Learning to cook is all about jumping in and getting going. Some people might have a knack for cooking, while most people could use some instructions. Everyone is capable of learning to cook, though. There are important things to know that will help you to become a good cook. This article provides valuable guidance that will help you on your road to becoming an exceptional cook.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. You may retain your spice’s flavor for about 5 years. If you store them properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
You need to prepare to cook a meal before you can actually cook it. Take an inventory to be sure that everything that you will need is available. Prepare everything you need for cooking ahead of time; don’t forget the utensils! Being prepared will settle your anxiety and ensure that you are ready to create a fantastic meal.
Preparation is key when cooking for family or friends. Gather all of your ingredients well in advance. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. This means you don’t have to worry when time is short, which means your cooking will be better.
Did you ever feel bad for throwing old, moldy fruit away? Can you cut out the rotten areas or moldy areas and still eat the fruit? Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. Throw half-rotten fruit away, because mold can go much deeper than your eyes can see; you can get very sick from eating food with mold.
Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.
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. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. 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.
Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Take this mixture and slowly stir it into the thin sauce, and this will make it thicker. Add your starch solution slowly to ensure just the right consistency.
You can use it on a variety of foods, not just meat. Use it with roasted pumpkin seeds for a wonderful snack, or go ahead and add some to scrambled eggs. Everyone will wonder what your secret is.
Fresh apples can be a delicious ingredient for a wide variety of recipes. Warm, dry air rots apples, so they need to be stored in loosely tied bags, and then placed in the fridge or cool area. One rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch, so check each one occasionally to see if you should throw any away.
By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. 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. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. This makes preparing even more complex recipes fun and fast.
Cooking with fresh basil? Take a bunch of it and place in a glass. Next, ensure the stems are covered with water. The basil can remain fresh for several days if it is placed in indirect sunlight. In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. Occasionally trim the basil in order to promote more growth so that you can have fresh basil for a while.
A lot of preparatory work can be done ahead of time in order to speed up time spent cooking. Browse through your recipes and see what parts can be prepared early, without fear of spoiling. Many of the preparatory steps can be taken a day before cooking. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is readily available at any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Try using a clean, wet cloth and wiping them off instead.
You will have fresh fruits all year long. You also have the added benefit of having fruits out of season whenever you want them.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. The way to prevent this is to coat the grill with some vegetable oil prior to putting any food on the grill.
Pay attention to the cooking oil amounts when preparing meals! To lessen the amount of unhealthy fat in your meals, make sure you carefully measure out how much oil you are using. Never pour the oil from a bottle straight into the pan. In this way, you can be in control of the quantity of oil that goes into your meals.
When you are using wooden skewers in cooking, soak them for at least half an hour before putting the veggies on them. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. Keep food from falling off of your skewers by using two parallel skewers instead of a single one.
When using garlic in your cooking, always purchase the freshest garlic possible. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste. You can tell that garlic is fresh when it isn’t bruised, mushy or shriveled. The skin should be firm.
When purchasing recipe ingredients, always carefully read the label. Many common cooking ingredients include substances that may not be very healthy. Select ingredients that have little salt or sugar in order to make the healthiest meals possible.
Never forget to measure oil when you are using it for cooking. It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. This lets you keep an eye on just how much oil you use.
Save the delicious taste of summer by drying tomatoes yourself. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. 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 put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Dried tomatoes should be stored within the refrigerator and used within two weeks.
Never throw away turkey leftovers. Instead, cut them up and put them in an airtight package and place it in your freezer. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.
If you enjoy utilizing herbs and spices, keep them fresh and flavorful by storing them in an area that is dark and cool. Avoid storing them in places that may become warm, such as cupboards located above a stove. This will cause them to lose their flavor, and the money you spent on them will essentially be wasted.
After purchasing unripened fruits, you should put them into a plastic bag with perforations. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
You can chop fresh herbs quickly by bundling them together in bunches and cutting them with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
When chopping fresh herbs, try shaking a small amount of salt on your cutting board first. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. Some of the salt will adhere to the herbs and add flavor to your dish.
Be creative with your approach to cooking. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. When you’re comfortable with the recipe, play within it to see what can be reduced, increased, or added for a better taste or texture. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.
A tip to keeping your salsa tasting fresh is to rinse the onions in cold water after dicing, then use a paper towel to blot them dry before adding them to the other ingredients. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas in them. Your fresh salsa will be ruined by this gas. When you rinse the onions with water and dry them, you neutralize the gas.
Put a little bit of salt on your cutting board before chopping fresh herbs. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
If you are going to have a barbecue, then prepare your grill in advance so that you can start grilling right away. Allot at least 30 minutes for the process, prior to placing food on the grill, to get your fire started and coals ready. Your coals should be kept at a medium heat range and covered with a layer of ash. Grilling at this temperature is ideal.
If you are including raw onions in a salsa that you aren’t going to be serving right away, use cold water and a paper towel to rinse and blot the onions. The reason for this is that there is sulfurous gas in an onion. This excessive gas can damage the flavor of fresh salsa. If you rinse off the onion and then dry it, it will get rid of the gas.
When herbs and seasonings are prominent in a dish, use fresh ones if possible. Basil and oregano are great additions to any type of dish for their zesty flavors and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Fresh herbs produce a better flavor. To keep yourself always supplied with herbs you might want to grow some of your own.
It is important to cook your meat properly, so always have a meat thermometer on hand. Meat must reach a minimum temperature to be safe. This temperature varies for each kind of meat. Meat that has not been cooked sufficiently can have bacteria growing in it, and these can cause illness if eaten.
If you are trying a new fruit or vegetable that you are not accustomed to, take a little time to learn some things about it. Do some research, and you might be surprised at how versatile the new food is. If you take the time to learn about the item before heading into the kitchen, the experience will be that much more enjoyable.
While not everyone is destined to become a great cook, the ability to follow directions is all you need to achieve the status of amateur cook. It is not all that complicated. Make sure you apply the tips you have just read and experiment with new ideas.
Put some spices on the food when it’s done cooking. Choose from a variety of spices, including garlic powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper. Many people like different things in terms of spices. Provide spices and seasonings at the table when the dish is done, rather than adding them while you cook. Each person can then bring the food to their enjoyment level.