You don’t have to be winning MasterChef titles or running a restaurant to be considered a chef. As every parent will tell you, their kids definitely see the parents as the chefs, even if the parent’s skills only extend as far as making toast! Whether you’re happily making food for your family or you spend most nights staring at the fridge trying to remember how you tell when chicken is cooked, there are a few skills and titbits of information that all home chefs need to know, from simple recipes to cooking hacks that’ll change your life. Here are our top few:
How to make a collection of easy dinner recipes without a cookbook
You only need to know how to make three or four, especially as they can do double duty and those skills can be applied elsewhere. So, learn how to make one good pasta dish. Learn how to make a roast chicken and vegetable meal, a good omelette, perfect a simple sishebo dish and maybe even figure out a dessert! If you ever have unexpected guests or need to cook at short notice, you won’t be caught out.
How to chop an onion
Basically every savoury recipe in the world seems to require a chopped onion. Learning to do it safely and quickly can speed up the dinner process no end.
How to make your own salad dressing
It’s really easy to make salad dressing, and it can save you a fortune – not just in money, but in calories too! You generally want three parts oil to one part vinegar or acid. Change the flavours up by adding mustard, herbs, garlic or spices and using different acid elements such as lemon juice, balsamic or white wine vinegar.
How to cook vegetables
Vegetable recipes don’t have to be boring. If we had to recommend only one way of cooking vegetables for everyone to master, it would be roasting. Roasted vegetables have an incredible depth of flavour, and are really easy to season to suit your tastes.
How to pit and chop an avocado
This seems to throw a large amount of people! It’s easy enough though. Simply slice lengthways along one side until your knife blade hits the pit, then rotate the knife around to the other side of the avo. Twist and pull until they separate, then use your knife to smack the pit right in the centre, embedding the knife into the pit. Twist the knife to loosen the pit, then lift the knife up with the pit attached. You can also cut the avocado into slices or cubes before peeling it, then just scoop out your ready cut avocado with a spoon.
How to freeze fresh herbs to use later
Herbs go off quickly, but dried herbs just don’t taste the same. It’s just one of life’s inconvenient little things. Until now, that is. One of the most valuable cooking hacks we’ve learned is to freeze your fresh herbs in olive oil using an ice cube tray. When you need them next, simply pop it into your meal or pan and let it defrost. No gross, limp watery herbs and no compromise on flavour either!