Learning to Cook - Stove top and oven

The Last Stand

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Hello!

I now have access to a stove top and oven. With the COVID-19 outbreak, we're basically on our own for meals and whatnot.

I figured this would be an ample opportunity to learn to cook. I started easy with grilled cheese, eggs, French Toast and hot dogs. I don't want to stress the wallet or my cooking skills, so I want to gradually work my way up.

I know there's frozen food but I want to limit that whenever possible. Any tips are welcome!

Veggies, meat, cooking prep. etc.
 

The Shadow

Movies gave me scabies
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If you bake: Remember that baking is a science. Measure correctly, bake at the exact temperature, and everything should turn out fine.

There are lots of things you can cook and then freeze for later, which is how I tend to do a lot of things now. Although the stir fry I made tonight is probably gonna go fast.

allrecipes.com has kind of a shitty layout but they have a really nice feature of being able to adjust the recipe by serving sizes.
 

The Last Stand

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If you bake: Remember that baking is a science. Measure correctly, bake at the exact temperature, and everything should turn out fine.
I have measuring cups. Dollar store. Anybody have ideas of how to add flavor to veggies? Broccoli, spinach, greens, etc. Boiling them imo has no flavor.
 
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MerriedxReldnahc

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Eggs are a great starting point, that's one of the first things I learned to make. I actually just recently learned how to poach eggs and I recommend giving that a shot.
I have measuring cups. Dollar store. Anybody have ideas of how to add flavor to veggies? Broccoli, spinach, greens, etc. Boiling them imo has no flavor.
I've been doing stir-fry lately and also just frying things up on a sheet pan. For the sheet pan dinners I'll cut some carrots, red peppers, broccoli, brussles sprouts (always cut brussles sprouts in half so they release the sulphery-ness during cooking) and other veggies, toss them in olive oil with salt and pepper, add some sausages or frozen meatballs, and I roast it at 375 for around 40 minutes.
I'll have to look up the roast broccoli recipe I use, it's super tasty.

*edit* decides to not be lazy and look it up right now, broccoli is 450 for 20 to 25 minutes, you drizzle it with oil beforehand, then toss with lemon juice and salt when it comes out.

Also unrelated to veggies but this is my go-to buttermilk biscuit recipe. I use a 7 well cast-iron pan but you don't have to. You don't really need biscuit cutters either, you can just cut the dough into squares and put it on a baking pan. Make sure to fold the dough a few times to get the flaky magic to happen, but don't overmix or the spirit of a large black woman will appear in your kitchen and smack you.
Also without the cast iron just go for 325 degrees.
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The Last Stand

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Why don't you start with a beginner's home kitchen cookbook? There are sites which list recipes whose online history stretch back to the nineties. All the resources you need are a few clicks away as long as you have the equipment at hand.
Experience is a good teacher. Although, I do have a cookbook. Plus, a cookbook can't tell you if you undercooked something.
 

Stuck in Corners

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@The Last Stand If you're considering on making a good honey mustard sauce for chicken wings, make your own. It's a better alternative if you're trying to avoid the added preservatives and corn syrup from bottled brands.

Also when making chicken wings, a light hint of meat seasoning is optional but preferred.
 
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Knight

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Experience is a good teacher. Although, I do have a cookbook. Plus, a cookbook can't tell you if you undercooked something.
Really does depend on the title you're utilizing. While it's market heavily saturated with bad books and bad advice the James Beard Foundation can act as a polestar for where to begin. They have issued over seven hundred awards though and so any start there would be daunting task.

If I'd access to the shared family library of cooking literature I could directly recommend a few books. As I haven't, in lieu, and in better times I recommend visit to library and search for cookbooks that teach not just recipes but theory, and chemistry behind taste. One of the best, most recent additions to that body of literature is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
 
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Robert James

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Omlete's, you can put any meat, Vegies, cheeses, fruits whatever you want in them and if you fail you have a scramble. Eggs are cheap and a good source of protein as a bonus once you've mastered omelet making you can make pretty much every breakfast Item imaginable.

Above that I sugest picking something simple that only requires you to cook 1 item correctly I.E. Tacos, Steaks, etc and expand after you've mastered cooking the item. Don't be afraid to cooks smaller portions if you are afraid of burning something. Also invest in salt, Peper, and cloves of garlic. They last forever, are in everything.
 

GeorgiaGuidestones

Go cry to someone else lol
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A whole roasted chicken is probably one of the easiest recipes to make. It’s versatile for whatever way you want to season it and you can roast veggies right along with it. Get a meat thermometer to make sure you don’t undercook it. Throw the ingredients in a baking pan and pop in the oven. There are so many recipes for whole roasted chicken that you can’t mess it up.
 

Hatoful Dandy

Minstrel of Sorrow
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Don't neglect basic skills




I'd also recommend checking out Hiro Mizushima's channel. He's a Japanese actor best known for playing the lead in the superhero show "Kamen Rider Kabuto" where he's, among other things, an expert chef. He admits to not being that good irl so a few months ago, he opened this channel to chart his progress at learning how to cook from scratch and gradually improving his skills with each successive video. His supervisor will also chime in every so often to nudge him in the right direction and provide tips and demonstrations at the end of the videos.


Edit: Ingredient substitution chart
 

The Last Stand

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Okay. Thanks for the informative food links and YouTube links! This will be a great start to learning basic cooking.

I went to the store for some supplies. I picked up some ground beef and spices for experimental sheet pan nachos. I know ground beef will be tricky to make, so I have a friend supervising me for that. It's starting to thaw so I may as well start now.

I also picked up frozen greens. And some frozen skillet meals. I know I said I would cut back on frozens but I need my greens and veggies. And it'll be a quick recess from preparing complex meals.

If this helps other people, I'm grateful for that too! I may or may not take pictures. (Have to watch the food.)
 

mindlessobserver

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Butter or oil in the bottom of a frying pan is the gateway to so many things. You can pretty much cook any food item that way. Just season it as you would. For example, if you are cooking some onions add salt and pepper or if you are cooking apple slices add cinnamon and sugar.

You can get inventive from there. Case in point today I made some bitching carrots. Just cut 4 large carrots into thin rounds, tossed them into hot butter and mixed in some salt, lemon juice, Moroccan seasoning blend (I believe it was garlic, red pepper, cumin and sumac) and maple syrup. Simmered it for about 20 minutes until it reduced and coated the soft carrots. Absolutely bitching.

You almost never want to go past 5 on the temperature setting. Slow and steady is key.

Practice with frying eggs. Its basic and it teaches you proper technique for heating oil or butter.
 

Robert James

Not your average John Smith
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Okay. Thanks for the informative food links and YouTube links! This will be a great start to learning basic cooking.

I went to the store for some supplies. I picked up some ground beef and spices for experimental sheet pan nachos. I know ground beef will be tricky to make, so I have a friend supervising me for that. It's starting to thaw so I may as well start now.

I also picked up frozen greens. And some frozen skillet meals. I know I said I would cut back on frozens but I need my greens and veggies. And it'll be a quick recess from preparing complex meals.

If this helps other people, I'm grateful for that too! I may or may not take pictures. (Have to watch the food.)
Best of luck, don't worry about taking shortcuts when you are learning to cook, trying to make everything in a recipe at once only sets you up for disaster.
 
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