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Cooking Basics For Dummies, 5th Edition

Book Description

Get started cooking now with Cooking Basics For Dummies, 5th Edition!

Are you looking to dig yourself out of microwave dinners and learn the ropes of home cooking? Cooking Basics For Dummies, 5th Edition takes the intimidation out of cooking and helps you start cultivating your culinary prowess in no time. From learning fundamental cooking techniques like dicing, chopping, and saut?ing to creating delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, you'll discover how to cook up crowd-pleasing meals the whole family will enjoy—all without breaking a sweat!

Even if you've never cracked an egg, this friendly, practical guide gives you all the ingredients to become a superior home cook. In plain English, it explains step-by-step how to master popular cooking techniques, such as dicing vegetables, hard boiling an egg, making quick and delicious sauces, planning menus, stocking your pantry, and so much more.

  • Packed with more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes for every meal of the day, from mouth-watering mains to sumptuous sides to delectable desserts

  • Helps you master grilling, slow cooking, baking, roasting, pressure cooking, and more

  • Includes tips on adapting meals to meet the latest dietary trends, such as low-sugar, low-sodium, low-fat, plant-based, and vegetarian diets

  • Covers shopping at farmer's markets and buying organic foods

  • Cooking Basics For Dummies, 5th edition is for every beginner cook or polished chef looking for a refresher on breathing new life into home-cooked meals.

    Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Foolish Assumptions
        3. Icons Used in This Book
        4. Beyond the Book
        5. Where to Go from Here
      2. Part I: Getting Started with Cooking
        1. Chapter 1: Cooking with Confidence
          1. Creating a Cook-Friendly Kitchen
            1. Declutter your countertops
            2. Let there be lighting
            3. Organize your pantry
          2. Introducing Major Appliances: Friends, Not Foes
            1. Stovetop and oven
            2. Microwave ovens
            3. Refrigerator
            4. Freezer
            5. Dishwasher
            6. Garbage disposal
          3. Kitchen Safety 101
          4. Now Get Crackin’!
        2. Chapter 2: Investing in the Essential Tools
          1. Collecting Your Cookware Basics
          2. Picking Pots and Pans
            1. Doing some comparison shopping
            2. Buying the essentials
            3. Getting fancy
          3. Selecting Tools for Mixing and Baking
          4. Considering Small Appliances
          5. Graters and Mashers and Peelers, Oh My!
        3. Chapter 3: The Bare Necessities: Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge
          1. Dry Goods: The Pantry’s Backbone
          2. Stocking Up on Baking Supplies
          3. Spicing Up Your Life with Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings
            1. Working with herbs
            2. Studying spices
          4. Peanut Butter and Beyond: Bottled and Canned Goods
          5. Cooling It with Refrigerated and Frozen Staples
          6. Squeezing the Melon: Buying and Storing Fruits and Vegetables
            1. Where to purchase produce
            2. Going organic
          7. Selecting, Buying, and Storing Meat, Poultry, and Fish
            1. Beef
            2. Chicken
            3. Fish and other seafood
      3. Part II: Know Your Techniques
        1. Chapter 4: The Cutting Edge: Working with Knives
          1. Buying Knives for All Occasions
            1. Investing in the three essentials
            2. Adding to your knife block
            3. Shopping wisely
          2. Caring for Your Knives
            1. Storing and washing
            2. Sharpening twice a year
            3. Honing before each use
          3. Using Knives Correctly (and Safely)
          4. Chopping, Mincing, Julienning, and More
            1. Chopping and mincing
            2. Julienning
            3. Cubing (or dicing)
            4. Halving tough-skinned vegetables
            5. Slicing
            6. Paring
          5. Carving Poultry and Meats
            1. Showing a turkey or chicken who’s boss
            2. Cutting a pot roast
            3. Slicing a leg of lamb
            4. Handling a ham
        2. Chapter 5: Boiling, Poaching, and Steaming
          1. Water, Water Everywhere . . . Now What?
          2. Making Hard- and Soft-Cooked Eggs
          3. Giving Your Veggies a Hot Bath
            1. Parboiling, blanching, and steaming veggies
            2. Boiling and steaming a dozen fresh vegetables
            3. Making vegetable purées
          4. Poaching and Steaming Seafood
        3. Chapter 6: Simply Sautéing
          1. Knowing When to Use Oil or Butter
          2. Combining Sautéing with Roasting
          3. Making Great Sauce from Bits in the Pan: Deglazing
          4. Getting Versatile with Your Sautéing
            1. Vegetables
            2. Firm, rich fish
            3. Chicken and turkey
            4. Beef
        4. Chapter 7: Braising and Stewing: Slow and Seductive
          1. Cooking in Liquid
            1. Browning before braising
            2. Taking time to stew
            3. Braising greens
          2. Keeping Herbs and Spices in Check
        5. Chapter 8: Roasting Poultry, Meats, and Veggies
          1. Roasting the Right Way
            1. Seasoning your roasts
            2. Brining to retain moisture
            3. Searing meat before you roast
            4. Basting during cooking
            5. Taking a rest
          2. Roasting Times and Temperatures for Poultry and Meat
          3. Putting Poultry in the Oven
          4. Mastering Roasted Meats
            1. Beef
            2. Pork
            3. Ribs
            4. Ham
            5. Lamb
          5. Remembering (to Roast) Your Veggies!
        6. Chapter 9: Coals and Coils: Grilling and Broiling
          1. Mastering Your Grill
            1. Charcoal grilling
            2. Gas grilling
            3. Grilling with wood chips
          2. Marinating for Flavor
          3. Perfecting Your Grilling Technique
          4. Making Each Dish Delicious
            1. Burgers
            2. Chicken
            3. Vegetables
            4. Steak and pork
            5. Seafood
        7. Chapter 10: Baking Basics
          1. Don’t Wing It: Measuring with Care
            1. Measuring dry ingredients
            2. Measuring wet ingredients
            3. Measuring other types of ingredients
          2. Working with Eggs
            1. Breaking with care
            2. Separating an egg
          3. Folding, Whipping, Kneading, and More: Getting the Techniques Right
          4. Perfecting Your Pie Crust
          5. Making Cakes and Quick Breads for a Sweet Treat
      4. Part III: Expand Your Repertoire
        1. Chapter 11: Conquering Breakfast
          1. Starting the Day with the Incredible, Edible Egg
            1. Understanding the grade, size, and color of eggs
            2. Deciding whether to splurge on specialty eggs
          2. Cooking Perfect Eggs
