The Bare Basics Cooking Quiz

By: Monica Lee

The Bare Basics Cooking Quiz
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?
Take a knife, chop the onion with the papery skin and all.
Take the papery skin off and the ends, then chop the onion in half. Put the cut side down to continue chopping.
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.
Take the onion whole, and put it in a food processor.
None of the above.

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Your knives need to be sharpened, what implement should you use?
Whetstone
Sharpener
Honing Rod
All of the above
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.

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How do you make a hard-boiled egg?
Put the egg (in its shell) into the microwave for 10 seconds.
Boil a pot of water then add eggs into it and cook for three to five minutes.
Boil a pot of water then add eggs into it and cook for seven to ten minutes.
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.
Put the egg (in its shell) into the microwave for 30 seconds.

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If you want to cook pasta "al dente," what does that mean?
Super hot
So the pasta is firm
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.
So it sticks together
Slippery

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What is the best way to cook pasta?
Boil the tomato sauce and add the pasta until cooked.
Boil enough water to cover the pasta, add salt to taste, then add the pasta and cook as directed.
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.
Put pasta in a pot of water then bring both to a boil for 10 minutes.
Put pasta in a pan and microwave it for 5 minutes.

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How do you poach an egg?
Fry it in a pan.
Bake it in the oven.
Boil water with a touch of vinegar, drop the egg in, swirl the water around.
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.
Broil it.

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What kitchen instruments do you use to melt chocolate?
A double boiler
A microwave
A broiler
A & B
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.

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It's easy to make a fluffy omelet, right? Which way is best?
Crack the eggs into a pan and scramble, add toppings.
Separate the whites from the yolks in separate bowls, stir contents in both bowls, then add together in a pan.
Beat the eggs, pour into a pan, add fillings on one side, short fold, then roll onto a plate.
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.
Add sugar, salt and milk to the egg mixture, pour into pan and flip the entire pan once.

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Here's a kitchen basic, how do you bake a potato?
Place a potato directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 60 to 90 minutes.
Prick potato and place on a microwave-safe plate. Test after 5 minutes in microwave, add more time if needed.
Prick potato. Rub skin with olive oil and salt. Wrap with aluminum and put in slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.
All of the above.
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.

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How else can you check that a roasted chicken is done if you don't have a food thermometer?
Stick a fork in it, and if the juices run clear, it's ready.
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.
Lift the wing, if the joint is loose it's ready.
If the bottom is brown, it's ready
If the neck hole is open, it's ready.

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How do you make gravy?
Skim the fat from the drippings, and add flour to the fat to make a roux. Add rest of drippings. Season, cook and reduce.
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.
Buy a can of gravy and heat it up.
Add a bottle of beer to the drippings, cook until reduced to a sauce.
All of the above

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Place the chicken in a large pot, add onion, carrots and celery. Simmer for 12 hours and strain. What are you doing?
Making a vegan soup
Preparing a chicken to be roasted
Making chicken stock
Although there are many variations in making the perfect chicken stock, this is one of the most basic ways to do it.
Making chicken gravy

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What's the most important thing about making rice?
Having the rice absorb just the right amount of water
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.
That you never use a microwave to make it
A pot of boiling water is preferred over a rice cooker
All of the above

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You only need egg whites for the recipe. What's an easy way to separate eggs?
Crack the eggs on a plate and scoop out the yolks.
Crack the eggs on a plate that has salt on one side. The yolks will move toward the salt, making it easier to remove the yolks.
Crack the eggs on a plate that has pepper on one side. The whites are attracted to the pepper. Simply remove the whites.
Crack the egg and pass the yolk between the halves, letting the white drop down into the bowl underneath you.
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.

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How do you crush garlic?
With the flat side of a blade
With a garlic press
With your heel
A & B
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.

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How can you vary the heat/spiciness of a recipe that uses chilies?
The size of the chilies makes a difference.
Whether or not you use the seeds make a difference.
Whether or not you use the rib of the chili makes a difference.
All of the above
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.

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

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How do you tell if a steak is cooked to your liking?
By touch
By sight
By a meat thermometer
All of the above
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.

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You are making a vinaigrette. What ingredients do you need?
Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and spices
Mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice
Vinegar, oil and spices
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.
Sriracha, mayonnaise and ginger

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Hygiene is always important. Which of these rules should you follow when making food?
Sweep the floor daily.
Use separate chopping boards for raw meats and vegetables.
Besides the above, the most important thing you can do is wash your hands before cooking or eating, and after touching raw meat.
Dust starting from the top down.
Polish wood tables with a soft cloth.

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It's breakfast time, and a simple basic skill is knowing how to make pancakes. When do you flip them?
When the wet surface of the pancake is completely dry
When you're hungry
When it smells like they are burning
When small bubbles appear on the pancake's surface
Flip the pancake over when small bubbles appear on the surface. Then cook for another 30 seconds or until they are golden brown.

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There is a basic cooking technique called "rubbing-in"? What is it?
Combining flour and fat (butter/shortening) with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
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.
Stretching dough with your fingers to make a thin-crust pizza.
Poking holes in a cake with your fingers then filling the holes with pudding.
Using your thumbs to make indentations in cookies that are filled with jam.

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You don't want your cake to stick to the pan. What can you do?
Butter the pan.
Butter and flour the pan.
Butter and line the pan with parchment paper.
All the above
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.

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If you're living on your own, you need to know how to make a basic tomato sauce. What do you need?
Tomato paste, water, soy sauce and beans.
Tomatoes, garlic, oil and sugar.
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.
Tomatoes, cheese, avocados and onions.
Onions, garlic, red peppers and sausage.

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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?
Pitting cherries
Preparing an avocado
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.
Pitting olives
Preparing plums

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How do you keep bananas, avocados and other fruits from browning when left out on the counter?
Placing it in a warm part of your kitchen.
Placing a moist towel over it.
Sprinkling lemon juice on it.
You can stop avocados or bananas from discoloring by sprinkling an acid such as citrus juice on them.
Shaking powdered sugar on it.

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How do you know when shrimp are done cooking?
When they are cooked to an internal temperature of 165 ºF
When they curl up tighter
When they look pink and opaque
All of the above
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.

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How do you know when your pan is hot enough for sauteing?
You can start with a cold pan, it doesn't matter.
When the oil starts to "pop"
When you add a few drops of water and it evaporates immediately
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.
When the oil smells like it's burning

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How much pasta should you make per person?
Two ounces of pasta per diner
Four ounces of pasta per diner
Every host is different, but the normal amount per person is four ounces. Usually that means a box of spaghetti feeds four people.
Six ounces of pasta per diner
Eight ounces of pasta per diner

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Should oil or salt be added to the water before boiling the pasta?
No oil, no salt
No oil, yes salt
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.
Yes oil, yes salt
Yes oil, no salt

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Not confident with how you season your food? Which of these should you always have in your fridge?
Mayonnaise
Flour
Lemons
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.
Cornstarch

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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?
Boiling vegetables
Roasting vegetables
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.
Microwaving vegetables
Grilling vegetables

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Which of these are good tips for making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich?
Use grated cheese.
Use medium heat.
Use day-old bread
A & B
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.

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A tip to make French toast even better. Which one is it?
Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
Use day-old bread.
Only use egg yolks for the dip.
All of the above
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.

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Impress your guests by fixing a perfect cocktail. How do you do it?
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and then add ice.
Shake vigorously until condensation appears on the outside of the container.
Strain the liquid into a glass.
All of the above.
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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