Everybody happened to have some accidents at the kitchen, some unpleasant surprizes, some spoiled dishes. Only those who do not cook, do not have such situations. Though most of them You can prevent knowing the rules, and being attentive...
1) Read the recipe before You start. Analyze it! Imagine the whole preparation process.It's Your travel map in the kitchen.
2) Mise en place — literally “putting in place” that is, having all the ingredients gathered, measured, prepared and ready to go before you start actually cooking. It makes everything so much easier and You are more concentrated on what You cook.
Auguste Escoffier, French chef, maybe the most prominent person In culinary, implemented is as staple of work in the kitchen.
3) Taste as You go! Some ingredients can make the whole dish saltier, when You don’t even expect it. And not all the sugars are equally sweet. Don’t leave this out for the time before serving.
4) Do pre-heat the oven if it is indicated in the recipe! So the dish will be heat through from all the sides properly, and the cooking process will start at proper temperature.
5) Measure Your ingredients properly. Especially when baking something. Baking is more chemistry than art. Make exact measurements not to end with rubbery cakes, tough bread and deformed cookies.
6) Do not overcrowd the frying pan. Golden brown and crisp bits, that everybody likes, are essential for flavor and are impossible to get if the frying pan is overcrowded. You will just steam, not fry.
7) Get the frying pan hot enough before You start cooking, because You will end up with excessively greasy bits, or your food will simply stick to the pan in case of stainless steel frying pan. (These are the best to develop delicious crust and then to make sauce with the drippings)
8) When You cook meat or fish, no matter what cooking method You use, allow them to reach room temperature. The flesh will cook through evenly, and the cooking time will be shorter, what makes flesh more tender.
9) When You make a roasted chicken or goose, or any other bird and any roast or fried cuts of meat, let it relax before carving. It’s important to have juicy meat. If You carve it straight away, all the juices will be leaking out and Your end up with dry and tough meat. With steaks and birds parts 5 min is enough. For a whole bird and big roasts, 15-30 min are essential.
10) When You blanch vegetables, shock them in ice water (bowl filled with ice and cold water) or at least rinse them under cold running water, for few seconds. Your vegetables will be brighter, crunchier and not overcooked.
Good luck and tasty cooking!