The Bare Basics Cooking Quiz

By: Monica Lee
Image: Image Source/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Amateur or professional, we all need reminders to keep our cooking skills up to date. From new food crazes like avocado toast to making a perfect grilled cheese, there are many cooking tips and tricks that are new and helpful. Let's face it, not everybody's parent was a great cook, and not every child wants to learn. So if you didn't learn the essential skills at home. It's not too late! These basic techniques will help you build a solid foundation to further grow your kitchen talents and become a cooking pro in no time. But nothing too fancy. We're talking about making sure you can create pasta sauce with a few key ingredients and quickly remove the stone or pit from an avocado. You'll also be tested on very basic cooking terms and techniques. 

Whether you've just moved out on your own or want to start taking over the cooking for a loved one, we can put you on a path to culinary greatness. All you need to do is master the small stuff first and the big stuff won't be intimating. Go on, hone your current skills or learn new ones with this Basic Cooking Quiz. Take it now. 

Which of these describes how to chop an onion?

Even if you put it in a food processor, you need to cut the onion into pieces and remove the papery skin and ends. By running cold water on the onions halves, you can reduce the fumes that irritate the eyes.

Your knives need to be sharpened, what implement should you use?

All of these can be use to sharpen your knives. It's very important to keep your knives sharp because dull knives require more pressure and are more likely to slip and cause an injury.

How do you make a hard-boiled egg?

Don't ever put an egg (with shell) into the microwave, it will explode! If you boil the egg for three to five minutes, you get a soft-boiled egg. You need a longer time for the eggs to be hard-boiled. Remember to plunge the eggs into cold water as soon as they are done.

If you want to cook pasta "al dente," what does that mean?

To make the pasta ‘al dente’, literally means ‘to the teeth’ or firm to the bite. Remember that different pasta shapes will have different cooking times and fresh egg pasta will cook much quicker than dried.

What is the best way to cook pasta?

NEVER put a pot or pan in the microwave, it will short out your microwave and possibly start a fire! Make the spaghetti as instructed above and make sure to stir within the first two minutes of cooking to prevent sticking.

How do you poach an egg?

Although it seems fancy, smancy, all it takes is a pan of boiling water, a splash of white wine vinegar and a slotted spoon to make the perfect poached egg.

What kitchen instruments do you use to melt chocolate?

There are two easy ways to melt chocolate. You can put it in a microwave bowl and set the timer for 30-second intervals. Be sure to stir at each interval. Or you can use a double boiler and continually stir until the chocolate is fully melted.

It's easy to make a fluffy omelet, right? Which way is best?

In addition, to make the omelette fluffy, drag the cooked portion of the egg into the middle of the pan as the rest cooks. Fold over an edge to help you roll the omelet over in the pan and then place on plate.

Here's a kitchen basic, how do you bake a potato?

Plus you can wrap your potatoes in aluminum foil and put them on the grill. Potatoes are so versatile - there are so many ways to cook them.

How else can you check that a roasted chicken is done if you don't have a food thermometer?

Although you might think testing the wing joint might be a good indicator, it's on the outside of the chicken and will get cooked more quickly. You won't know if the is chicken cooked all the way through.

How do you make gravy?

Heating up a can of gravy doesn't qualify as "making " the gravy, since someone else made it and you're only heating it. Although it is perfectly fine to deviate from the recipe (like adding beer), that answer doesn't fit within the basic kitchen skills category.

Place the chicken in a large pot, add onion, carrots and celery. Simmer for 12 hours and strain. What are you doing?

Although there are many variations in making the perfect chicken stock, this is one of the most basic ways to do it.

What's the most important thing about making rice?

A rice cooker usually provides an idiot-proof way to ensure your rice is light and fluffy, absorbing just the right amount of water. However, you can also be successful using a microwave or a pot of boiling water.

You only need egg whites for the recipe. What's an easy way to separate eggs?

Don't listen to old wives tales. Simply crack the egg with the blunt side of a knife, open the shell into two halves, and pass the yolk several times between the halves.

How do you crush garlic?

If you don't want to pay for a garlic press, then you can peel garlic cloves by crushing them lightly with the flat of a knife blade and the heel of your hand. Then dice them up, add salt and use the flat of the blade and a paddling motion to make a garlic paste.

