Simple Dishes for Beginners

When first starting out learning to cook keep it simple. I am not a culinary artist, nor am I a chef, I am a simple home cook. I was not taught in any school, I learned to cook in the kitchen with my mother. I was around five when I started to learn how to cook and the first food I ever learned to cook was an egg (scrambled of course). My mother showed me how to crack the egg on the edge of the pan or gently on the counter top. If I got some of the shell in there, she showed me how to get it out using one of the larger parts of the egg shell or a spoon It’s best to buy local. You should always buy local first, as you can guarantee the freshness of your ingredients.

The Incredible Edible Egg

After we cracked eggs in a bowl, we would add milk to make them fluffy and mix them. We then put the mixture in an already warmed skillet and stirred them around with a spatula. From there I learned that there were all sorts of ingredients that you can add to the scrambled eggs (potatoes, mushrooms, onions, celery, meat, etc.). At our house we called that an omelet, years later I found out they were just scrambled eggs. Omelets are made out of beaten eggs (same beginning as scrambled eggs) and usually have a number of ingredients stuffed in the middle of the beaten eggs that were allowed to cook undisturbed during the cooking process causing the egg to remain in a round solid form where the ingredients which were cooked separately were distributed on half of the egg. The cooked egg is then folded over the ingredients.

  • Start simple
  • Watch over the dish, don’t leave it
  • Same ingredients can make a different dish

Same Ingredients Different Dish

Both dishes were eggs, and both had the same ingredients, but it was the way they were cooked which made it an entirely different dish altogether. Eggs are very easy to cook because they do not take very much heat, though you will need to stay with them, it is really difficult to mess up a scrambled egg. That brings us to the subject of heat. Heat settings are very important, you want it to be hot enough to cook the food all the way through, but not overcook or burn it at the same time. For beginners, start at a lower setting somewhere in the medium range and then increase the temperature as you gain confidence. Eggs are a great tool to learn how to gauge heat, too hot and they get dry or burned, too low and they are runny in addition to fact that they may not have been heated through enough to kill food borne diseases.

photo credit: Mmm… Andouille sausage via photopin (license)