11. Clean as you go! Done with the cutting board? Wash it or put it away before you move on to the next step. A clean kitchen makes your life way easier.
12. No sharps left in the sink.
13. Don’t use wet towels.
14. LET YOUR MEAT REST AFTER COOKING.
15. Patience, planning, and good organization.
Patience/planning: Brine your chicken. Let the rice dry before you make fried rice. Slow cook your meats. Overall the actual time you invest is about the same but it requires some foresight. Don’t expect to just grab a chicken breast out of the freezer and be able to make a delicious meal in 20 minutes. A lot of the best dishes take some time to let the flavors do their work.
Organization: It’s a lot more enjoyable when you can focus on cooking instead of digging around for things you need or clearing space on your counter. Have a good set of glass Tupperware to save leftovers. Get stackable matching cookware that’s easy to manage and store. Ziplock bags are great too. These things pay for themselves in giving you general sanity and making it more likely you will consume your leftovers and always have things in their place.
16. You’re just going to enjoy cooking more if you have a SHARP knife. No clue how people can hack away at veggies and meat. No reason to go insane either, a $30 Victorinox and $5 sharpener will get you a very long way.
17. Wear a tall hat to hide the rat.
18. When a dish calls for a certain amount of wine, it is recommended to consume an equal amount of wine whilst cooking said dish.
19. I watched a Gordon Ramsay show where he said “If it’s brown, it’s cooked; if it’s black, it’s f**ked.” He was right.
20. Really think about what size you’re cutting your vegetables in relation to cooking time. It’s better to have a perfectly cooked larger vegetable that you have to use fork and knife a bit to eat at the table than a bunch of overcooked, mushy bite-sized pieces. Generally speaking, the best simple preparation for cooking a vegetable is usually roasted on a sheet pan with olive oil, S&P.
And for god’s sake, make your own salad dressings fresh. It takes no time, you likely have what you already need in your pantry and it tastes 10x as good as the crap in the bottle. You’ll be surprised even how much better Ranch dressing tastes if you get the dry seasoning packets and mix them with some fresh milk and mayo and let it sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.