Checklist: 13 mistakes for novice cooks
Are you afraid of salt and spices
Salt and spices are an important component of the success of any dish: they emphasize the taste of the products and help them open up in a new way. Those who are just starting to cook are often afraid to spoil everything by salting – and instead, by mistake they get a fresh dish. If you notice that food is regularly boring, try adding more salt. Another useful tip is to salt the dishes, holding your hand not close to the food, but a little higher above it – so the salt will be distributed more evenly.
With seasonings, the same story: correctly selected spices will change the idea of even the most familiar food. The only advice here is not to get carried away and make sure that the spices do not interrupt the natural taste of the product, but emphasize it. Alas, there is no single rule that would always help to calculate the ideal amount of salt and seasonings – you will have to develop a sense of proportion in practice. Do not forget to try during cooking – so you will probably understand what is missing and what can be improved.
2.You do not heat the pan and use the wrong amount of oil
When cooking, many people want to get down to business as soon as possible – immediately throw the products into the pan and start frying. But the cooks, on the contrary, are advised to wait a bit and warm the pan well – this way the food will not burn, and the products themselves will be fried, not stewed. Unheated oil can also cause difficulties – products can absorb it, instead of frying on it.
To check whether it is possible to start frying, simply: put the pan on the stove, heat it a little and drip on it with water. If the drop evaporates quickly, then you can pour the oil, turn the pan so that it evenly fills the surface, and proceed. With non-stick pans, however, you should not do this in order not to destroy the coating. Instead, it is better to pour the oil into the pan and heat them together already, until the oil begins to flow freely on the surface. Remember that you do not need to heat the oil to smoke – this is a sure sign that you have overdone it.
The amount of oil is another question the novice may have difficulty with: if you add too little, the food will burn, if too much, the products will soak in it and the taste will change. Alas, there is no universal advice here – but if your food is constantly floating in oil or sticking to a frying pan, it is probably worth revising your habits.
You overload the pan
The desire to cook a large portion of food at once for several people or meals is a completely understandable story. The main thing is to keep track of what you are doing. If there are too many products in the pan or on the baking sheet and they are located very close to each other, there is a risk that they will cook much longer than they could. The result may not turn out as you expected – for example, boiled mush instead of dense and pleasant vegetables or stew instead of fried. The solution is simple: take a larger pan (or cook not in one but in several) or cook in portions.
Your cutting board is too small
Everything is intuitive here. Working on a small cutting board can be simply uncomfortable – you will probably have to cut the products in portions and shift them somewhere, instead of doing everything at once and together. A large cutting board will solve many of these issues – and save you time and effort.
Do not forget about the basic safety rules: do not cut raw chicken on one board, and then vegetables – so you expose yourself to the risk of infection. Always use a separate board and knife for raw meat.
Are you afraid of unexpected combinations of ingredients
Cooking familiar dishes from familiar foods is a clear but boring story. It is much more interesting to try new things and not be afraid of what at first seems strange. There is something pleasant even for those who categorically refuse to accept pizza with pineapples: whether it is salted caramel, chocolate with pepper, pumpkin soup with bacon, salad with chicken and mango or french fries with vanilla ice cream. This also seems to be strange at first glance, in recipes – salt is added to baked goods or sugar to tomato paste for a reason.
Are you afraid to backtrack
Recipes are useful for both beginners and beginners – this is a good way to hone basic skills or learn something new. At the same time, in an ideal world, a recipe is only a starting point, and not strict rules. Everything can and should be changed to your taste – not without reason the most common comments on culinary sites look something like this: “Thank you! Everything worked out, only I removed the cheese and added the greens. ”
Immerse yourself in the question, and not just follow the recommendations – study which spices are best for meat, fish and chicken and which side dish should be chosen for a particular dish. Remember that cooking consists of different chemical processes – and if you understand what exactly is happening, and not just follow the instructions mechanically, cooking will become much easier.