Is cooking for the family every night getting old? Do not allow cooking to cause you grief. The following piece includes several terrific ideas that will remove any anxiety you have about preparing meals. The advice given here will make you realize that you have waited too long to learn how to make cooking much easier.
Doing all of the things you need to in order to prepare a meal is a vital part of the cooking process. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients available. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
For optimal safety, use only sharp knives when preparing food. Dull knives make cutting very difficult, and this makes them much more dangerous than sharp knives. It is more likely that you will cut yourself while trying to get a dull knife to cut something than when you use a well-sharpened knife.
Here’s a way to turn that thin sauce around. Mix two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir this solution into the thin sauce to thicken it. Be sure to gradually stir in the solution, and frequently stir the sauce so that it does not become too thick.
If you are cooking an important meal for a significant person, such as a boss or a date, you should not serve a dish you’ve never attempted to cook before. Don’t try to create a new dish when you’re not experienced in cooking it already. This will take the stress out of the cooking.
When you are having an important person over for dinner, prepare a meal that you are experienced with. It is great to experiment when cooking but you should not try to do this when you are trying to make a good impression. Cooking will be less stressful this way.
Do you cook with fresh basil? Put some fresh basil into a glass. Make sure the stems are covered with water. This way it will stay fresh for days, even weeks, right on your countertop! If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!
It can also be used on other foods, rather than just on meat. Try using it to season roasted potatoes or chickpeas. Everyone will ask what you used to make it so good.
Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. Cauliflower is also the same texture and color of potatoes when mashed so it’s a great way to add more veggies, while lowering calories from classic mashed potatoes.
Mushrooms absorb large amounts of water, and this excess water will go into whatever you are cooking with. You should use a clean, wet cloth and wipe the mushroom off by hand.
There are many things you can do ahead of time to save time during your meal preparation. Look through any recipes you make before you begin and prep accordingly, this can save you time before you cook letting you concentrate on your task when the time comes. Do the prep work the day before. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
Have you wondered if you are overgrilling your meat? It is always wise to utilize a good meat thermometer (a digital one is best to give you an exact reading) to ensure that the inner portions are cooked correctly. If you are grilling a thicker piece of meat (over 1.5 inches), close your grill while cooking to save some time.
Try to read all the labels of the ingredients that you buy. There can be some ingredients in foods that are unhealthy. You want to make sure that the product is not too high in sugars or in sodium as both can cause extreme health problems if over consumed.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
When you are preparing food that you must season, do it a little at a time instead of all at the beginning. As such, you are getting the best flavor, and not wasting any of the seasoning.
Always read the labels of the ingredients you buy. Many of the most common ingredients can contain unhealthy and unnecessary additives. Some things to check for include high levels of sugar or sodium, as both are common contributors to many health problems.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Take the leftovers, cut them up, put in a container and store in the freezer for future use. You can keep it fresh for several weeks, so that you can use the turkey in sandwiches or salads.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. If the recipe calls for water, switch it up by using a broth, juice, or cooking liquids. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
You should always organize your cooking supplies. Disorganization will have you rushing around the kitchen in a frenzy looking for your equipment, ingredients and utensils. Organize your kitchen logically. Keep your herbs and spices together and follow this grouping rule with other supplies as well.
If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. Some people love dressing in great huge globs, while others like a lighter taste. Some folks don’t like any dressing at all, (or are watching their weight) so leave the dressing of salads up to your guests. Offer several different types of dressing.
While you are cooking, it’s a great idea to clean the dishes as you go. Keep soapy water on one side of the sink and use the other side to rinse your dishes. Most bowls, pots, pans and utensils are much easier to clean immediately after they’re done being used, and this will ensure that they’re ready go if you need them again during the preparation of your meal.
When you want to cook a roast, but you don’t have much time, consider cooking a bone-in roast. If you leave the bone in, the meat will cook quicker. This is due to the fact that once the bone is heated it will help cook your meat from the inside out. When the meat has cooled enough to let the juices settle all you have to do is go around the bone when cutting and serve.
To make your pasta sauce a little better, use some of the water that you cooked your noodles in. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.
When you have a big meal to prepare, get a head start by doing the prep work the night before. Before retiring to bed, you can do things like preparing a sauce, chopping up vegetables and onions, or marinating meat. When you decide to cook the following day you’ll have less to do and become less stressed, this lets you focus on your main cooking tasks.
Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. 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. The salt that has been sprinkled onto the board, will also have the extra benefit of adding a little bit of extra flavor when it adheres to the herbs.
It is vital for cooks to have their supplies organized when cooking. If you refuse to organize your cooking supplies, you’ll take longer to find the utensils you need. It is a good idea to have separate storage space for similar items. For instance, put all your spices in one cabinet.
When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. You can place all of your ingredients in a designated area so that you can be sure that you have all of the ingredients to prepare the dish. You can then chop fruits or vegetables and measure all dry ingredients that you need for the recipe. When it’s time to cook, you won’t have to think about anything else.
A good kitchen requires good knives. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. When your sauce is also ready, add in the water before tossing or topping the pasta. Through a process known as amalgamation, the starch in the pasta water creates a creamy texture in your sauce.
Brining is a fabulous cooking method. Soak any poultry in a brine 1 hour before cooking to get a great taste out of it.
If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. This can result in additional moisture that may cause the food to become steamed and lose its crisp brown surface, one of the primary features of sauteing. Always saute over a low flame or low setting on your stove-top.
Add some zing to your stews, soups, and mashed potatoes by using stock instead of water. If you don’t have prepared stock, you can a bullion cube to the water. This is a good way to moisten your food while adding more flavor.
Trussing means to tie a string around the turkey’s wings and legs, pulling them closer together. This pulls the legs and wings close to its body so that it can cook evenly. If the legs and wings aren’t tied together, the tips could burn, cooking much more quickly than the main part of the turkey.
Make good use of leftovers by throwing together a wok full of tasty fried rice. Leftover rice works best for fried rice, but you can use fresh if you make it with slightly less liquid than the package calls for. Fry your vegetables and meat in some oil. Once you’ve done this, add rice and any seasoning you want with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and other spices.
Making meals for your family can become a tall order. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to simplify the cooking process. You no longer have to dread meal time.
Always use silicon, rubber, or nylon spatulas and spoons when you cook with non-stick cookware. Hard utensils such as metal can scratch the nonstick coating which destroys the whole point, and it also could add the coating to cook into your food. Not only is this unappetizing, but it could be dangerous.