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Contribution By: Kacey Mya Bradley from The Drifter Collective
Do you describe yourself as a “foodie”? Do you have countless photos on your phone of meals and snacks? Is going out to eat and grocery shopping second only to rent in your monthly budget?
If so, you aren’t alone. The popularity of shows like Iron Chef, Chopped, and Top Chef, as well as the explosion of food sharing on social media, has made our culture a very food centric one. In fact, there are over 178 million pictures tagged with “#food” on Instagram.
But it’s not enough just take pictures of food, you’ve got to get your hands dirty if you want to appreciate the culinary arts. And it’s best to start at the beginning, with traditional recipes that have stood the test of time. Once you’ve attempted these six traditional recipes every home chef should try, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciate of food. And then you can go ahead and post away (#food).
A classic roast chicken, with brown skin and moist meat, is a true classic. You’ll love it for its simplicity but also because it’s perfect for wowing guests. Place it on a platter, surround it with vegetables, and your guests will “oooh” and “aaah” on cue.
Also, there is the rite of passage of removing the giblets from the raw bird. You’ll feel like a pro once you’ve done that.
Trust the Barefoot Contessa’s perfect roast chicken recipe, which includes roasted vegetables as well. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to carve a whole bird.
Amish Chicken Corn Soup
Another traditional recipe every cook should try is a hearty soup. These are good to have in your repertoire because the right soup can be a side dish or the main course. It can be the perfect bring-to-your-sick-friend remedy or the let-me-impress-my-date, curled up on the sofa together, romantic meal.
This recipe for Amish chicken corn soup fits the bill. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch classic that has been passed down for generations.
Paella is commonly known as the national dish of Spain. This rice and seafood or meat dish is served in – and often eaten right out of – a large pan (the Spanish word for “pan” is “paella”).
It’s perfect for a dinner party because everyone is scooping their meal out of a communal plate, and the bright colors of yellow rice and red saffron will look beautiful on the table.
In some Spanish restaurants, paella is cooked over an open flame, but this recipe for Easy Paella will work for the home chef.
Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking serves as the Bible for many a foodie. In the premier episode of her show “The French Chef,” Julia Child taught us how to make the French staple Boeuf Bourguignon. And we haven’t looked back since.
We’re in an era where celebrity chefs appear on almost every channel, but Julia was the original. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu and fell in love with French cooking. Now her boeuf bourguignon is a rite of passage for any aspiring chef. Heck, it’s even been immortalized on the silver screen. This is a must-try for any aspiring foodie.
We’ve talked about traditional American, Spanish and French recipes, so it’s time to show some love to the culture most known for its delicious food, the Italians. Every home cook should know how to make their own fresh pasta. Once you see how simple it is, and just how much better your pasta dish will taste, you may never go back to buying the boxed stuff.
Here is famous Italian American chef Mario Batali’s recipe for homemade pasta dough. Are you surprised to know it only has two ingredients? Use this homemade dough in your favorite macaroni recipes, and you’ll be amazed at the differences in taste and texture.
Apple Pie a la Mode
No menu would be complete without dessert, and this list needs a sweet ending.
There is nothing more American than Apple Pie, and there is no recipe more traditional than Apple Pie a la mode (which is just a fancy way of saying pie with ice cream). When asked why they were headed to war, American soldiers fighting World War II were known to respond “For mom and apple pie.” Apple pie is simply synonymous with America itself.
You might be tempted to cook and bake with exotic ingredients and eat at the newest, trendiest restaurants. And there is definitely a place for forward thinking chefs and recipes. But these six traditional recipes have stood the test of time, and mastering classic recipes is an important step towards feeling confident in the kitchen.