Anyone can cook food. Do you have the ability to purchase groceries and read written recipes? Can you lay your hands on a few basic items to cook with? If you have the ability to follow the steps listed, you too can cook. Keep reading the tips below if you are trying to bump your culinary skills up to the next level.
One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. The color on your pie signifies that the caramelizing process is complete in your crust, yielding a scrumptious dessert.
Store herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dark. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity. Another little known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If spices are stored properly there is a better chance that they will stay fresher for a longer period of time
To make slicing meat into thin strips a little easier, partially freeze it. This is ideal for Asian meals like Chinese or Thai dishes. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice as the cold temperature prevents the meat fibers from stretching and tearing. Allow the meat to thaw prior to cooking though, so that it can cook evenly.
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. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Cooking processes like boiling can remove most of the nutrients from food. If you want them to be healthier, try cooking them quickly by steaming or sauteing, or eat them raw!
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
Are you partial to using fresh basil in your cooking? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Cover its stems completely with water. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. If you are sure to add fresh water, your basil will even form roots and become a plant. All you need to do is keep the roots of the basil trimmed regularly and you will have fresh basil ready for use for quite some time.
Are you a fan of using fresh basil? Get a sprout of fresh basil and place it in a glass. Cover its stems completely with water. This will allow it to stay fresh for weeks! Your basil will even send out new roots if you change its water regularly. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
While garlic imparts a delicious flavor to your cooking, it may also leave a residual odor on your hands. By rubbing your hands inside a stainless sink after handling pungent smelling foods. This removes the scent from your hands; it also prevents the odor from being transferred to other foods.
Sauteing veggies in a bit of chicken broth is a healthy way you can prepare them. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.
This way, your fruit will last for a longer period time. An added bonus is that you are going to be able to eat fruit that is not in season and is therefore unavailable elsewhere during certain periods.
When cooking vegetables, try cooking them in chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is easily purchased at almost every supermarket, and is quite inexpensive.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. Adding different and interesting liquids to a recipe can help the dish become more interesting and nutritious.
For a high-protein diet, meat isn’t the only source available. Tofu, lentils and beans are great protein substitutes. The vast majority of grocery stores stock both of these products. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. To add some tasty protein to your plate, boil some beans with a touch of herbs for seasoning.
Make sure to measure the amount of cooking oil you use! To cook with less fat, measure specific amounts of oil instead of pouring oil into the pan straight from the bottle. Measuring your oil is the only way to control the impact it has on the flavor and fat content of your dish.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. Let people put on their own dressing. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
You can prepare some of the ingredients for a dish the night before so that you can avoid becoming overwhelmed when you have to cook your family dinner. Plan ahead by chopping veggies or readying a marinade the night before. This way, your stress levels the next day will be a lot less, and cooking a lot more fun.
Keep your turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Instead, cut it into pieces, then freeze it in a Tupperware container. This will help the turkey to stay fresh over the next few weeks so that you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Instead, cut it into pieces, then freeze it in a Tupperware container. The turkey will be more fresh after a couple of weeks when doing this. It is great in a sandwich or a salad.
Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. This can save you from eating garlic strawberries.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. You may find it beneficial to group similar items together. Keep pots in the same cupboard, for instance, or all spatulas in the same drawer.
Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. When cut in this way, these herbs will have a lighter, fresher appearance.
Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. This could cause a lot of very serious problems due to the spread of bacteria.
Remove the excess moisture of ground meats by blotting them before you cook. If your meal includes ground meat, then blotting the moisture is especially important. Unless you remove the moisture, it may not be released until the meat is cooked. The water will be cooked away. This causes your meat to steam instead of sear.
Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can leave it sitting for a few minutes. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. Many are tempted to quickly serve food hot off the grill or stovetop. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. Therefore, it is always best to allow the juices to redistribute by allowing for a cool down period.
An exciting cooking tip is to be creative. Cooking is about coming up with different ways of using a recipe not just following it. Sometimes if you add a little extra, or refrain from using an ingredient you do not really enjoy, you can turn an ordinary dish into something extravagant. Then you can consider yourself a real cook!
