While takeout and restaurants have convenience on their side, learning to prepare your own food can be healthier, more cost-effective, and even fun. When you are first teaching yourself to make meals, a good place to start is to learn fundamentals that will apply to a wide array of recipes and situations. Check out these basic cooking skills everyone should know.
How to Cook Pasta
Pasta can make for a tasty foundation for many meals. But it’s easy to overcook it to the point where it becomes too soft or undercook it and leave it harder than you want. You might also have trouble bringing out its flavor to the fullest. Achieve ideal pasta by starting with a pot large enough to submerge all the pasta in. Next, fill it with water and add salt (about a tablespoon for every 4-6 quarts of water). Once the water is at a steady boil, add in the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking, and let it boil for as long as the package indicates.
How to Fry Eggs
For moments when you want something simple yet satisfying, one basic cooking skill everyone should know is how to fry an egg. It’s much quicker to get to an edible state than many other ingredients, and you can easily put it on bread or eat it with other dishes to add protein. To make fried eggs, grab a pan and coat the bottom with either a cooking oil of your choice or butter. Heat it on the stove, and then drop in the eggs. Wait until the whites have changed from clear to opaque and solid, and then flip them over. It’s up to you whether you take out the yolk, break it and mix it in, or leave it untouched and runny in the center.
How to Cut Ingredients
Most recipes will have you cutting up ingredients to get them into the right shape for the dish. Therefore, culinary knife skills have universal application and are well worth your consideration. Get familiar with terms such as dicing and julienning, which refer to cutting ingredients into cubes and strips, respectively. You’ll inevitably run into them at some point in your cooking journey. You should also learn to increase chopping speed and figure out how to deal with irregularly shaped yet recurrent ingredients such as garlic that may have special considerations you need to think of.