How to Cook

November 12 [Mon], 2012, 17:37
Cooking has come a long way from when our ancestors roasted wild game and local vegetation over an open fire. We've discovered an infinite number of ways to prepare and season food, but the nature of cooking remains the same: Apply heat to make food taste better. The rest is really just details that can be learned from an inquisitive spirit, creativity, and trial and error
Find recipes. This is optional, of course, but is the recommended route if you're learning how to cook. Unfortunately, not all recipes are created equal. Some recipes don't break things down well for beginners, and some just aren't good. Get recipes from friends and family for dishes that you've tried (and loved). The benefit of doing this is that if you don't understand something in the recipe, you can call them and ask! If you look online, choose recipes that have received good reviews or comments. Look for dishes that you have tried previously (perhaps, made by a friend, or when eating at a restaurant) so that you may be able to appreciate the flavor to judge the finer nuances of the dish.
Gather the ingredients and tools for the job. If you're just starting to cook, don't substitute. The ingredients might interact in a way that you're not aware of, and substituting what you think is a similar ingredient might ruin the entire meal. When you become more experienced, you'll have a better idea for predicting how introducing a different ingredient will affect the cooking process and the final flavor. Otherwise, get the right ingredients (as fresh and as high quality as you can afford) and in the right amounts (no, don't eyeball it; become friends with your measuring spoons and cups and invest in a kitchen scale)
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