“I don’t like to cook, I wish I did.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this phrase uttered from the mouth of someone who has just found out I’ve dedicated my professional life to food and cooking. I’ve learned to pry into the cooking habits/attempts of these individuals to suss out the reason for their dislike of time in the kitchen. It’s almost always the same reason…they don’t consider themselves good at the task.
Here, in a few easy steps, is how you can put away the excuse and become a brilliant home cook.
- Choose quality equipment. I cringe when I see a home cook using a dull knife on a cutting board that is slipping all over the place. Of course you hate cooking if you have to battle with your equipment! Investing in a few essentials will make your kitchen a happier place. Prioritize a sharp chef’s knife, a sturdy cutting board, one heavy-bottomed pot with a fitted lid, and one heavy-bottomed wide-mouthed pan.
- Define what you like to eat. I love roasted vegetables, particularly sweet potatoes and beets. They’re easy to make, yet any meal they appear in seems special to me.
- Make it a point to have leftovers. Those roasted vegetables I like so much will taste great in the green or grain salads, soups and stir-frys I make throughout the week.
- Learn a few basic recipes by heart. Start with roasted chicken, basil pesto, salad vinaigrette, sautéed mushrooms and an egg dish such as omelette or Italian frittata. You’ll be amazed how much your cooking improves with these techniques under your belt. And, you’ll find yourself falling in love with cooking in no time.