You don't have to be a Nigella or Jamie to produce sensational results in the kitchen. In fact, you don't have to be a very skilled cook at all! The Foodiful team has put together a list of the 9 basic recipes that will see you through many family dinners, lunches with friends, birthday parties, and unexpected drop-in guests. Master these, and just wait for the praise.
1. Pumpkin soup
There's nothing quite like a comforting bowl of creamy pumpkin soup to get you through the winter chill. Delicious on its own or with a crusty toast, pumpkin soup it's a satisfying lunch or a light dinner. It's also budget-friendly, family-friendly, and depending on your recipe, can be cooked in large batches and frozen, so you can get a quick soup hit any time! After trying the traditional, you can get a little fancier with coconut pumpkin soup or Thai-spiced pumpkin soup.
A British tradition that Australians have eagerly adopted, everyone loves a scone tea. They taste magical straight from the oven, but they're also pretty good baked in batches, frozen and reheated for those unexpected afternoon tea drop-ins – we're pretty sure that's what the Queen does. Once skilled in traditional scones, you can delight guests with other styles, such as lemon drizzle scones, walnut scones, and that Aussie classic, pumpkin scones.
3. Scrambled eggs
If you're a Sunday brunch enthusiast (who isn't?) or often in need of a lazy dinner for one, perfecting scrambled eggs on toast could be considered a cooking investment. It might look easy, but getting that perfect consistency can be tricky… unless you follow our step-by-step recipe. Once you become an expert of the scramble, you can add anything you like to your brekkie plate – crispy bacon and smashed avo, anyone?
4. Fluffy pancakes
If you're more of a sweet breakfast person, then learning the art of the perfect pancake is a must. Stack them up, smother them in syrup, or soak them in sugar and lemon – basic pancakes can be served however you like. Oh, and kids love them, too!
5. Spaghetti bolognese
Having the in-laws over? Spaghetti bolognese. Romantic date night for two? Spaghetti bolognese. Feeding a fussy toddler? Spag bol. The Italian classic us a truly delicious all-rounder, that tastes just as good the following day, or even after being frozen! Topped with grated parmesan cheese (and maybe served with a glass of red), master this crowd-pleaser and say goodbye to many a dinner dilemma.
6. Perfect buttercream icing
Knowing how to ace the perfect buttercream icing will become a saving skill for many situations. From children's birthday party cupcakes, to icing a store-bought cake after forgetting about a school bake sale (they'll never know!), beautiful cake creations will not only look impressive, but will taste it, too. And as any amateur baker will tell you, icing with a good consistency makes working with cakes a whole lot easier!
7. Roast chicken
Whether it's Christmas lunch or a Sunday evening roast, the humble roast chook is a go-to favourite. But it's also one of the easiest recipes to muck up, resulting in a dry, flavourless bird. We recommend starting small with an basic roast chicken recipe that you can make slightly more elaborate each time, with different herbs, spices and vegies. Our roast chicken with garlic & thyme croutons is a great recipe for beginners, and comes with a delicious side salsa verde you can add or leave out.
And what's a roast without a delicious gravy? As you're learning, keep to the ingredient quantities in the recipe, then very, very slowly add a little more liquid or roux (a mixture of butter and flour) as needed. That way you'll guarantee the right consistency, making sure it's not too watery or thick.
9. Chocolate cake
Impromptu celebrations, family birthdays and work parties – everyone needs a go-to chocolate cake recipe. Although it might take a bit of practice to become the chocolate cake champion, it will be worth it for those 'mmm's and 'aah's of pleased cake-oholics.
Written by Chantal Walsh