20 Food Charts To Take You From Beginner To Pro.

I don’t normally do posts like this, but I recently realized what a collection of charts I was accumulating and how useful they have been to me. So, as a special treat of sorts, here are my top 20 useful charts that should help any beginner cook (and even some great cooks) learn some skills. Maybe you can save them as a file or maybe you can print them for your walls. Maybe you already know 99% of this or maybe you haven’t a clue yet. All I know is that these charts helped me and therefore I will share them.

First our utensils. Chasing Delicious have a great range of unit conversion charts.

1: Unit conversion by volume.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

2: Unit conversion by weight.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Next, there is a range of kitchenware you might want to consider getting.

3: Kitchenware.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

4: Knives.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

And finally, some tips on storing food once you’ve got it.

5: General storage guidelines.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Once the kitchen is all in order and stocked and we have an idea what the recipe is saying, we may want to look at cooking technique.

Again, Chasing Delicious have some great guides.

6: Cooking methods.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

7: Mixing methods.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

8: Techniques using eggs.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Definitely check them out for their Kitchen 101 charts. 🙂

Or you could try some quick and healthy simple cooking by mastering your pressure cooker.

9: Pressure cooker.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

But it doesn’t just boil down to the right technique. There are little differences between very similar foods that can make big differences in the end result. Try and use these guidelines next time you’re cooking…

10: Grains.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

11: Pasta.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

12: Boiled eggs.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

13: A turkey.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

But we still aren’t done. We know what to cook, what quantity to cook and how to cook it, but what about seasonings? If you want to improve your seasoning, look no further than these charts.

Try and use flavour pairings not just to work out how to season one item, but to work out what foods taste best together. If they have no shared seasonings, they may be a bad combination!

14: Flavour pairings.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

If you are making a certain type of food, check which spices work with which recipe. If you cross-reference flavour pairings and cooking pairings you should find some fail-safe ideas for your next recipe.

15: Cooking pairings.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Whether you’re cooking meat or vegetables, a roast a braise or even a pan-fry, a dry rub rarely goes amiss. You can even use it as a sort of marinade for the surface of your food.

16: Dry rub mixes.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

If you’re looking to cook something with an ethnic feel, but you don’t have the right spices or aren’t sure what exemplifies that cuisine, try these combinations.

17: Spices by Cuisine.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Or if you aren’t sure and want to rely on the tried-and-tested but add a bit of a twist, why not mix your own sauces?

18: Sauce mixes.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

Finally, the drink can matter as much as the food you’re serving. For dinner parties or fancy meals, or just for ordering when you’re having a meal out, these guides can be a great help.

19: Wine pairing.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

20: Beer pairing.

20 Charts To Take Your Cooking From Beginner To Pro.

And those are my favourite food charts. I hope you found at least a couple useful!

I won’t be making many posts like this, but if you have any awesome charts to share I’d love to see them. 🙂

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Wonderful Wednesday Wok. On Smoked Paprika and Veg Pots.

First of all, I know I haven’t been putting up my daily paintings lately, even though this week’s plan is nothing BUT painting (all in all I think I owe you four). But you’ll see what I’m doing later. It’s a secret.

Also, I DO owe a book review (“The Picture of Dorian Gray”), which I forgot due to the paintings, so I’ll do that tomorrow.

 

For now: WWW! 🙂

This week was a bit simpler, but for the sake of extolling the virtues of simplicity. [Disclaimer: Not wholly true. Also because of painting.]

I made roast chicken, a fresh vegetable mix and, although I’ll be making some rice pudding later on in the week, for today I gave him a cookie and his usual morning bananas, squash and coffee.

 

Now, please give me a few minutes to praise three marvelous, yet underrated spices.

1: Smoked Paprika.

Paprika, using the Western European definition*, is a powder made from ground dried peppers. Sweet paprika is made from bell peppers. Spicy paprika is either made from chili peppers or from a combination or bell peppers and chili peppers. Paprika is usually red, but you could make paprika from green peppers if you wished to. [*In some Eastern European languages, like Polish, “papryka” is a bell pepper, so that’s why I mention it!]

