Do you think of yourself as a bit of a whiz in the kitchen? Do your friends and family members come to you for advice when it comes to cooking a culinary feast? Are you that good at cooking that you don't even need recipes anymore? Well if you answered yes to those questions then this is the ultimate test for you. 

Before you get too cocky in the kitchen, make sure you know these 10 basic and simple cooking techniques to avoid having egg on your face if you can't, in fact, boil an egg. 

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1. Chop An Onion 

Alright let's start with something easy. We all basically put onion in everything these days so make sure you're crying from cutting the onions and not from your poor onion cutting skills. If you're the latter, don't worry about it. Try using a sharp knife to reduce those tears or if that fails, you can always try these super stylish onion goggles. 

  • Chop off the top of the onion.  
  • Cut the onion in half leaving the roof attached. 
  • Peal the skin away. 
  • Make two or three horizontal cuts into the onion half. 
  • Then slice vertically, holding the onion as you chop. 
  • Repeat with the other onion half. 
  • Take the flat end of each onion half and chop downwards, continuing with a smooth, slicing motion. 

To remove the onion-y smell left on your hands try rubbing them with stainless steel soap. 

How to chop an onion

2. Cook Pasta 

If the soggy, stuck-together pasta dinners of your childhood is still enough to give you nightmares then you'd better make sure you now know how to cook it right. Be mindful that different pasta shapes will have different cooking times. 

  • Fill a pot with double the water to cover the pasta, add salt to taste before bringing it to a vigorous boil. 
  • Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Stir the pasta within the first two minutes of cooking to prevent sticking. 

If you're brave enough to make your own egg pasta, let Jamie Oliver teach you here. 

How to cook pasta

3. Melt Chocolate 

Make sure you know how to melt chocolate for those cold, winter's nights when you feel like a bit of a treat (hello fondue). 

  • Break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. 
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. 
  • To get every bit of chocolate you can out of the bowl use the Chopula from Dreamfarm.

How to melt chocolate

4. Bake a Potato 

Nothing says comfort food like a warm baked potato, and not only are they super easy to make, they're so freaking delicious! 

  • Rub the outside of your potato with a little oil and some salt to ensure your spud has a nice, crispy skin. 
  • Prick your potato. This basically allows it to breathe and will save you from cleaning an exploded spud from the walls of your oven. 
  • Bake in the oven for 1hr-1hr 20 mins at 200°C. 

How to bake a potato

5. Make Gravy 

You can't have a good, hearty roast beef without some delicious gravy. Unless you can't make it. 

  • Remove the meat from the roasting pan.
  • Fry some finely chopped veggies, such as carrots and onions, in the base of the pan on a high heat, until caramelised. 
  • Add flour and stir until light brown.
  • Add a little wine and let it reduce. 
  • Gradually poor in enough stock to make the gravy as thick or as thin as you like, stirring it all the time. 
  • Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, adding herbs for additional flavour. 
  • Strain the mixture into a jug. 
  • Use a fat separator to get rid of the excess fat if you're trying to be #health.   

Now that you've mastered that gravy, use it as an accompaniment to Jamie Oliver's Roast Lamb and Vegetables. 

How to make gravy

6. Cook Rice 

One of the more simpler things on this list yet it's often still made wrong and ends in a gloopy mess. With these simple steps you won't need a rice cooker to make the fluffiest grains. 

  • Measure the rice into a cup and level the top. 
  • Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water. 
  • Pour the rice into a pan over a low heat. 
  • Add double the amount of water. 
  • Bring to a boil. 
  • Put a lid on it and turn the heat down as low as possible. 
  • Cook for 10 mins - DON'T take the lid off. 
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. 
  • Done. 
Cooking with Rice
Servings Rice Water Cooking Time
2 Person 1 Cup Rice 2 Cups Water 10-12 mins
4 Person 2 Cups Rice 4 Cups Water 20-25 mins
6 Person 3 Cups Rice 6 Cups Water 30-35 mins
8 Person 4 Cups Rice 8 Cups Water 40-45 mins

​

How to cook rice

 7. Boil an Egg 

Sounds simple but is it? 

Soft boiled eggs

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and gently lower the egg into it with a spoon. 
  • Cook for 3 to 5 mins. 
  • Eat. 

Hard boiled eggs

  • Start in a pan of cold water and bring up to the boil. 
  • Place in the egg gently. 
  • Cook for 7 to 10 mins. 
  • Eat. 

For the perfectly cooked egg every time use an egg timer. 

How to boil an egg

8. Pancake Mixture 

If you've got kids you have to know how to make pancakes. End of story. Even if you don't have kids, how else are you going to have those lazy Sunday mornings and what else are you going to drizzle maple syrup on?

  • Mix together 140g of flour and a pinch of salt. 
  • Stir together and make a well in the center. 
  • Beat the 4 eggs and 200ml of milk together. 
  • Add the 50g of melted butter. 
  • Whisk the ingredients together to make a thick, smooth batter.

*makes 12 pancakes* 

How to make pancake batter

9. Pit an Avocado 

It's as easy as a firm whack and a twist of the wrist. 

  • Using a sturdy knife, slice into the avocado lengthwise. 
  • With the blade resting on the pit, rotate the knife around the avocado to create 2 halves, and separate them. 
  • Give the avocado half with the pit a good whack with the knife, aiming straight from its center. 
  • Holding the avocado half in a towel, rotate the knife to loosen the pit. 
  • Lift the pit off while it's still wedged on the blade and knock it into the sink/bin. 
  • Use the knife to slice the avocado. 

How to pit an avocado

10. Whipped Cream

We must admit it's easy to get carried away on this one. There's just something so fun and mesmerising about watching runny cream become thick, fluffy cream which then turns into a clotted kind of butter. Oh no wait, go back. 

  • In a chilled bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the chilled cream and sugar until the beaters leave visible lines when drawn cross the cream. 
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and continue to beat until soft peaks form. 
  • Take out the mixer and walk away. 

If you still can't figure it out, try using an electric cream whipper.

How to whip cream

Now that we've all learnt something we said we already knew (but secretly didn't), get in the kitchen and take your new skills for a spin. 

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