Learning to cook for yourself is a skill that we think everyone should master. This doesn’t mean that you should be setting goals to be the next MasterChef, but knowing your way around a few dishes, and around the kitchen with a frying pan, wok pan, or pot will help you to take better care of yourself and impress future dinner party guests too.
Here are some simple ingredients and dishes that you should learn to master as a home cook.
There are many ways to cook a good steak: in a frying pan, under a grill, over an open fire… Pick your poison and practice your skills. Knowing your way around a cut of meat can help you throw together loads of different meals. You can dress it up or keep it simple and healthy for whatever the occasion requires.
Keep in mind that different cuts require different techniques. For example, picanha is renowned for going great over an open flame, so you can impress your pals at your next barbeque.
It’s simple, it’s homey, it’s a classic, delicious dish that could make almost anyone smile. A roast chicken is also super versatile and can be served whole with a side of veg, or shredded and added to creamy soups or salads. Perfecting the art of a Sunday roast chicken meal will have you in your family and friend’s good books too since it’s a quick and easy crowd-pleaser for last-minute dinner plans.
Yet another simple classic that can take you far. Bolognese is warm, comforting and nourishing and it’s an easy one to hide an array of vegetables in if you’re a parent of fussy kids. Most of us will have a recipe from a mom or grandma, but if you don’t, play around with recipes you find online until you find what works best for you.
Keep in mind that whilst buying a pasta sauce is quicker and easier (and totally okay for busy weeknights), perfecting a recipe from scratch will be more cost-effective and yield results that you simply can’t get from a jar. Fresh tomatoes, minced garlic and home blended spices can’t be beaten.
Having a few breakfast dishes up your sleeve is important too – skipping on your daily bagel now and then could help free up some space in your budget. More than this, eggs are extremely versatile and nutritious, and knowing how to work with them can do wonders for your cooking repertoire. A basic scramble, omelette and frittata can make for outstanding dishes, and you should be putting in your practice to make sure you can nail them.
Finally, being able to whip up a dessert your grandma would be proud of is something every home cook dreams of. An apple pie is a classic that would pair well with almost any delicious main you concoct for your guests.
This dessert is simple, quick and yet another crowd-pleaser. If you’re a beginner, grabbing your pastry ready-made from the store is your best bet, but it’s a good idea to start practising making your own from scratch.