            1. Simply scrambled
            2. Frankly fried
            3. Perfectly poached
            4. Beautifully boiled
            5. Craftily folded omelets
            6. Oven-worthy frittatas and stratas
          3. Making Mouth-Watering Breakfast Meats
            1. Breaking the fast with bacon
            2. Spicing it up with savory sausage
            3. Steak-ing your claim (to breakfast!)
          4. Taking a Tour of Breakfast Breads
            1. French toast
            2. Pancakes and waffles
          5. Blending Your Way to a Healthy Breakfast
        2. Chapter 12: Super Soups and Savory Salads
          1. Mastering Essential Soup Skills
            1. Sautéing meat and vegetables first
            2. Thickening your soup
            3. Skimming soups and stocks
            4. Enriching store-bought stocks
            5. Peeling and seeding a tomato
            6. Showing garlic, onions, and herbs some respect
          2. Trying Your Hand at Puréed Soups
          3. Stimulating Your Palate with Fresh Salads and Dressings
            1. The soul of the salad: Crisp, fresh greens
            2. Skipping the greens but keeping the salad
            3. So many dressings, so little time
            4. Ten easy salad ideas
        3. Chapter 13: From Sides to Mains: Great Grains and Pastas
          1. Sprucing Up Standard Rice
          2. Checking Out Other Grains
          3. Canoodling with Everyone’s Favorite: Pasta
            1. Don’t sweat the fresh stuff: Dried versus fresh pasta
            2. Pasta tips and tricks
            3. Name that pasta: Pasta types and cooking times
          4. Topping Your Pasta with the Perfect Sauce
        4. Chapter 14: Making Sensational Sauces: Fear No More
          1. Starting with the ABCs of Sauces
          2. Deglazing for Delicious Pan Sauces
          3. Whirling Light Blender Sauces in Minutes
          4. Sweetening Things Up with Delectable Dessert Sauces
        5. Chapter 15: Delectable Desserts
          1. Creating Creamy Chocolate Sweets
          2. Finding the Indulgent Side of Fruit, Fresh from the Oven
          3. Collecting Cookies: All You Need Is a Glass of Milk
          4. Taking on Tiramisu
      5. Part IV: Now You’re Cooking! Real Menus for Real Life
        1. Chapter 16: Taking It Easy with One-Pot Meals
          1. Slow Cookers: Small Input, Big Output
          2. From Oven to Table: Simplicity in a Casserole Dish
        2. Chapter 17: Making More (and Better) for Less
          1. Creating Big Dishes for Small Bucks
            1. Crowd-pleasing chili
            2. Stir-fry for pennies
          2. Dressing Up Your Meals with Super Sidekicks
            1. Root vegetables
            2. Seasonal vegetables
            3. Dried beans
        3. Chapter 18: Going Global with Asian and Mediterranean Dishes
          1. Discovering the Asian Pantry
            1. Stocking up on Asian staples
            2. Starting with the basics: Asian noodles
            3. Getting it right with Asian rice
          2. Exploring the World of Mediterranean Cooking
            1. Meeting popular Mediterranean meats
            2. Goat cheese and feta cheese
            3. Olives
            4. Preserved lemons
        4. Chapter 19: Quick Picks: Cooking with Fewer Ingredients
          1. Whipping Up Dinner with Convenience Foods
          2. Keeping Things Simple and Delicious
            1. Chowing down on cheese
            2. Serving more-substantial meals quickly
          3. Seeing the Pasta-bilities!
        5. Chapter 20: Summertime Soirees
          1. Planning the Menu
          2. Mixing Fruity Drinks for Thirsty Crowds
          3. Preparing in Advance for a Stress-Free Party
        6. Chapter 21: Feeding Holiday Hordes: Festive Winter Menus
          1. Planning the Menu
          2. Getting Yourself Organized
          3. All about Turkey
          4. Teasing the Palate with Fresh Dips
          5. Scrumptious Stuffings and Sides
          6. Last Man Standing: Holiday Desserts
          7. Warming Up with Holiday Libations
      6. Part V: The Part of Tens
        1. Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Think Like a Chef
          1. Know the Basic Techniques
          2. Use Only the Freshest Ingredients
          3. Get It Together
          4. Understand Flavor Combinations
          5. Think about Your Plate
          6. Plan Your Menus in Advance
          7. Be Thrifty
          8. Don’t Be a Slave to Recipes
          9. Simplify
          10. Above All, Have Fun
        2. Chapter 23: Ten Common Cooking Myths
          1. Marinating Meat Tenderizes It
          2. Searing Meat Traps in the Juices
          3. Basting Chicken Creates Crispy Skin
          4. Adding Oil to Pasta Water Keeps It from Sticking Together
          5. Using Quality Olive Oil Is Important for Sautéing or Pan-Roasting
          6. Using a Garlic Press Extracts More Flavor
          7. Soaking Dried Beans before Cooking Improves Flavor and Texture
          8. Adding a Potato to an Oversalted Soup or Stew Reduces the Saltiness
          9. Cooking with Wine or Spirits Burns Off All the Alcohol
          10. Rinsing Raw Mushrooms Causes Them to Absorb More Water
      7. Appendix A: Glossary of 100 (Plus) Common Cooking Terms
      8. Appendix B: Common Substitutions, Abbreviations, and Equivalents
        1. Substituting in a Pinch
        2. Taking a Quick Look at Abbreviations
        3. Looking Up Conversions and Metric Equivalents
      9. About the Authors
      10. Cheat Sheet
      11. Supplemental Images
      12. More Dummies Products