I recently taught an online cooking class called Cooking 101 – geared towards beginners in the kitchen. Here are (completely unedited) video segments from the class, as well as recipes and information about the tools and ingredients I talked about during the class.
- Part 1:
- Part 2:
- Part 3:
- Part 4:
- Part 5:
This Victorinox chef’s knife is consistently the top rated knife by Cooks Illustrated. At under $40, it will serve you well in the kitchen.
Keeping your knives sharp is the most important thing, regardless of what kind of knife you buy. I recommend you throw away your knife sharpener that looks like this:
These are hard to use correctly, and you have a higher likelihood of dulling your knife further every time you use it. I like this style instead:
Tip: most butchers in grocery stores offer knife sharpening, and often times it’s free, or will cost you a few dollars. Be nice to them, and they will probably sharpen it for you while you finish your shopping. Just remember to pick it up before you leave – I think butchers get free knives this way!
Spices & Seasoning Blends
Once you master the techniques in a few basic recipes, you can easily expand your repertoire by switching up the seasonings. Having a few flavorful spice blends can keep the same old chicken breast (or thigh!) from getting boring. There are a lot of places to find great seasonings, I happen to really like Penzey’s, and if you order online they will tuck a freebie spice into your box – a nice way to try something new, and hey, free stuff! Here are four blends I use on a regular basis, and all 4 will cost around $15:
- Northwoods Seasoning – all-purpose seasoned salt times 100. Super flavorful, great on burgers, steaks, salmon, roasted veggies, etc. They also make a Northwoods Fire that is a spicier version, also delish.
- Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning – this is a long and fancy name for lemon pepper, with a bit of garlic and onion. Super versatile, I use it like the name says – on chicken and fish, and on any vegetable.
- Fox Point Seasoning – A mix of salt, garlic, all sorts of onions, and a bit of pepper. I love it in scrambled eggs, roasted chicken, any seafood.
- Turmeric – This is what makes curry powder (and yellow mustard!) bright orangey-yellow. It contains something called curcumin, which has shown health benefits like fighting infections and inflammation. I like to sprinkle it on roasted veggies, and add it to chili and stew.