Step 2: Fundamentals

Take it easy

I’m thinking here that one of the reasons people are reluctant to try out different ideas is because they are busy or worried about how it will turn out. This is fair enough in a way, but gets in the way of a more creative attitude towards cooking. So for your first attempt at experimental cookery, pick a time when you can afford to take your time over it, and the results aren’t desperately important.

Use good ingredients

It’s a lot easier to cook tasty food from good ingredients. If you’ve ever compared a recently picked carrot to one that’s been through the supermarkets’ supply chain, you’ll know what I mean. So if you can, make the effort to get good fresh veg and meat. Organic is usually better for quality – it can be expensive but need not be if you bear in mind that you’ll be cooking straight from raw ingredients rather than using processed ingredients like bottled pasta sauce.

Get good equipment if you can

Decent pans, knives and other cooking equipment make for easier cooking and better results. For example a proper cast iron frying pan sticks less and cooks more evenly than a thin bottomed aluminium or steel one. A good sharp chef’s knife is quicker and easier – hence safer – to use than one which doesn’t hold an edge.

Don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy loads of stuff straight away, but if you can start to get together a collection of decent equipment it will pay off in time and enjoyment later.

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