Simple recipes for very inexperienced cook?

Hello! I was just wondering does anyone have any simple recipes that I might try to get started in the kitchen? I'm an 18-year-old senior in high school and have recently gotten a kitchen staff job in a pie shop. So it's gotten me really interested in learning how to make other things besides pie. So if anyone has anything that they think would be good for me to try, that would be great! Thank you!

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18 Comments

twinjadojo January 12, 2014
A super simple one-pot meal that takes you through your paces gently, and is a forgiving and delicious simple meal is http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-stew-recipe/index.html You'll get practice checking for ingredients, making your grocery list, chopping your aromatics (in this case celery, carrots, onion), sautéing, reducing, breaking down cooked chicken, opening a lot of cans, and freezing your leftover tomato paste! I make this recipe for my family frequently over the fall and winter, though I use my own stock and cook my own beans. It's one that can grow with you as a cook. ALSO! Start with good habits as you learn: read, re-read and re-read your recipe, imagine doing each step, give yourself PLENTY of time to prepare and to allow each step to be thoroughly complete before moving to the next, set your mis en place (get all of your ingredients into their useable form and ready to be utilized at the stove), find your serenity now place, fill your heart with love, and then put your pot on the stove. You will find that cooking is often 80% researching recipes, shopping, imagining, prepping and (sadly) washing loads of dishes, and 20% magic with heat and/or cold. The more you embrace that 80%, the more likely you are to enjoy the whole process and become a committed cook. I stoked for you!
 
nutcakes January 11, 2014
This was the first recipe my teenage daughter learned to make that wasn't baking. She has been making it ever since and she is 25 now. A household staple. Sticky garlic chicken, the garlic gets mellow and sweet. I like it on thin noodles.
http://www.food.com/recipe/kellys-asian-chicken-278451
 
Benny January 11, 2014
try some braising recipes. Great way to learn how to develop deep flavors. You can make excellent one pot meals this way too.
 
Pegeen January 11, 2014
Here's a nice column from this web site: 20 Essential Dishes
http://food52.com/blog/9486-20-essential-dishes-every-cook-should-know
 
Diana B. January 11, 2014
Explore the rest of Cynthia's cooking blog while you're at it - her instructions are a model of comprehensiveness and clarity (and the recipes are damned delicious, too): thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/
 
boulangere January 12, 2014
You darling; thank you!
 
piemakerintraining January 11, 2014
I will definitely be trying these soon, especially the Coconut Chix Stix! Yes I've learned so much from my job, I love it! Thank you!
 
boulangere January 12, 2014
You're very fortunate; I'd have given anything for such a job at your point in life!
 
boulangere January 11, 2014
Welcome to cooking! Here are a couple of recipes that have become go-tos for the young people in my family:

First Night in Florence Spaghetti http://food52.com/recipes/14030-first-night-in-florence-spaghetti

Coconut Chix Stix http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/weeknight-dinner-coconut-chix-stix/

Your job sounds wonderful, like a great learning experience. I hope you enjoy it.
 
LE B. January 11, 2014
hi piemaker, welcome!while cooking is what you want to learn, so starting with some simple recipes makes sense, i think you also want to get a cooking basics book to get you familiar with the equipment and the language. Mark Bittman has a book called "How to Cook" that you might want to buy or get from your local public library. And a Baking Basics book would also be great for you. I recommend spending some time with a cookbook from the library before you buy it for your own.
these books are good to look for:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=how+to+cook
 
piemakerintraining January 11, 2014
I will try to find these and see how I like them. Thank you!
 
Can I. January 10, 2014
You should check out the Genius Recipes column here. Lots of great, nearly foolproof recipes. Welcome to the fold. :)
 
piemakerintraining January 11, 2014
Thank you! :)
 
bigpan January 10, 2014
Now that you know how to make a pie shell, go for the eggs ! Quiche can be done many ways. Without a crust you can easily experiment with omelettes, fried, baked, scrambled - eggs are the perfect food. Easy and hard to mess up. Good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.
Check out the internet for uses of eggs in other countries...Spain, France, Thailand, Japan (yum, my favorite donkatsu with egg...) Good luck.
 
piemakerintraining January 11, 2014
I can make scrambled eggs so I think I will try making an omelette next. Great suggestion on looking up egg recipes from other countries, thank you!
 
Maedl January 10, 2014
Try Marcella Hazen's tomato sauce over pasta or polenta. The tomato sauce is so simple--canned tomatoes, butter, salt and onion--but takes on an enticing flavor and texture. Google the recipe--the NY Times has it on their website. Buy a hunk of Parmegiano to top the sauce and you're in business.
 
cookbookchick January 11, 2014
The recipe is also on Food52, posted as a "Genius Recipe."
 
piemakerintraining January 11, 2014
Thank you! I'm going to go ahead and try this tonight.
 
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