One of the hardest things to adjust to after I moved out to live by myself was that I now was in charge of what to eat, that meant that if I didn't cook no else would. Now, being a CS graduate you might assume that cooking wasn't exactly my strong suit, and you would be right. But don't worry, I have gotten a bit better at it after some months of practice.
Anyway, I thought it would be nice to recommend you the two cookbooks I have been using for a while in case you're struggling with the same issues or just want to try out new recipes/techniques.
SALT, ACID, FAT, HEAT is widely regarded as one of the best Cookbooks out there and has amassed plenty of awards. In it, Chef Samin Nosrat set outs to teach you the elements of good cooking through the title's four simple elements. Unlike most typical cookbooks that get you started with recipes right away, this one is divided in two parts.
The first one features a lengthy chapter for each one of the four elements, teaching you how to make better decisions while cooking by guiding you through the whys and hows of good cooking. This sections prepare you to better improvise while you cook so you don't have to follow recipes as strict rules.
The second part is a bit more familiar, consisting of recipes arranged by the type of cooking being done. It also includes some suggested cooking lessons as well as suggested menus for when you're running out of ideas on how to pair a meal.
SALT, ACID, FAT, HEAT is also available as a series in Netflix in case you would prefer to check it in that format.
Cooking for Geeks is the other book I have been relying on for the past months, as with the previous book, this one is not entirely focused on the recipes, having also plenty of interviews with experts on different cuisines. Moreover, it has some 'labs' for you to try to better understand the concepts behind the techniques that you are using.
It also has plenty of recipes for you to try, its Mac & Cheese recipe is the reason my sister has been urging me to cook the last few times I have gone to visit my family.
Both books encourage you think outside of the box while cooking, and more importantly provide you with the tools to do so. Additionally both give some important tips on how to arrange your kitchen, as well as utensils and ingredients that you should always keep close at hand.
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