I'm mostly cooking for myself and I'm inexperienced with cooking, so when I go onto any recipe website, I can't tell the difference between the ingredients & steps that are necessary to make a dish, and the ingredients and steps which are additional. For example, in an ideal world, I'd like a recipe to read something like this:
Base Ingredients: X g of A X g of B X ml of C Ingredients for Improved Taste: X g of Some Exotic Herb X g of Some Additional Spice X ml of Red Wine Steps: Base Dish: (Takes 15 minutes to prepare, 20 to cook) Step 1: ... Step 2: ... ... Step n: ... Additional: (Takes 35 minutes to prepare, 25 to cook.) Before beginning, Prepare the X, Prepare the Y and Prepare the Z. On step 2, add X to the dish and add 3 minutes to the cooking time. On step 4, add a splash of red wine to the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Or something to that effect. Just something separating the two.
This however is not what I find on recipe websites. So I need some way to differentiate the basic thing from the "chef's touch" you could say. I just need to be able to make things that taste reasonably good, quickly, and not be spending hours.
What ends up happening is since I can't differentiate, I find that my shopping list becomes very long, and cooking takes far too long for someone inexperienced like myself. I want to build up from the basics ideally.