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List of recipes that home chefs should know?

I like to think of myself as a pretty good home chef. But I want to challenge and practice more. There are so many recipes I see on the Chef programs that I have never made or knew about. Do you have a list of recipes that Chefs should know? Other than the basic chilis, pesto, etc.

asked by Elle Snickens about 2 years ago
18 answers 1681 views
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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

"Should Know" is very subjective but making a mean risotto is always a win-win.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

You could review a few cookbooks at the library if you don't already have them, such as Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" or the "Joy of Cooking" for a refresher on key categories. I often read cookbook indexes at night when I'm trying to fall asleep, since they are better than a lot of novels and remind me of categories I've forgotten.

Sometimes key recipes are also driven by your geographic location and family or social group. So jambalaya is probably more important in Louisiana vs Maine, and Mexican dishes more important in the southwest than in Michigan, etc.

I think it's a good start to read some of the primary cookbooks out there.

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Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added about 2 years ago

This post has a list of 20 essential dishes, and the comments suggest even more! https://food52.com/blog...

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I second the Mark Bittman How To Cook Everything. If you have it on a Kindle, you can pull up recipes by ingredients you have on hand or want to cook with. I love that feature.

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added about 2 years ago

Thank you all for the feedback. I want to learn as much as possible prior to going to starting my new focus. I have notice on several shows and in books they mention that there are recipes everyone should know. I cook for myself and tend to like the science behind recipe.

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Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

Just buy Julia Child's "The Way to Cook' and that's pretty much it.

What you see on shows are basically building on that foundation. Even making an Omelet might be 'too simple' but to master it gives you ability to riff on that theme like a good jazz band. Even roasts and stews as you mention can have many other improvisations but you need to master the basic first.

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SKK
added about 2 years ago

The book that transformed my cooking was Shirley O. Corriher author of CookWise.
She is a biochemist and author of CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, winner of a James Beard Foundation award, and BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking.

Love Julia Child's cookbooks, and have them all. And CookWise was the book that opened the door to trying Julia's recipes. All the recipes in CookWise are, in my view, brilliantly written and explained. A foundation in cooking.

Trust yourself and your curiosity.

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added about 2 years ago

You might find Michael Ruhlman's recent book, *Ruhlman's Twenty* useful. It focuses on techniques and how they apply to cooking many different things, rather than on recipes as such.

It's a good book to get experienced cooks to think about how and why they do what they do and how they might do it better. Well-written, like all of Ruhlman's stuff, and nicely illustrated too.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

Ruhlman's Twenty is a great idea

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I agree with Sam about "the Way to Cook." Julia took basic recipes and laid them out step by step. then in many cases she adapted them into other recipes, showing you how you can do that yourself with a variety of foods, and which ones are particularly good where.
Shirley Corriher is the cook's cook. She's the one we all go to for the why's and how's of cooking. If she can't fix a recipe, it's not worth fixing. And her biscuits are the best ever!

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

This is an interesting question… I do not think there is a standardized list of recipes a good home cook should know. Our food preferences are rooted on our demographic make up, family history, personal tastes. Our food choices could be French or Italian centric, Chinese or Indian, fusion or farm to table… So different people will give you different answers. I believe that good home cooks are measured by the comfort level they exhibit when cooking in general, and by their ability to follow instructions and correctly execute a variety of different recipes.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

To add to what QueenSashy wrote, I think that the "general comfort a cook exhibits while cooking" that she mentions is largely dependent upon his/her comfort level with the techniques involved. To that end I think the above suggestions are great, but ultimately because they teach technique, which is what I believe really liberates a cook.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

In addition to books already meantioned (JC way to cook, Bittman h2 cook everything) 3 books about basics have helped me learn transferrable repeatable techniques. Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Cake Bible (she's a chemist AND a baker, and offers great understanding). Bernard Clayton, New Complete Book of Breads. Michael Ruhlman, Ratio: the simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking. Lots of great examples: vinaigrette, pancakes vs cupcakes, etc.

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added about 2 years ago

I second Ruhlman's Ratio. It has yet to fail me when trying my own twist on standards like homemade sausage, custards, doughs....I always thought that if I had to compete on some cooking show, that would be top on my list of things to study. Once you get some basic cooking techniques down, Ratio will help you branch out on your own.

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added about 2 years ago

Thanks for the feedback. I guess I should have reworded my question. But I will pick up the books listed.

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added about 2 years ago

I have a lot of stuff down as far as basics. And I put my own little on things. But thanks for the info.