Those who don’t enjoy cooking find it a chore or too challenging. One reason may be they are intimidated by the recipe. The list of ingredients and/or the actual instructions may be lengthy.
To start, browse through the recipe from beginning to end. While it may appear long, the list of ingredients frequently itemizes very common items like butter, cooking oil, salt, pepper, various spices, etc. The instructions may look complicated but, again, simply detail basic procedures like setting the correct stovetop or oven temperature are detailed. Get familiar with the methods or processes and get a feel for how easy or difficult they may be based on your abilities. You want to be comfortable and try to cook the dish or you may pass for the feel of the dish not coming out just right. If you’re uncomfortable, try cooking it just for yourself and experiment/practice your skills. Even the best chefs have burned toast or cooked a hard boil egg too long… so to speak. Remember, recipes are used by the best cooks around the world.
Now that you’ve read through the recipe, you know what’s involved and the ingredients you’ll need. You want to have all the ingredients when you start. It will be very frustrating to start cooking and run out of something simple. You’ll lose your enthusiasm and interest.
Next step… prepare the ingredients.
Make sure you have the right ingredients… and the correct quantities. While you can generally substitute Dijon mustard for spicy brown mustard, you can’t use dry mustard. You don’t want to find out you need 3 cups of chicken broth when you only have a half a cup. As you get more experience with cooking, you’ll learn how easy it can be to substitute and/or adjust quantities.
Now… make sure you have the right cookware and utensils.
Most recipes will call for a specific type of pot or pan, but rarely is it “exotic” and not something you already have in your kitchen. Basic large spoons, ladles, tongs and “flippers” usually cover what you need. A tip… if you’re using “non-stick” or enamel coated pots and pans make sure you use wooden rubber type utensils so you don’t scratch the coated surfaces.
Here’s a recipe that lists nine ingredients but as you read it and see it is very simple, including instructions.
Recipe for White Clam Sauce
1 (10oz) can minced clams
¼ c. olive oil
½ c. butter
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp. oregano
3 Tbsp. (heaping) dried parsley
3 Tbsp. onion-chopped fine
1 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese
Combine all ingredients and heat in a saucepan. Pour over cooked linguine. Makes 2 servings.
Some time ago I decided that if you have to do something several times a day, why not make it a hobby and enjoy it. Cooking can be fun and give you a sense of accomplishment… not to mention a very enjoyable meal for your family or friends.