How can you vary the heat/spiciness of a recipe that uses chilies?

When peppers are fully grown, the size of the peppers can tell you how spicy they are; the smaller the spicier. Also the seeds, and the ribs holding the seeds, are spicier than the rest of the fruit. For a final dish with less heat, choose a different pepper, or remove the seeds and ribs.

Briefly pan-fry the meat over high heat until the outside is seared. What is this process called?

For meat to stay succulent and juicy when it’s cooked in a stew, it needs to be sealed first by browning. This process also gives the meat a richer flavor and keeps it tender before cooking further.

How do you tell if a steak is cooked to your liking?

There are many ways to make sure your steak is cooked the way you like it. If you do it by touch, just remember when rare, it feels soft and spongy with slight resistance. When it's well done, it feels firm and very slightly springy.

You are making a vinaigrette. What ingredients do you need?

A vinaigrette is a simple French salad dressing made from oil and vinegar in the basic ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar. Then add spices like crushed garlic or lemon juice to your liking.

Hygiene is always important. Which of these rules should you follow when making food?

Besides the above, the most important thing you can do is wash your hands before cooking or eating, and after touching raw meat.

It's breakfast time, and a simple basic skill is knowing how to make pancakes. When do you flip them?

Flip the pancake over when small bubbles appear on the surface. Then cook for another 30 seconds or until they are golden brown.

There is a basic cooking technique called "rubbing-in"? What is it?

If you ever want to make shortcrust pastries or scones, you’ll need to use a technique called rubbing in. This means taking flour and fat and rubbing it between your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.

You don't want your cake to stick to the pan. What can you do?

Some people use butter, some use oil, others use a combination of that with flour or parchment paper. The main thing is to treat your pans so that the batter doesn't stick.

If you're living on your own, you need to know how to make a basic tomato sauce. What do you need?

Put the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook until tomatoes have collapsed. Then season with your favorite spices. Strain the pulp and serve immediately over pasta.

Since there is a stone in the center, cut it in half around the stone. Twist the two halves to separate. Use a teaspoon to take the stone out. What are you doing?

This is how you prepare an avocado. The last step is to scoop the whole avocado flesh out by running a spoon around the inside of the skin.

How do you keep bananas, avocados and other fruits from browning when left out on the counter?

You can stop avocados or bananas from discoloring by sprinkling an acid such as citrus juice on them.

How do you know when shrimp are done cooking?

Just to add more to that information, when shrimp form a C-shape, they are perfectly cooked. However, if you let them continue to cook, they will twist into an O-shape signifying they are overcooked.

How do you know when your pan is hot enough for sauteing?

Sauteing means to fry quickly in a little hot fat. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the hot pan. If the water evaporates immediately, you know the pan is ready for the fat to be added and you are ready to saute your food.

How much pasta should you make per person?

Every host is different, but the normal amount per person is four ounces. Usually that means a box of spaghetti feeds four people.

Should oil or salt be added to the water before boiling the pasta?

Adding oil to the water does nothing but coat the noodles with fat and keep them from absorbing sauce later on. Adding salt adds flavor and is the preferred technique used by many chefs.

Not confident with how you season your food? Which of these should you always have in your fridge?

Lemon juice cuts through richness and sweetness, brightens otherwise dull ingredients and underscores flavor. It also reduces the amount of salt needed to make a dish pop. Try it on your next dish.

Toss vegetables with oil and spices and spread evenly in a large roasting pan. Cook at 400 degrees until the vegetables are browned. What are you doing?

One of the basic skills you should have is the ability to roast vegetables. Whether it's root vegetables or crucifers, the result is delicious.

Which of these are good tips for making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich?

Who doesn't appreciate cooking tips? Use grated cheese instead of sliced because it melts faster. And be sure to cook over medium heat. Then the bread won’t get too crispy before the cheese has melted.

A tip to make French toast even better. Which one is it?

Fresh bread usually means you end up with soggy slices. Day-old bread cooks up better. Plus if you make French toast with only egg yolks, not the whole egg, it will taste ultra rich. Another trick is to make sure key ingredients are brought to room temperature.

Impress your guests by fixing a perfect cocktail. How do you do it?

This was the last question. And now that you know how to make a perfect cocktail, we hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

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