1. Rubbery Eggs & Time-Management
These terms are used in corporate America, but not in the culinary world. We watch the cooking shows with the chef that juliennes the carrots with such speed and precision that we want to do the same. Here’s the errors: We fail to comprehend that the speed of such knife skills took time, repetition and years to perfect.
2. Fast doesn’t always mean better
Understanding basic chemistry allows a cook to create consistent meals with less issues in flavor, taste or texture. Cooking shows have editors in the production process and a set full of professionals to make things look seamless.
Unless you have a large production staff on hand, prepare to prepare your ingredients- mise en place. Prepping ahead saves time, frustration and guarantees a finished meal you don’t have to throw out before consuming. Remember, setting the heat on high does not guarantee a quick meal, but does insure rubbery eggs.
3. Too Much Salt
Tasting spoons aren’t just for professional kitchens. Yes, the recipe calls for specific ingredients, but if you’re cooking savory, are you tasting as you go?* Sometimes we accidently put in too much salt because we misread the recipe (more on that in the next tip) or by accidental dumping from the pourer.
COOKING TIP: When in salt crises grab a potato, peel it and place it in the soup or place it and place it in the smaller meal in progress. The potato will absorb the salt and ease the chance of the dish being inedible.
4. Cooking while reading the recipe for the first time
Whether you are trying a recipe for the first time or multiple times, read the recipe 3 times. Yes, three and not back to back. Why three times? Three times leaves less chance for avoidable cooking mistakes. Grab your notepad before reading your recipe.
There is science involved in substitutions and should not be done unless you understand the original recipes use for the original ingredient. Also, substituting requires understanding the amount to use may not be a 1:1 or give you the finished consistency required for the dish.
Omitting butter in a dish and replacing it with a delicious avocado can be a rich and creamy finished dish, but in your choosing to be “healthy” you forget to find a binding agent that isn’t an egg you will have a finish crumb of a dish.
Reading the recipe multiple times (see above) allows you to understand the intention of the dish, but also realize that substitutions made need to be appropriate to ensure a good meal that has good texture and appearance.
6. Do NOT create the Causes for Food Poisoning
Be mindful or else you can kill people.**
Oh and always wash your hands with soap and water.
*do not double dip a tasting spoon into your WIP.
** even if you don’t like a family member and you know they have an allergy, if you cross-contaminate things accidentally or purpose you could wind up being charged with attempted murder. Yes, really. Please do not asking me how I know.