Whilst aimed at students who are cooking for themselves for the first time, the recipes are obviously available to everyone. I will take you through each step of the process with as many photos as I can to help make sure the instructions are clear and by the end of the year, you should be able to fend for yourself in the kitchen!
Each recipe will start with three lists. There will be the mandatory ingredients (in bold), the optional ingredients (not in bold) and the equipment you will need for the recipe. Whilst optional, the second list of ingredients are things that I believe every good kitchen should be stocked with as they can make a meal so much more interesting.
As you will notice, the majority of recipes in this series will produce multiple portions. The best way I have found of saving money at Uni is to batch cook and freeze the leftovers. The other way to save money is to bulk out any dishes you have with vegetables which are far cheaper than the meat used so you can stretch a small amount of meat into many meals – I have managed to make a pair of chicken breasts last for 8 meals before (I will introduce this recipe later in the series).
Before the recipes start, I would just like to do a quick introduction into terminology that I will be using!
Slice: Cutting in one direction across an item of food.
Dice: Cutting in two directions so the food is chopped up very finely
For onions, I would advise remofing the top but not the bottom! Cut lengthwise down the onion but not completely to the end. This will mean that it holds together so you can then proceed to cut perpendicular to that.
For carrots, I would say that grating will usually suffice if you need them cut up small!
Julienne: Cutting into long thin strips (usually used on carrots and other vegetables) – while the official definition is 1-2mm x 1-2mm x 4-5cm, unless you are very confident in your knife skills, as fine as you can chop it will surely be sufficient. If you are lucky, you may own a julienne peeler which will do all the hard work for you!
Sauté: Lightly frying
Sweating: Cooking over a low heat until the outsides start to cook
Cube: Exactly what it sounds like. Cutting an item of food into small cube like shapes. I tend to use this for carrots in curries and pie and pieces of chicken
I will add to this list as the year goes on and I hope you find it helpful!
The first recipe will be coming on Monday so see you all soon!