Cooking Basics For Dummies book cover

Cooking Basics For Dummies

By: Marie Rama and Bryan Miller Published: 03-04-2020

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.


P.S. If you think this book seems familiar, you’re probably right. The Dummies team updated the cover and design to give the book a fresh feel, but the content is the same as the previous release of Cooking Basics For Dummies (9781118922316). The book you see here shouldn’t be considered a new or updated product. But if you’re in the mood to learn something new, check out some of our other books. We’re always writing about new topics!

Articles From Cooking Basics For Dummies

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49 results
49 results
Prepare a Light but Classy Hors D'oeuvre: Marinated Salmon

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

Appetizers that require marinating are a good way to start a meal. Their acidic freshness primes the palate for what's to follow. This spectacular recipe, Salmon Marinated in Ginger and Cilantro, can be prepared several hours in advance and has a tangy, herbaceous flavor that teases the palate without filling the stomach. Don't substitute powdered ginger for fresh ginger root in this recipe; the same goes for the cilantro. The fresh ingredient tastes entirely different than the dried herbs do. Marinating fish can be tricky business. The acid in the marinade — which comes from the lime and vinegar — actually "cooks" the surface of the fish. Be sure to leave the fish in the marinade only as long as the recipe indicates (4 to 5 hours, in this case). Salmon Marinated in Ginger and Cilantro Preparation time: About 15 minutes plus marinate time Yield: 8 servings 2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon fillets 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes Salt and black pepper Lettuce for garnish Slice the salmon thinly (1/4 inch or less) widthwise, leaving strips about 2 inches long. Place the strips in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, onion, vinegar, oil, cilantro, ginger root, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours. Taste for seasoning. If you need more salt, blend it in thoroughly. Line small serving plates with the lettuce of your choice and place a serving of salmon over the lettuce. Discard the onion-marinade mix. Per serving: Calories 174 (From Fat 76); Fat 9g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 62mg; Sodium 68mg; Carbohydrate 0g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 23g. If your salmon pieces have any small bones, use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove them before starting to prepare this dish.

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Cooking Basics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 10-14-2021

To save money and boost your health, you may be doing more home cooking than ever before. You can use simple tips and tricks to cook healthy meals, bake yummy desserts, throw a fabulous party, and save time in the kitchen. With a bit of planning, some expert advice, and fresh ingredients, you’ll be cooking delicious meals in no time — even if you consider yourself a kitchen novice. Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

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How to Cut a Whole Chicken into Eight Pieces

Video / Updated 06-02-2020

Hone your knife skills and learn how to separate a whole chicken into eight pieces so you can leave the expensive, precut chicken pieces at the grocery store. Master the simple steps needed to cut a whole chicken into thighs, drumsticks, wings, and breasts. You’ll feel like a real kitchen pro!

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A Summer Staple: Corn on the Cob

Article / Updated 06-18-2019

Fresh corn on the cob is around for a few weeks each summer, and then it disappears. So when it’s available, make the most of this delicious vegetable. It’s not so hard to cook the perfect ear of corn if you follow a few simple tips: Buy corn still in its husk, if possible, rather than the plastic-wrapped, fully shucked kind you often see in the store. It will taste fresher. Do not shuck the corn until close to cooking time. The silk and husk help keep the kernels moist. If you have to store corn, put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Don’t overcook your corn. About 5 to 6 minutes, just until the corn is heated through, is plenty for young, tender ears. Older ears may take up to 10 minutes. This recipe calls for one ear of corn per person, but if you have more guests or you think your guests may eat more than one ear each, just add more to the pot. The cooking time remains the same. Perfect Corn on the Cob Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 5 to 6 minutes Yield: 8 servings 8 ears fresh sweet corn Salt and pepper 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, husk the corn. When the water boils, carefully drop the ears, one at a time, into the pot. Cover and boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, remove the ears from the water and set them on a plate to drain. Serve immediately with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of butter per ear. Per serving: Calories 178 (From Fat 112); Fat 12g (Saturated 7g); Cholesterol 31mg; Sodium 88mg; Carbohydrate 17g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 3g. Vary It! Flavor the butter with assorted spices and herbs. For example, you can soften the butter to room temperature and mix in a little lemon or lime juice, chopped cilantro or chervil, or chopped fresh basil.

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3 Essential Knives for the Home Cook

Step by Step / Updated 03-09-2017

Most home cooks can get along with three versatile knives: a 10- to 12-inch chef’s knife, an 8- to 10-inch serrated (bread) knife, and a small paring knife.

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7 Essential Pots and Pans for the Beginning Cook

Step by Step / Updated 03-09-2017

The following list of different kinds of pots and pans isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you started. These are the pots and pans you’ll use the most.

