Learning to cook is something that is useful to know how to do. You can save money, increase your health and enjoy delicious meals when you cook at home.
A good cook takes pride in keeping a set of well-sharpened knives. Blunt knives are frustrating to use and they can also be very hazardous. You are more likely to get cut exerting force on a dull knife to slice a vegetable than you are when using a sharp knife.
If you are cooking a meal for some important occasion, stick with a tried and true recipe. You should not try to cook something new when you are cooking for someone whom you want to impress. This will allow you to cook with less stress.
Will you be making a meal using fresh basil? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Pour water in the glass until the stems of the fresh basil are completely covered. It will remain fresh for weeks, just sitting on the kitchen counter! If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. If you keep the basil trimmed regularly, this will promote growth and allow a decent supply of basil on an ongoing basis.
Did you ever regret throwing moldy fruit away? Is it possible to save the fruit by cutting the bad part out of it? Sadly half rotten fruit is something you can never really save. Discard them, as mold goes deeper than the eye can see and can make you quite ill.
If you have little time to cook each day, you can partially prepare certain foods to break up the cooking process into several steps. Look through your recipes and determine whether or not certain steps can be completed beforehand. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. When potatoes are allowed to absorb cold water, the texture is able to withstand the extreme heat of cooking without breaking down and becoming mushy.
It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. A well-manufactured meat thermometer, especially a precision digital model, is always a sound method of seeing to it that the inside of your meat is cooked thoroughly. If you are grilling meat that exceeds a thickness of 1.5 inches, closing your grill’s lid can make better use of the heat and cook through the meat faster.
Are you aiming to reduce the amount of fat and calories you consume in your mashed potatoes without having to give up taste or texture? If so, consider replacing a certain amount of the potatoes with cauliflower. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. If, however, you brush the grill with oil, this will help prevent sticking.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. Freezing the sauce into cubes in the trays is safe and convenient!
It is desirable to store dry goods like flour and sugar in tightly sealed containers. Airtight containers will keep your foods safe from bugs, and allow them to stay fresh longer because they are not exposed to air. They are a must-have for the kitchen and can be purchased everywhere kitchen products are sold.
Do you have a difficult time deciding how long you should grill your meat? It is recommended that you use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking inside the meat; a digital thermometer would give you very accurate readings. If you are cooking meat thicker than 1.5 inches, close the lid of the grill to help it cook more quickly.
Try to cut down the amount of oil used when cooing if you are trying to lose weight. These types of foods contain many unnecessary fats you can live without. A wonderful option for cooking is a nonstick cooking spray. It gives the same nonstick result with far less health ramifications.
Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. To avoid this possibility, you can apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the grill before cooking.
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. This will prevent them from burning while you are cooking. Prevent softer food from falling into the coals by using two parallel skewers rather than a single one.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. Broth will fill your dish with flavor. This cooking method also allows you to eliminate unhealthy oils. This is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.
Doing this means your fruit will always be fresh. Plus, you will have fruits which are not available during certain periods of the year.
If you’re overwhelmed with dinner prep for the family, try to do some food prep the night prior. Cut up veggies and make the sauce the night before so you can save time. This will help reduce your stress and lower your cooking time the next day.
Get only the freshest garlic from the grocery store when you’re preparing a recipe that calls for it. When garlic is fresher, it will not taste as bitter. Fresh garlic usually has a firm skin and no bruises or soft spots.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Simply cut them into 1/2 half inch slices, or cut lengthwise for Romas. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in your freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
If you have turkey for a meal, whether it’s on a holiday or another occasion, make sure you keep the leftovers. You can put them in meal-size containers and keep them in the freezer. Turkey will stay fresh for a couple weeks and you can use it in sandwiches or a salad.
Replace your spices twice a year. When spices sit around for too long, they tend to lose flavor. If you know you can’t use as much as is in the package, give some to a family member or friend to keep from wasting it.
Any time you are faced with a large amount of leftover turkey, don’t be tempted to throw it in the garbage. Rather, cut up the meat and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Frozen, leftover turkey will keep for a few months, allowing you to pull out a container for sandwiches or salads at any time.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. Making a large amount allows you to store some in the freezer for future meals. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
It is important to buy new spices at least every six months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
You’ll find that cooking a big, complicated meal is less stressful if you handle some of the preparation ahead of time. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start cooking, and that you shop and measure them so they are ready to go. When you have to cook the meal, the only thing on your mind will be actually putting it together.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. When fruits ripen, they produce ethylene gas. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.
A good kitchen requires good knives. You will be more efficient when you do not have to deal with dull knives; in addition, sharp knives are safer to use than dull knives. More injuries, cuts and serious accidents happen as a result of blunt utensils than freshly sharpened ones.
Wash your dishes as you go when cooking a meal. Have one side of the sink filled with fresh soapy water that’s warm and put a clear water rinse in the other. Just after use is the best time to wash up bowls and utensils. So clean as you go and you will always be ready with your next part of food preparation.
Take care of wooden cutting boards properly. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. You can do some restoration to a damaged board by regularly oiling it with a product specifically for this purpose. After oiling, allow the oil to soak in and the board to dry before using it again.
Do not forget to add salt to water for making pasta. This will allow the pasta to take on the seasoning more efficiently. Salting pasta after cooking will not be as effective in enhancing the flavor.
There are several different methods you can use to heat tortillas. An oven preheated to 350 degrees will make quick work of crisping up your tortillas. Just place the tortilla directly onto the rack and wait until it reaches the desired level of crispness. Another suggestion is to place the tortilla directly over the burner above the flame on top of a gas stove. You’ll notice a fresher, more enjoyable tortilla than by just throwing them in the microwave.
When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. Don’t add any additional salt to the food while you’re preparing it, or it may become too salty. That salt on the board adds some flavor since it sticks to the herbs.
Although it might feel great to impress your guests, avoid preparing a meal that you have never cooked before when entertaining someone important. Whether you are looking to impress a boss, the in-laws or a potential mate, it is not the time to be daring. Please them with something that you know how to cook really well.
By following these tips, you can learn how simple and easy it is to cook healthy, homemade food. It may take a little practice, but once you get the hang of home cooking you will enjoy the chance to create healthy, tasty meals. And the fact you are also saving money is just icing on the cake! And one of the best things about cooking your own food is you control things like fat, sugar and salt, so you family eats healthier. Go ahead and follow these tips to make great tasting meals.
Use leftovers for a delicious fried rice, soup or a hearty stew. Cold rice that was prepared the day before works especially well, but if none is available, just prepare fresh rice with half the water you would normally use so that the final product is drier. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, then throw in your rice an season with some soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other spices of your choice.