When you have a large or complicated meal to prepare, you can eliminate a lot of the stress by doing any prep work the day before. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. When you are ready to cook the meal it will be quick and easy because you will just have to throw the ingredients together and cook.
When making salsa to be eaten later, rinse the onions after you dice them, and use a paper towel to blot them dry. Onions that are fresh have sulfurous gas. This sulfurous gas can make your salsa taste terrible. By running cold water over the raw onions, the gas is removed.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. It will help you to save time if you have cutting utensils that are not dull and it also adds safety to your kitchen because dull knives can cause you to cut yourself accidentally. Most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen are due to someone using a dull cutting utensils.
Try not to under or over cook your cake. Even though recipes have guidelines for recommended baking times, they can vary due to differences in ovens or elevation. A better way is to test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. The cake will be done when the toothpick comes out without any batter attached; if it doesn’t, bake it longer.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If they are untied, the tips of its legs and wings can burn while the remainder of the bird cooks.
Learn about any new foods that you haven’t worked with before. After a little research, you may be amazed at the versatility of food. You can have much more fun when cooking if you do some prep work and research ahead of time.
Herbs and spices need to be kept in a dry, cool area, away from light. Spices will rapidly lose flavor if exposed to heat, light or humidity. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
Don’t tr out new recipes when you are cooking for someone you want to impress. A fancy gourmet meal that you make yourself is one way to try and make a good impression on your boss, in-laws or a new love. Sticking to something you know how to make will ensure things go smoothly.
Play it safe by setting a watch timer, as well as the over timer. For the ultimate in notification capability, wear a stopwatch or other alarming device around your neck.
Leafy greens, like kale, collards and mustard greens, have many health benefits. However, they can be a little difficult to prepare at times. Removing these stems can be difficult. Make it easier by folding the leaf and breaking the stem. Also, with the leaf folded lengthwise, you can use a sharp knife to slice the stem away from the leafy portion. Your green is expertly relieved of its stem when you unfold the leaf again.
Cooking oil helps you measure sticky foods. Before measuring, lightly coat the spoon with a cooking oil which has little flavor, such as canola, and the substance being measured will slide off the spoon easily, preventing waste and making clean up much easier. This is a handy trick for getting just the right amount of everything from peanut butter to jelly.
To add flavor to everything from mashed potatoes to soup, replace water with chicken or beef stock. To make things easier, add a bouillon cubes in the water. This gives anything from soup to mashed potatoes a kick of flavor, without sacrificing the moisture of your dish.
You can add a bit of flare to your corn left on the cob and dinner rolls by simply making up some flavored butter. Set out butter to warm up to room temperature; you can also quickly soften it in the microwave. Add fresh herbs, spices or even a sauce to add an unexpected burst of flavor! Use a flavoring that complements other components of your meal; lemon, honey and barbecue are all popular summer flavors.
If you are making cookies, and it requires the butter and sugar to be creamed together, the butter should be softened, not melted. If you do end up having melted butter, place it in the freezer to help it harden. You can also put the dough in the refrigerator once you are done kneading it. Chilled dough will result in smaller and thicker cookies.
Try cooking with saffron if you are all about trying new spices. Saffron offers a very unique flavor that cannot be copied with other spices. Saffron is a delightful ancient herb. It is difficult to harvest, and highly prized, so this makes it quite expensive to purchase.
Take cooking as seriously as you want to. The ways to cook food are endless. And the best advice comes from people who can share the techniques that make them good at their skills and talents. Consider these suggestions next time someone wants you to cook them a meal!
Fresh fruits, such as apples, avocados, bananas, peaches and pears are likely to turn brown when sliced and exposed to air. Dipping the fruit in a mixture of salt water and lemon will help to stop the fruit from browning. Cut fruits can also be dipped in pineapple juice for a similar effect. A quick dip is all that is required, so don’t worry about leaving it to soak.