Cooking 101: Plan for Success in the Kitchen
Do you have plans to make cooking a priority? Make it easier on yourself and stock some basics. While recipes will vary, here are some common items and terms you may encounter, as well as some resources to get you cooking.
Dry Goods & Pantry Stock Items
White (or whole wheat) pasta
Whole wheat flour
Whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
Breadcrumbs or panko
Cider, wine, or distilled white vinegar
Chicken or vegetable broth or stock
Olive, canola, or peanut oil
Walnuts, pecans, or almonds
Honey and/or maple syrup
Spices: cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, kosher salt
Perishable Stock Items
Frozen peas, broccoli, corn, and spinach
Buttermilk (can be frozen)
Metal spatula or turner
8-10 inch chef knife (or other utility knife)
Measuring cups and spoons
Mixing bowls (2-3 different sizes)
Saucepan with lid (large and medium-sized)
Blender or food processor
Sauté pan, frying pan, or skillet (10-12 inches)
Common Cooking Terms
Boil: Heat liquid until bubbles continuously break on the surface of the liquid and steam is visible.
Broil: Cook directly under a radiant heat source, only a few inches from the heating element (often done in an oven).
Dredge: Coat a food item in a dry mixture, such as flour or bread crumbs, prior to cooking.
Fold: Gently incorporate ingredients using a rubber spatula by cutting down into the mixture and scraping the bottom of the bowl and then proceeding up the side of the bowl in a circular motion. This process is continued by rotating the bowl until the mixture is fully combined.
Roast: Cook an item in an oven using dry heat without the aid of a liquid.
Sauté: Cook an item in a sauté pan or skillet in a moderate amount of fat.
Simmer: Cook an item in a liquid at a lower temperature than that of a boiling liquid; small bubbles will break on the surface of the liquid.
Zest: Remove the outer peel of a citrus fruit using a knife, zester, or vegetable peeler.
Recipe Resources to Get Cooking:
The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
Real Simple Easy, Delicious Home Cooking: 250 Recipes for Every Season and Occasion edited by Allie Lewis Clapp, Lygeia Grace, and Candy Gianetti
The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Molly Katzen
Please note the links provided are meant as resources for you. MGH does not officially endorse any of these items.