You came back from work or school very exhausted after a long day with nothing to eat. Restaurants may be closed or your wallet could be empty. You have utensils that are as clean as a whistle because they have never been used. You can’t possibly die of hunger right? Comparing the high price of fast food and the low costs of food ingredients, you definitely know that cooking is your best bet. However, you do not know how to cook. So what do you do?
Simmyideas Tech Hub, a Lagos based digital marketing company looks at ways to become a good cook in only 30 minutes.
- Change your perception – The first step in becoming a good cook faster is by changing your mindset about cooking entirely. Cooking is a process that requires patience and cannot be mastered all at once. It requires effort and skill to produce the very best and tasty meals you crave for. Once you have become used to ordering or buying food from restaurants, cooking becomes like the tallest mountain for you. Guess what? It isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Think of it as just 6 basic steps and your food is ready. It is possible within 30 minutes! Changing your perception just takes half a minute to 5minutes. You have 29 more minutes. Just change your perception and EAT.
- What do you want to cook? – Once your mind is clear on the fact that cooking is not a huge mountain to climb, you develop a certain positive attitude towards it and the next step will be to identify what you want to cook. Often, this overlaps with what you feel like eating while a few times you cook for others. No matter the reason for cooking, you first need to identify what exactly you want to cook. Knowing what you want to cook will lead you to identifying the right ingredients and method as well as equipment to use.This takes about a minute or two. At this point, you are a few steps and 27 minutes away from that perfect meal.
- Know your ingredients – Immediately after making that decision on what to cook comes one very important aspect of the whole process. Selecting the ingredients. You cannot cook jollof rice with wheat, therefore knowing your meal guides you to select the right ingredients. When in doubt, consult others, read from books or from the internet. This can be one of the steps that gets you thinking a lot. It is however recommended that you do this during your free time to better understand what you want to do and what you need to do it. When you have done your background work already, it should take less than 5 minutes to put together your list of ingredients and since you may have bought them already, you just pull them out of storage.A little over 20 minutes more to go.
- Recipe – This is the main deal! It cannot go wrong here otherwise you are doomed. How to prepare the meal is very important because a good recipe makes a good meal and a bad one, you already know. Don’t freak out yet, you can do this. As with the ingredients, you should have done some research before now. Reading from books, checking from the internet or asking friends and family are best ways to settle this. Once you know what you are doing, it comes naturally. Although this article may be true for simple foods such as fries, sandwitches, pancakes and other quick fixes, it may count as void for very intensive and time consuming meals such as soups and other meals since they require much more of everything. The process is not the same for all meals and you should be careful not to go for a more sophisticated and time consuming recipe when you are very hungry. All things being equal 10-15 minutes is enough for a good quick fix meal. 5 more minutes until your first meal is ready.
- Time – Some say ‘’time is money’’ but when you are hungry, ‘’time is everything’’. How long does the meal take to be ready? It may either depend on you or on many other factors beyond your control. The amount and intensity of heat, the size of your food lumps, the amount of water, may all have effects on how long it takes to cook but every food has it’s cooking time and you should know before hand what to expect. A good cook always works with time. Knowing how long or anticipating the time very well almost gets you there.
- Garnish and Serve – Sometimes this seems like a step that can be skipped. Who cares how the food looks when you are super hungry? However, garnishing and serving is part of the whole process. A good looking meal makes you salivate and increases appetite whereas food that don’t look too good may be a complete turn off. Spend at least 3-5 minutes to ‘’decorate’’ the meal such that everyone else apart from you who sees it will fall in love with it. Call it the icing on top of the cake. It makes your work extra beautiful and appealing. At this point, 30minutes should be up and your food should be ready.
Understandably, it is not humanly possible to magically change from not knowing how to cook to being a great cook in just half an hour. This article therefore just guides you on the quickest ways to get some food on your table. After following these basics steps, you should be at least a step closer to being a great cook. A bit more practice and you will be doing wonders in the kitchen. Everyone will begin to wonder where all this came from. Bon appetite!