Many people are familiar with the taste of normal paprika, as it’s commonly used in a variety of traditional European, American, African and Middle-Eastern cuisine and used globally in some form or another. In fact, it’s been incorporated into the traditional cuisines of most countries, even in recipes where it didn’t initially exist. It adds a sweet, slightly piquant flavour to most food. Sweet paprika is often used when a bit of spice is desired, but without the heat or burn of fully chilies. Spicy paprika is used where heat is called for, and it carries the flavour more evenly through a broth, gravy, stew or paste than fresh or dried chilies can. Both also offer the advantage of keeping longer than even dried chilies.

However, smoked paprika adds another dimension entirely. It is usually made out of bell peppers and, on top of the sweetness and slight spiciness, there is a smokey, barbequey flavour. It’s hard to describe beyond that, but it’s marvelous (if I haven’t said so already).

Smoked paprika is best used on:

-all red and white meats

-fried protein dishes

-making sausages, pates, meatloaves or burgers (meat and veggie)

-grilled dishes

-anything involving cheese

2: Powdered Onion and Onion Salt.

Dried onion that has been powdered and maybe mixed with salt.

This is also brilliant. Basically, depending on how much you put in it will add the flavour of French onion soup or the je-ne-sais-quoi of junk Chinese food (besides the MSG). That is pretty much all you need to know.

Powdered onion is best used on:

-savory dishes where you would ordinarily use onion

-anything baked or roasted

-combining with breadcrumbs and savory batter

-most fried things

-anything sort-of-Asian

3: Ground Cloves.

It seems everyone but bakers and ham-makers underestimates the power of the mighty clove. It has an acrid taste, like concentrated real ales with a touch of earthy or nuttiness. Something to be used in very small quantities, usually to impart flavour before being discarded. Cloves are the other thing you find in an Indian dish (alongside cardamoms and bay leaves) that you bite into and have to spit out, confused that this strange piece of wood was intentionally put into your meal. But cloves are brilliant. They can intensify spicy or savoury flavours, contrast with sweet ones and take the edge off salty ones.

Ground cloves are to be used very sparingly. But they are preferable over whole cloves in two aspects:

1, Whole cloves stay whole in your food, and that’s just gross.

2, Ground cloves don’t take as long for their flavour to impart. Being a powder, it just dissolves into the fluid or paste you’re making.

Ground cloves are best used on:

-pepper crusts for meat

-in curries and rich stews

-in jams and preserves

-baked goods

 

Now, that out of the way, you will now understand why the main recipes were so simple. When you use ingredients and spices artfully, the tastes do all the talking.

 

Recipe 1: Spiced Roast Chicken.

(for one)

Ingredients:

-1 chicken thigh

-1/8tsp pepper

-1/4tsp salt

-1/2tsp smoked paprika

-1/4tsp onion powder

-1/16tsp ground cloves

Utensils:

-baking tray

-knife for slicing

Recipe:

1: Coat your chicken, over and under the skin, in the spices.

2: Cook in an oven at 160C for 45min.

3: Slice and serve.

 

Recipe 2: Seasoned Vegetables.

(big pot)

Ingredients:

-150g courgette

-5 large carrots

-500g potato

-300g celeriac

-2tbsp onion powder

-2tbsp pepper

-1tbsp salt

-1tbsp smoked paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot, stirring spoon

Recipe:

1: Slice the celeriac, potato and carrots and put on to boil for about 15min.

2: Slice the courgette. Add alongside the seasonings.

3: Simmer for 1.5h. Top up water as needed.

4: Serve with some form of flavoured fat stirred in (gammon lard, goat’s butter, salted coconut oil, etc).

 

And that’s what I served Jon today. What did he think of the seasoning? 4/5, but could have been a 4.5/5 if I’d put more of the stock in with the veg. Live and learn. 🙂

 

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