Helpful Tips For Beginners: How To Read & Follow A Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks create a delicious dish as intended in the recipe.
Start with clean hands and an organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you avoid missing a step.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitute or omit the ingredient.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as pecans, chopped (measure whole pecans and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written as such in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized and avoid missing an ingredient or missing a step in the instructions.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.Enjoy!
Mexican Cornbread is loaded with yellow corn kernels and diced jalapeno peppers.
Cheddar cheese is an optional ingredient.
Bake in a skillet or muffin tin.
The cornbread is moist inside and crusty outside. Savory, hearty and delicious. Very easy to make.
Mexican Cornbread’s colorful texture makes a pretty presentation on the dinner table.
EDITOR’S NOTE (December 24, 2020): Added 5 new photos. Edited text for clarity.
Updated the recipe by adding 1/4 cup self-rising flour, 2 additional tablespoons of buttermilk, and replaced fresh diced jalapeno peppers with jarred diced jalapeno peppers.
Watch video demonstration uploaded in recipe notes (end of page).
I “purchased” a jar of Diced Jalapeno Peppers with a coupon provided by Mt. Olive Pickles.
The diced jalapeno peppers were excellent in this recipe. I have not been paid money to promote their product. All comments are my own.
FASCINATING CORNBREAD FACTS
Cornbread has been called a “cornerstone” of the cuisine of the Southern United States. Cornmeal is produced by grinding dry raw corn grains.
Native Americans used ground corn (maize) as food for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in the New World.
European settlers, who resided in the English Southern Colonies, learned original recipes for corn dishes from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek.
They developed cornmeal recipes similar to bread made with grains in Europe.
Whole corn kernels add flavor and texture. If using canned corn, rinse thoroughly to remove the sodium water. Tastes better in my opinion.
Although green chilies are a popular ingredient in Mexican Cornbread, they’re optional in my recipe. Truly a matter of personal preference.
The key to a thoroughly baked crust is to grease skillet and preheat until oil is sizzling hot… before adding cornbread batter. The hot oil will thoroughly bake the bottom and side crusts.