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BBC Good Food: Essential skills for home cooksTaught by Cassie Best

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Enjoy every moment in the kitchen creating new recipes to share with family and friends

  • Knife sharpening

  • How to poach and barbecue whole fish

  • Grinding spices

  • Making macarons


BBC Good Food

Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned chef, Cassie Best’s Essential Skills for Home Cooks course is a must. From knife handling to marinades, and from madeleines to macarons, this course will give you a huge array of skills.

Beginning with how to use knives safely and efficiently, lesson one of this course will guide through a range of knife skills, leaving you capable of sharpening your knives ready to use them to make julienne and baton cuts.

Once you’ve mastered your knife skills, you’ll apply them in lesson two, when you learn how to skin and fillet fish. Cassie will advise on buying sustainably sourced fish, pointing you towards several useful websites, and then making sure that you can prepare it in multiple ways, including poaching and barbequing whole fish.

You will then move into the world of herbs and spices, being shown how to make your own curry pastes and which herbs contribute best to certain flours and textures.

Cassie also shares her expert evaluation of the best baking tools for when you fancy making something sweet. This four-week course will ensure you’re at the top of your cooking game.

The Curriculum

  • 1. Knife skills

    Handling a knife correctly and efficiently is a game changer for home cooks. Maintain the sharpness of your knife with a steel or sharpener to make chopping and cutting safer, faster and more efficient. Learn to cut evenly sized pieces of food in order to cook them at the same pace and stop the first stages of many recipes burning. Learn to form a claw with your other hand so you can slice and cut efficiently without cutting yourself. Make batons and julienne and then turn them into cubes, dice, brunoise, slicing, roll cutting, chiffonade and julienne. Prepare garlic without a crusher and learns some tips for prepping ginger.

  • 2. Cooking fish and seafood at home

    Buying fish, what to look for, questions to ask the fishmonger, what to look for in a supermarket. Checks for sustainability and useful websites. Storing fish at home. Explore different steps for prepping both round and flat fish from scaling and skinning to filleting. Cleaning whole squid, peeling and cleaning prawns and learn to check whether mussels are alive. Different ways to cook fish. How to poach and barbecue whole fish, cooking fillets, steaks and small pieces of fish. How oily and white fish differ and why they should be treated differently when cooked.

  • 3. Make great curries and dahls

    Master the art of making a balanced spice mix. Use your nose to evaluate the freshness of spices and tell when they are toasted. Grinding and keeping spices, how much you should make at a time and the best tools for the job. Making a curry paste, useful cheats to buy and tips for prepping ingredients. Marinating and marinades and the effects of different ingredients. Making a tarka to flavour a dahl and learn when to add spices at the end of a dish. Adding herbs for flavour and texture.

  • 4. Up your baking game

    Learn to make choux pastry and eclairs, bake gooey-in-the-middle cookies and master macarons and madeleines. Make these tea time favourites and learn to make different flavours and present them in both classic and modern ways. Cassie evaluates gadgets for baking and takes you through the equipment you’ll need, plus how to test the temperature of your oven.

Meet your expert tutor

Cassie Best began her culinary career by training at Leiths School of Food and Wine. It was here that her evident talent won her a place on an internship scheme with BBC Good Food, Britain’s biggest ...read more

Why you'll love learning here

  • Exclusive: Be coached directly by Cassie Best

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  • Fun: Get a new perspective with classmates from around the world

  • Inspiring: Real experts sharing their secrets

  • Convenient: Fits with real life. Study whenever and wherever you like

  • Forever: Lifetime access to videos, notes and classmates

Start whenever you like

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