Martha's Cooking School Lessons: The Basics
Imagine having Martha Stewart at your side in the kitchen, teaching you about the parts of a chef's knife, the proper technique for sautéing, how to scramble eggs, the method for cooking perfect white rice, and much more. That's what this slideshow, based on our founder's book Martha Stewart's Cooking School ($23.99, amazon.com), brings you. It's like a session of culinary master classes from Martha herself, and the lessons are suitable for home cooks of all levels.
The first lesson is knife skills. Martha starts here because it is the most essential culinary skill. She outlines the three knives every home cook needs in their knife block and how to use them. We also look at techniques for chopping an onion and julienning.
Lesson two deals with butchering. After all, knowing how to cute a whole chicken into pieces is a sensible technique that's also economical. Just compare the price of a chicken cut into pieces with that of a whole bird and you'll understand why this is such an essential skill.
From there Martha's lesson plan moves through basic techniques like sautéing and frying to simple tasks like making vinaigrette for a salad. She also outlines the proper method for butterflying meat as well as rolling and stuffing your butterflied meat. And that's not all. Martha also shares the wonder of classic techniques like braising, which is just right for cheaper cuts of meat that cook low and slow, and steaming, which keeps fish, meat, and vegetables moist and tender.
Martha embraces her role as our pre-eminent cooking teacher, sharing essential techniques and expert tips to teach you how to cook with confidence and competence.
How to Cut Up a Chicken
Learning this essential technique means you will not only become well-versed with the different parts of the chicken, but that you'll also start saving money on your weekly grocery bill. Buying a whole chicken instead of individual parts will save you money.
How to Sauté and Fry
How to Cook Rice
How to Make a Simple Salad
Martha shares her favorite vinaigrette, which is just the thing for dressing leaves for a basic, or not so basic, green salad.
How to Braise
A busy cook's best friend, that's braising. It's a technique that doesn't require much hands-on time or fancy equipment. Braising cooks food low-and-slow in a small amount of liquid, producing hearty, consistently flavorful main courses and side dishes that belie their ease. It's also a great way to cook lean, inexpensive cuts of meat. Try braising pork shoulder in cider or brisket in white wine.
How to Cook Eggs
How to Steam
Often overlooked, steaming is a versatile technique that produces exceptionally moist, tender, and healthy dishes. Food is set in a steaming basket over a simmering liquid and cooks in the hot vapor. Steam all kinds from food from a whole fish to fish fillets, like the salmon dinner shown here, to green beans or carrots.
How to Make Stock
Making stock is an exercise in building flavors. Once you've got the technique down, having that steady supply of homemade stock in the freezer will elevate your home cooking. Martha shares recipes and techniques for the three most common stocks—chicken (including a time-saving Instant Pot-version), beef stock, and vegetable stock.
How to Butterfly and Stuff
How to Make Sauces
Each of these easy, adaptable classic sauce recipes offers a culinary lesson in flavor-building techniques. Martha begins with Hollandaise sauce, a delicious accompaniment to steamed asparagus and eggs Benedict. A creamy béchamel sauce has many uses, including as the basis for a grown-up take on macaroni and cheese. The French sauce beurre blanc is the finishing touch for steamed lobsters. A quick, fresh-tasting, better-than-anything-from-a-jar marinara sauce uses only three ingredients.