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7 Specialty Pots and Pans for the Beginning Cook

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

If you really want to go to town with this pots-and-pans thing, you could probably buy a hundred different ones, each with its own specialized function. But is your kitchen really that big? You can do just about any cooking chore with some basic pots and pans However, if you want to take it to the next level, you may consider acquiring some of these additional handy pans. They aren’t essential, but they are pretty cool — and some of them even give you the opportunity to spout French to your guests. Who’s not impressed by that?

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How to Cut Fat, Calories, and Carbs when Cooking

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

To reduce fat, calories, and carbs, try these alternatives when cooking your favorite dishes. You can create healthier meals without sacrificing flavor just by trying these simple substitutions. Bon appétit! Substitute lowfat or nonfat dairy products for full-fat dairy products. For example, use 2 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk or cream, lowfat or nonfat cottage cheese and yogurt rather than the full-fat versions made with whole milk, or lowfat or nonfat cheese for regular cheese. These products often give soups and sauces a thinner, less creamy consistency and may influence the texture in other dishes, but the health benefits may be worth it. Substitute lowfat or nonfat mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise and lowfat or nonfat salad dressing for regular salad dressing. Find brands you like so you don’t feel deprived. Looking for lower-fat meat options? Try ground turkey rather than ground beef, or choose ground beef that is at least 95 percent lean. (Just be aware that hamburgers made from very lean beef will be dryer and less juicy than those made with a higher fat ground beef.) Choose white meat over dark meat poultry, and find cuts of beef with the words loin or round in them. Choose olive oil and canola oil over butter when sautéing. These ingredients contain monounsaturated fats, a healthier option than saturated fats for heart health. To cut carbs, use lettuce leaves rather than bread for sandwiches or wraps. Just roll up lean meat and lowfat cheese with a dash of mustard inside a Romaine lettuce leaf. Decorate your salads with hard-cooked egg whites and walnuts rather than croutons and full-fat cheese. Avoid processed foods, especially those made with white flour, sugar, and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, which are found mostly in prepared meals that come from a box or package.

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Timesaving Cooking Tips

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Save time when cooking with these handy tips. Serving up a meal is a snap with these timesaving hints. You'll cook more efficiently and enjoy more time with family and friends at the table! Have all ingredients prepared, measured, and set out within reach before you start cooking. Precook pieces of chicken or meat in your microwave before finishing them on the grill. If you’re using the oven, turn it on at least 15 minutes before you’re ready to roast or bake your dish. Don’t waste time waiting for the oven to heat after you’ve prepared the recipe. Buy vegetables that are already washed and cut, if doing so will get you to eat more vegetables or cook more often. Prepared ingredients such as bagged salad mix, stir-fry vegetables already cut to size, and boneless cuts of meat cost a bit more, but saving some time may be worth it. Remove steaks and other meats from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking so that they warm to room temperature. They’ll cook faster and more evenly. Line the broiler pan with aluminum foil to ease cleanup when broiling hamburgers, fish, steaks, and chops. Don't bother chopping onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and the like for a salad dressing. Instead, use a food processor or blender to save chopping time, add your liquids, and then blend for a quick dressing. Place a garlic clove on a cutting board and whack it with the flat side of a heavy knife or a cleaver to make removing the skin easier. The skin should split right off. Roll a lemon or orange under the palm of your hand on the countertop to make extracting the juice easier. Clean up as you go. You’ll be glad you did when the meal is over!

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Staples for Your Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Family hungry and nothing to cook? Make sure that never happens again. If you always keep these staples in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, you’ll never again be stuck with no option but takeout. You can certainly add to these lists, but these essentials can always help you make a good meal. For items you use regularly (such as bread, eggs, and milk), plan to restock about once a week. Pantry Baking powder Baking soda Bread Brown sugar Canned beans (pinto, white, or black) Cereal (hot or cold) Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth Cider or white vinegar Cocoa powder Coffee and/or tea Condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, pickles, and pickle relish Cornstarch Dried herbs: Basil, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and parsley Flour Granulated sugar Ground spices: Black pepper, cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes), chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, ginger, dry mustard, nutmeg, and paprika Jam, jelly, or preserves Pancake syrup Pasta Peanut butter Powdered sugar Rice Salt Tomato sauce, paste, and canned tomatoes Vanilla extract Vegetable oil Refrigerator Butter Cheese (hard and soft) Eggs Fresh fruit Fresh vegetables, including leafy greens Meat, fish, poultry, or tofu to last three to five days Milk Yogurt and/or sour cream Freezer Frozen fruit, for smoothies and sauces Frozen vegetables you will actually eat Ice cream or frozen yogurt Meat, poultry, and/or fish to last about a week

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