It will take some time and effort to develop this skill, however. Regardless of your reason for wanting to cook, it is great to have a skill for it. Here are some tips that will help guide you along the path towards making a delicious meal.
Keep all spices stored out of the sunlight. Storing spices in lighted areas or warm areas can reduce their length of freshness. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. This will help every meal that you prepare taste better.
You should keep your spices and herbs in a space that is cool and away from light. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. Their changes at longevity increase with proper storage.
Lots of recipes for fresh basil? If you want to keep it fresh, first place it in a glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. It will remain fresh for weeks, just sitting on the kitchen counter! Refresh the water quite often, and you will notice that the basil starts to grow roots. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.
Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
The one downside of garlic is that your hands easily absorb the smell of it. Try rubbing your hands against stainless steel to get the odor of garlic and other foods off your hands. This helps clean your hands and keep you from transferring the smell onto your other foods.
Apples are very popular in cooking in fall and winter, but the spoilage rate is high if they are not stored correctly. Apples are extremely perishable. In a warm, dry environment, they will quickly go bad. Store your apples in an airtight container in a cool, preferably humid place. Cull bad apples from the bag to avoid rotting more of them.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.
If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. When you soak sliced potatoes in cold water, it strengthens their fibers, so that they can stand up to the heat when being deep fried.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! They are also easily located at almost every grocery store. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. This makes it easier for you to make a quick meal which you can reheat at a later time. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. You can store dried tomatoes in an olive oil filled jar. Add fresh herbs for seasoning. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
If your burgers seem to be sticking to the surface of your grill, it may be hard to take them off without breaking them. If, however, you brush the grill with oil, this will help prevent sticking.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Mark your chopping board using indelible ink in order to keep track of which side you used.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. Not only does it lessen the amount of cooking oil needed as per a traditional saute, the broth adds an extra dimension of flavor to the vegetables. This is a healthy and tasty, vegetable cooking technique.
Macaroni and cheese can take on many forms and varieties, but you’ll get the best results by simply following the instructions on the box. Wait until the macaroni is done to add the cheese. Let the dish sit for a few minutes so the cheese can melt and blend with the macaroni. A solid-faced spoon should be used to serve macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle some pepper on top for added spice, and enjoy!
If you are trying to cook pumpkins, cut it exactly in half from top to bottom. Take each half cut side down and place on different baking sheets. Add a touch of water to each sheet before putting it in the oven. You will want to bake this for approximately an hour at 350 degrees.
Sprinkle salt liberally into the boiling water that is used to cook pasta. The seasoning will soak into the pasta this way. Pasta that is salted after it is cooked does not absorb the salt as readily.
Accurately measure the amounts of cooking oil you use! It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. This allows you to keep a strict amount of oil, instead of overdoing it.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Sharp knives will save you time, and are actually safer to use than dull ones. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
If you saute a food, don’t overload the pan. You may end up steaming your meal because of the water content of your vegetables. Keep the flame or burner around medium as you saute.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Simply cut them into 1/2 half inch slices, or cut lengthwise for Romas. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
There is more than one way to warm a tortilla. The first way is to have a preheated oven, at 350 degrees, and bake the tortillas to your liking. You can also cook your tortilla via stove top on a gas stove. Either of these methods will result in a more crispy and tasty tortilla.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Divide the leftovers into meal sized portions and freeze them for the future. This will keep the turkey fresh for a month or more, and can be easily thawed to use in sandwiches, soups, and salads.
You should always use fresh seasoning and herbs whenever the dish you are cooking is simple. Dried herbs like oregano and basil are generally more appropriate for highly complicated dishes with varied flavors. If at all possible, however, go for the ones that are garden-fresh in order to enhance the flavor and impact of these things in your meals. Consider planting your own herbs to guarantee a fresh and steady supply.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. An unorganized kitchen is an unhappy kitchen. You will have difficulty finding what you want to make your delicious recipes. Put like items with other like items. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
Different varieties of potatoes can have specific uses; you cannot always use one type in lieu of another. There are potatoes that are good for mashing, and there are others that are good when used in potato salad; it really does matter what variety they are. When preparing these dishes, opt for russet potatoes, which have a fluffier texture.
It is important to buy new spices at least every six months. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you don’t use a spice very often, and it will go bad before you have to replace it, give some to family and friends.
An excellent cooking method is brine. You can draw out the delicious flavors of poultry by soaking the meat in brine for an hour before cooking it.
If your meals include fresh herbs like dill or parsley, clump them together and use kitchen shears to cut them. This is preferable to chopping the herbs because they will be less moisture laden, making them lighter and fluffier.
Try reheating foods that contain lots of oil rather than microwaving them to avoid having a greasy mess. Microwaves use very high heat to cook food, which causes the faster-heating oil to detach from the rest of the dish. Baking works differently from a microwave by heating the dish consistently and evenly through. This avoids the oily mess and the dish keeps all of its original flavor.
To make an improvement to pasta sauce, save some of the pasta’s cooking water. Save about one quarter cup of this water. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.
Leave at least some of the spices for the dinner table. Powdered garlic, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper are all tasty additions to most meals. Everyone has their own individual tastes regarding spices. Instead of adding spices and herbs to each dish during preparation, allow your fellow diners to customize their food with a variety of seasonings. This way people can choose what they would like to put into their food.
Creating large family meals for holidays and special occasions doesn’t need to be stressful. Instead of panicking, do all the preparatory work a night or two before the big event is to occur. You can put out all the ingredients you are going to use, and have your measurements and marinades all ready to go.
When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
If you have a hectic day coming up, take care of some of the components of your meal ahead of time. You can serve a hot, satisfying meal quicker and with less stress if you have it prepared when cooking time rolls around. Mix up a casserole and store it in the fridge, or chop up all the ingredients needed for a stir-fry, for example.
Always take good care of your wooden cutting board. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. It is never smart to immerse your board in water. Instead, sponge clean it with soapy, warm water. To restore a damaged board, oil it on a regular basis, using a product specifically designed for wood cutting boards. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
To make cooking less stressful, prep all of your ingredients ahead of time. You need never stop in the middle of fixing a meal to hunt for a missing ingredient if you prepare yourself properly. While not saving any real time by pulling out the ingredients early, you’ll definitely save yourself some aggravation along the way with this preplanning.
With what you just read, you can practice what you just read about. Try new recipes and cook smartly. Whatever your reason is for cooking, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of serving a homemade meal. Cooking requires skills and practice, but you can get there if you want to. The effort requires just makes the result all the more worth it.
Dark, leafy greens have tons of healthy nutrients, but they can be tedious to prepare. The stems are very dough and difficult to remove. To make the process easier and faster, fold the leaves in half vertically, then snap the stems out of the centers. A knife can also come in handy to remove stems from leaves that are folded. Unfold your leaf and voila, you’ll have a perfect de-stemmed green.