Here is how to get organized and learn all you need to know to start on your way to becoming a proud chef.
What Does Saute Mean?
If that throws you then you have to learn food terminology of cooking terms. It is pointless at this stage to guess what some of these terms mean. The best way to learn is to start small. Don't bite of more than you can chew. Start with simple dishes like scrambled eggs or an omelet.
The No. 1 Tip
Get organized. Look at the ingredient list, prepare the ingredients that the recipe calls for and place the ingredients in small dishes in the right sequence that the recipe calls for and when to add them. Have all your utensils handy and any pots or pans ready before you begin. Know what goes in what and when by again following the recipe.
Some recipes are metric, such as add 30ml of liquid, confused? get a metric conversion chart. Many measuring devices are in metric and ounces, if not have a set of both. Many cookbooks will have a conversion chart in the index. Ounces can be confusing. For instance 16 ounces can be by weight or volume. Just be sure you read carefully when measuring anything in ounces.
Many recipe books will show different temperatures for the same dish. Why is that? There is no quick or right answer because some stoves or ovens are not rated exactly the same. Use some common sense if you know that 400 degrees is going to be too hot 350 degrees will work just as good if not better, and you wont burn that wonderful creation of yours.
Same guidelines as temperature. Observe what is happening while cooking, all food will eventually be cooked. Some recipes are very sensitive to time so when starting out don't attempt any of them until you gain some experience.
Getting this wrong can be a disaster. ALWAYS if anything use less and adjust by taste when cooking. Spices are highly personal, if you like your chili hot you can adjust for your own taste even if the recipe calls for less. Other spices such as garlic powder or fresh garlic falls under the same guidelines. Whatever you do don't overdo it with most spices.
Away You Go
Once you've learned the basics of cooking it is unlikely that you will ever need to relearn them. This means that you can constantly build up and expand your cooking skills after gaining experience. There are plenty of good beginners cookbooks to choose from at your local bookstore and more recipes online that you can browse.
Just remember cooking is always a learning experience. Once you get past the basics you can expand your creativity in many ways wherever your interest may take you. Food is an adventure, Chinese, Thai, Italian or good old American traditional food, be patient, be calm and have fun.