Some would think that deciding what to cook is an easy task, not really. You have over 100 kinds of foods that could make you tens of thousands of variations. Let us take chicken, for example, you can bake, fried, boil, roast, grill, or sauté and that is not the half of it. Depending on which part of the chicken you choose to cook it becomes an entirely different dish, not to mention how you season it. So, if someone in the house says let us have some steak and potatoes tonight it would sound simple enough. Now we will take a look at a simple steak and potato dinner. Is it a porterhouse, rib eye, filet mignon, or a sirloin cut? Do you want the steak prepared rare, medium-rare, or well done? Are the potatoes boiled, baked, mashed, fried, or roasted? Are you adding any type of sauce or gravy with that, which vegetables will go perfectly with it? This is just a quick summary of the average person cooking. A person that is a foodie or a chef would have a lot more options on the table for what some would consider a simple meal.
Once you start the meal there is truly little room for changing your mind mid-stream if you are not equipped with the tools or ingredients to change that meal. That is why it is important to make the decision on what meal you crave and stick with your plan. Yes, there were days I did a last-minute change, but thankfully I have a 24hr supermarket on the corner where I live. Yes, I made some meals without proper planning and the price was running back and forth to the store just to finish a meal. Now you know and like G.I JOE always said “knowing is half the battle”.
Your ingredients are the most important part of cooking hands down. Everyone starts with the same type of bland food whether it be chicken, beef, pork, or plant base. It is how you season the food that makes you either a person that cooks or a chef. Well, actually it is a combination of three things the seasoning, temperature, and length of time. Yes, it is that simple, but if you notice I did not say that easy. It will take a few tried to get your technique down of which food is good with which seasoning. Take a chance you love it either way you will become better in the kitchen each time you cook a meal. Always remember to try new combos.
3. Have The Right Cookware, Equipment, And Space Ready For The Job.
I remember when I first started cooking, I would grab any pot or pan and cook my food. I did not realize each pot; pan has its own purpose. Next what the cookware is made from also depends on how well the piece, size, or texture of the food is evenly cooked. You think the pots and pans are important, well the stove, oven, or grill is equally important even for the simplest meals. Gas and electricity cook food intwo entirely different ways. Please do not get me started with the Air fryer lol. Watch the video below for more details.
The kitchen should be the cleanest part of your whole house. A dirty kitchen is a deadly kitchen. Bacteria, contamination, cross-contamination, botulism, and millions of other types of germs can get you or your family extremely sick. You should use a different knife and cutting board for each type of food you prepare. One for pork, one for chicken, one for beef, one for vegetables, and so on and so on. You should wash your hands after each thing you touch or wear gloves and change them frequently. Rice, beans, and salads should be rinsed off. Chicken that is a whole other battle in the kitchen. Some people after they clean and rinse, then they soak it in vinegar or rub lemon/ lime on it. That is not part of the cooking that is just still cleaning. I like to bleach my counters before and after I cook. Some people prefer a less harmful alternative like baking soda. Try and always cook in separate oils. You do not want to fry a pork chop in the same oil as chicken. The same goes for when you are cooking seafood. A lot of people are allergic to shellfish so if you cook something or prepare it with the same utensil and it cross-contaminateswith seafood the person might break out and have a bad reaction. Sometimes they get ill and in some rare cases even die.
The best suggestion, I can make when it comes to cooking is prepping your food either in advance or right before you begin. I like to season all my dishes at least 24hr ahead of time. As far as the vegetable I will have all of them diced or cut and placed in Tupperware until it is time to add them to the dishes. The ones you might find in most of my dishes are Tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, red and green peppers. When I first started cooking, I always used dried seasoning. Now I prefer fresh chopped parsley, basil, cilantro, black pepper, oregano, fresh garlic, and thyme. I make sure everything is ready and in the right portions. I have little dishes set to the side with a tablespoon or teaspoon of salt, seasoning salt, adobo, paprika, ginger, amongst other ingredients. I know what temperature to preheat the oven for which dishes. At times I have been known to use a timer for accuracy. Follow these few guidelines in this blog and I will guarantee you will cook a great meal.
In today's call of action, tell us what is your favorite dish you like to eat. Then tell us what is the best dish you feel, you can prepare. Plus tell me what type of dish you want to learn to cook and I will see if I can help you out.