The kitchen will become your playground once you learn a few basics. To ease you into the fun of this hands-on, how-to cooking school, we've assembled wonderful-tasting, simple-to-make dishes chosen for the cooking techniques they teach and the kitchen secrets they reveal. (And for you experienced cooks, we'll reacquaint you with how flavorful basic cooking can be.) For starters, there's easy roast beef ready in under an hour; chicken with pasta sauce prepared in a single skillet; and two kinds of fuss-free fish. For the big finish: a pair of fail-safe cakes that are bound to make dessert the highlight of any meal.
- Allow yourself plenty of time when you're trying out a new dish; you might add 15 or 20 minutes to the preparation time given.
- Read the recipe and make sure you understand each step that you're going to do.
- Assemble your ingredients and get them ready to cook. For instance, if a recipe calls for chopped onions, chop them before you start cooking. Measure out all the spices and herbs you'll need. Get out all the pans, spoons, spatulas, mixers, and other equipment the recipe requires.
- Trust the recipe. Our recipes are tested and restested with the same kind of appliances, pots, pans, and utensils you have at home, until we're sure you'll have delicious results.
- Wash utensils or put them in the dishwasher when you are finished using them. This will leave less cleanup at the end.