Cooking is a great skill to have for so many reasons. Everyone enjoys eating a savory dish prepared by someone they know. Many people would like to learn how to be better cooks. This article aims to change that for the better.
If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member. Pick out a few recipes to try and decide after it has been eaten if it is a recipe you want to add to your permanent collection. Be sure to be patient as you try these new recipes.
Always store your spices in a cool and dark place. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can retain their freshness for 36-60 months. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.
Prepare as much of your recipe as you can ahead of time. It is essential that the prep work is completed before cooking commences. That way, when you’re ready to cook, it takes some of the stress out of it, especially if you have a deadline to meet. Try to complete your preparations, so you can avoid scrambling later on.
When this happens, it’s still possible to salvage it. Mix one tablespoon of starch and two tablespoons of water. Thicken your sauce by stirring the mixture into the simmering liquid. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.
Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
People often use more apples in fall and winter, but they will spoil if not stored properly. Warm, dry air rots apples, so they need to be stored in loosely tied bags, and then placed in the fridge or cool area. Make sure you take a look at them throughout the season; a simple rotten apple can easily ruin the rest of the bunch.
There is a remedy which will quickly fix this problem. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. Add this mix to your sauce to thicken it. Make sure to introduce the starch slowly while stirring constantly to make it not be too thick.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. Soaking the potatoes helps to make the fibers within them stronger, which makes them better able to handle the heat during frying.
As you season meat, you should try a cooking a little piece first. Items such as burgers, meatballs and other meat dishes need deliberate, specific seasoning. Don’t cook it all at once after you have seasoned it. Rather, cook a small piece first and taste it. Once you have tried your sample you can correct the seasoning or proceed with the cooking.
Do you regularly cook with freshly grown basil? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Put enough water into the glass to cover the stems but not the leaves. You can keep it on the kitchen counter for several weeks. The basil will grow roots if you occasionally change the water. While the basil is alive and thriving, make sure you trim the leaves in order to progress the growth of the plant. You will have plenty of fresh basil on hand.
Try to cook the foods that you are talented at when you are cooking for a special event. Refrain from enthusiastically whipping up a new dish or using untested ingredients. This is a recipe for a stressful time in the kitchen.
These spices are able to be used on many things in the kitchen, not just meats. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. Everyone will wonder what your secret is.
Complete as much of the preparatory work as possible for your meals ahead of time to speed up the process of cooking. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. There is a lot of preparation that you can take care of a day in advance. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
When you are cooking, use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for the best results. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
Much like a sponge, the mushrooms will absorb the water. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.
When you need to store dry ingredients such as flour, or sugar in your kitchen, use airtight containers. These airtight containers can keep your food fresher for a longer period of time, as well as protecting your food safe from insects and pests. You can get them at a number of places and are well worth the small amount of money.
If you are trying to eat smarter to lose weight, it is vital to use less oil when you cook. Substances such as oil and butter contain unnecessary fat. To achieve the same results as oil without the unhealthy fat, try using a nonstick spray.
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. Use two parallel skewers as opposed to a single skewer to keep food intact.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. Rather than using milk, think about yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.
Be sure to spread the application of seasoning throughout your cooking time instead of only applying when you start to cook. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
Accurately measure the amounts of cooking oil you use! To have a lower amount of fat added to your cooking, make sure you measure your cooking oil carefully instead of just pouring right from the bottle to the pan. By doing this, you will be able to clearly see how much oil you are using.
Let your meal sit for a while. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. Always wait a awhile before eating your meal; allow it to cool slightly before digging in.
Buy fresh cloves of garlic and mince them yourself for use in recipes. Fresh garlic tastes much sweeter than does garlic that is not fresh. Fresh garlic will have firm skin and will not be bruised or soft to the touch.
For dishes that involve multiple steps, make it easy on yourself by doing portions of the work on the evening prior to cooking. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. When you are ready to start cooking, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and cook them.
Leaving the bone in is an easy way to decrease the cook time for a roast. Heat will be distributed to the center of the roasting pan more quickly by the bone. After the roast is cooked, just slice around the bone to serve.
Use your creativity as much as you can. The instructions for a recipe aren’t set in stone. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Now that’s real cooking!
Complete your prep work before you start cooking a meal. Otherwise, you might use the stove longer than you need to, and waiting can also make it safer and harder to burn food.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Start by slicing a ripe tomato one-half inch thick, or you can cut Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. Another way to preserve your dried tomatoes is in olive oil, with herbs for added flavor, in a glass jar. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
There are two good ways to heat tortillas. The first way is to have a preheated oven, at 350 degrees, and bake the tortillas to your liking. If you want something different, heating tortillas on the top of your gas stove makes them yummy while leaving nice grill marks. Cooking the tortillas in these manners will help to make it tastier and fresher.
Keep your supplies and utensils well organized. You will consistently find it difficult to locate necessary items in a disorganized kitchen. Group similar items together, and keep them in the same area. As an example, you may want to keep all of your spices together.
Store all spices and herbs in dry, dark and cool conditions to get the maximum amount of flavor from them. Exposing them to light or heat could make them lose their flavors fast. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
You should be as organized as possible when cooking to avoid burning food and other mistakes, which could be costly. Having an organized cooking area will ensure that you are productive when cooking. You can lose track of your things and waste your food and money if you’re unorganized.
Wok-fried rice is a delicious meal and a simple way to use up some of the leftover meats and veggies that are still sitting around in your fridge. You can use pre-cooked rice that is completely cooled and has been in the fridge for a day or so. If you don’t have any, be sure to use a little less water to make fresh rice for stir frying. Toss the vegetables and meat into a pan with a little oil. Add your rice, and season with some soy sauce and your favorite spices.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. By making your own stock, you can be sure that it is not full of preservatives.
Here is a tip to avoid stress when you need to cook for a large group on a holiday. If you want to avoid last-minute panic and confusion, all you need to do is complete as much of your preparation in advance as possible. This means setting out any needed ingredients.
When cooking, wash dishes and tools as soon as you’re done with them. Make sure one side of the sink is filled with soapy hot water while the other side can be used to rinse. Mixing bowls and your utensils rinse rather easily and can be cleaned and wiped before the next ingredients in your meal.
When using nonstick cookware, be sure to also use nylon, rubber, or silicon spatulas and spoons. Harder utensils, like wooden and metal ones, can gouge or scratch the coating, causing the pan to not be as effective and its coating to flake off in your meals. This certainly doesn’t sound appetizing, and it can also be dangerous.
As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!
To add some interest to an ear of corn or a dinner roll, make a flavored butter. Soften your butter a bit in the microwave, or let it sit out for a while until it is room temperature. Next, mix in spices, sauces or herbs to create a burst of new flavors. Honey, lemon juice, chipotles or BBQ make a great combination with butter.