Whether you’re a new cook or an experienced cook, making something new can be stressful. First, ingredients cost money, and you don’t want to waste it. Secondly, cooking dinner takes time, so you don’t want to waste that either.
Use Trusted Recipes
Finding recipes to use can be tricky. They’re not always tested and sometimes are just nonsense online. Even cookbooks are questionable at times. Even some famous named cookbooks don’t test recipes before publication. Find people you trust to provide recipes, and if something doesn’t seem right in the recipe, don’t be afraid to use your experience to make a change.
Do a Little Research
If the new thing you’re cooking is a type of ingredient or food you’ve never had try researching, it online. You might even want to find a good restaurant in your area that is known for making it and try it there. That way, you get an idea of what the flavor will be like when you prepare it yourself.
Ask Your Mom or Granny (or The Known Cooks in Your Family)
Ask someone you know who has cooked that before or who likes to cook a lot about what they think about this new item. Due to the net, a lot of formerly unknown ingredients are becoming a lot more popular, so don’t be shocked if they don’t know, but you should ask anyway because they may have advice that helps.
Get the Right Tools
If you’re cooking something so new that you don’t have the right tools, make sure you invest in them. For example, if you’ve never made a homemade tortilla before, don’t try it until you have the right tools that are used by the chef who prepares it like a good tortilla press and griddle.
Buy the Best Ingredients You Can Afford
Especially when it’s a new thing you’re going to prepare or cook with, buy the highest rated name brand that you can afford. Once you know what it’s supposed to be like, you can be a better judge about a generic brand or an off-brand.
Use Some Prepared Food
For some dishes, it’s okay to use prepared food to help you make it. For example, there are gourmet sauces available for almost any type of food at international grocery stores that you should try. Pad Thai sauce that you buy at the international grocery is often just as good as what you can make yourself, for example.
It’s Okay If It’s Not Perfect
The first time you cook a recipe, you may make mistakes, or something might not turn outright. That’s okay. Note what is not working so that you can do better next time, assuming you like it enough to try again. Perfection is not something you should be seeking, but practice does help.
Do Your Prepping First
When you start to cook something new, always read the recipe through, and then get your ingredients prepped and ready to go. Don’t wait for that step to realize you didn’t soak the beans all night or marinate the meat.
Allow Yourself Enough Time
The first time you make something, it’s going to take slightly longer than the third or fourth time you make it. For this reason, give yourself double the time the recipe states so that you can take your time and still get the food ready on time.
Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. It’s okay to try something new and fail. You never know if you’ll try something new and create a new family favorite that you all love. Adding new dishes to your rotation is always an exciting thing. Just let go of the idea that you’ll always do it perfectly, and even if you do that, everyone will like it.