For a novice cook, a kitchen, a recipe and assorted foodstuff can become a veritable culinary minefield. As a cooking instructor, I’ve seen firsthand many of the pitfalls beginning cooks fall victim to. And it’s not pretty. Over the next few days, I’ll share five of the most common cooking mistakes I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing and five tools to help you avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Not Reading Your Recipe
All too often I’m asked during a cooking class, “what do I do next?” as puzzled students hold out bowls or pans full of ingredients. My response is always the same, “what does your recipe say?” In many instances, the urge to get cooking leads people to start preparing a dish without a clear sense of the exact steps they should take. There’s a simple solution for that.
Tool #1 – Read Your Recipe
Reading a recipe gives you a chance to both familiarize yourself with what you’ll actually be doing with the food and to make sure you have all the required ingredients and supplies. A quick read before you get caught up in the cooking will also make it much less likely that you’ll add ingredients in the wrong order, leave something out or do anything else that may compromise your dish. Think of your recipe as an instruction manual for your meal and your first instruction is to read the instructions. (Check out the deets on how to read a recipe here.)
Check back tomorrow for Mistake #2. Any thoughts on what it might be?