Friday 29 March 2019

The Dishes You Should Have Mastered By The Time You Turn 30

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Cooking is often seen as a basic life skill and something that we all need to learn, and it's not just for the enjoyment of food. Being able fill your tummy and nourish yourself is part of being what I call a proper grownup! Not being able to cook will cause you to rely on takeouts and convenience foods, which are usually filled with all the bad stuff and aren't good for you.

Ideally by the time you're an adulting adult of 30 you will have mastered some of the basics of cooking and enjoy it. You may have even mastered a couple of signature dishes that are your go to when cooking for friends or family. But if you're reading this and thinking I'm not quite up to that level yet don't worry! As long as you can master these dishes you are off to a good start in the kitchen!

Flatlay of cooking ingredients on a wooden chopping board with a knife, set next to a pan and a tiled background

Cooking The Perfect Steak
Whatever you're age you've probably got a good idea of how you like your steak cooked. Whether it's rare, medium or well done, you might want to master how to cook your steak to your on liking. That way you don't have to depend on eating out for a good steak dinner. The key to cooking a good steak is searing it at a very high heat. Once you've seared every side, you can then turn the heat down slightly until it is cooked how you want it. Don't serve it up straight away though, as it will need to rest for a few minutes so that all the delicious juices get locked in and create a very succulent cut of meat. 

An Omelette
Eggs can make a very quick and easy lunch for whenever you want something healthy and nutritious in a hurry. Whether they're boiled, poached or scrambled, eggs are also relatively easy to cook too, but can you make an omelette? Even though these aren't that difficult in theory, some people need to practice steadily cooking the omelette along with the art of folding it. Once you've got this down and experimented with fillings, you'll be able to create a delicious meal in an instant.

Roast Chicken
A roast dinner is a hearty meal on any day but it's always well received on a Sunday. Setting down a roast chicken dinner always gets a 'ooooo yummy' from our family and friends and it's quicker to cook than joint cuts of meat. Roasting a whole chicken can be slightly tricky if you've never done it before and you'll need to alter the cooking time depending on the weight of the bird. Always check that it's cooked thoroughly and that juices run clear before serving. If you stuff the cavity or place stuffing under the skin it will take longer to cook. Serve with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables for a delicious dinner or change things up with a salad in the summer.

Table set for dinner with a side salad and a plated roast chicken

Chilli Con Carne
Chilli is a great one pot meal that you can effortlessly cook in a slow cooker or your best cast iron skillet. It's an easy meal that can be meaty or veggie, so you'll be able to serve it up to all the vegetarians in your life too. Simply replace beef mince for quorn or beef and lentils. Cook with onion, spices and kidney beans on the stove with a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes. Serve on it's own or with rice and tacos and a sprinkle of cheese. 

A Victoria Sponge Cake
It's also worth knowing how to bake a few different cakes and sweet treats as well as meals, and a Victoria sponge is one of the easiest cakes to make. Once you've mastered a classic sponge cake, you can then start experimenting with different flavors and fillings. Whether it be flavoured sponge or decorative toppings and icings there's always a twist to be added to a classic sponge. 

Knowing how to make a hearty and tasty soup will certainly come in handy during the cold, winter months. Making a soup is much easier than you might first think. All you'll need is your choice of vegetables and stock to blend them with. You can also add cream if you fancy a treat. You'll find lots of great yummy recipes online.

So, which of these essential meals and dishes can you already make? Which ones are you still working on?

Mummy Snowy Owl

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