Everyone loves to sit down and eat a good meal. This is especially true if the meals are being prepared by someone who knows their way around a kitchen. This article can help a novice become a great chef and an expert become even better.
Cooking a large meal for friends or family requires a great deal of preparation ahead of time. Make sure you have everything you need to make your food. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before so there will be no rushing. This will help to alleviate your anxiety and maximize your potential.
In your journey to cook more meals yourself, utilize the library or local bookstore in acquiring cookbooks. Target simple books with simple recipes that make you comfortable. Work your way through a few different recipes, but do not allow yourself to become discouraged during the learning process.
Apples tend to be a big ingredient during fall and winter, but they tend to spoil quickly if not stored properly. Warm, dry air can cause apples to rot, so keep your excess stock for cooking and eating in plastic bags, and place them where they will stay cool and moist, such as the basement or refrigerator. Make sure you take a look at them throughout the season; a simple rotten apple can easily ruin the rest of the bunch.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. They need to be a golden caramel color rather than pale blonde. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.
A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.
If you are going to stir-fry meat, be sure to have it cut on the bias and finely sliced. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. Remove the meat from the freezer before it is frozen, but when it is solid to touch. Next, position the meat at 45 degrees to the chopping board and slice across the grain with a sharp knife.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. Have no fear, for the sauce will taste great even after being frozen in the trays!
It is important to add oil to the side of the pan when you are cooking so that it is already warmed when it finally gets to the delicious food you are preparing. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.
Use airtight containers whenever you store unused baking mixes, flour or sugar in your pantry or kitchen. You should keep your foods stored in a air tight container so they stay fresh for a long time. Airtight containers are available practically everywhere and are well worth their cost.
There is a secret to thicken up your weak sauce. Put some corn starch into water and mix it in your sauce. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Add the mixture slowly and keep stirring to make sure it does not thicken too much.
By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. You’ll also be able to enjoy fruits out of season when the mood strikes you.
To make slicing meat into thin strips a little easier, partially freeze it. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. When meats are partially frozen, the slicing is neater and the meat’s fibers don’t tear and stretch as easily. However, to make sure that the meat cooks evenly, take the time to let it thaw out prior to cooking.
You can make your own dried tomatoes. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Dried tomatoes could also be put in a jar with fresh herbs and topped up with olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
If you are cooking a meal for someone you want to impress, stick with something you are already familiar with. Preparing a meal for someone important, or that you hope to impress, is not the time to experiment with new recipes or exotic ingredients that you have never used before. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.
Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. The bland cauliflower taste will make it so that you do not notice much difference in the taste, while accentuating the taste of some of the other ingredients. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.
Instead of chopping them on a cutting board, a better way to cut herbs is to hold them in a bunch and cut them with sharp scissors. This works especially well for dill and parsley. This results in light and fluffy herbs, and prevents the wetness that can occur when you chop them.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. You can make stock in large quantities if you wish, then store it in bags and put it in the freezer. By freezing stock, you ensure that you have tasty homemade stock ready to add to any dish. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.
Are you partial to using fresh basil in your cooking? Take some fresh basil and put some of it in a glass. Then cover the stems of the basil with water. The basil will stay fresh for a matter of weeks on your windowsill or kitchen counter. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. By picking leaves you will encourage the basil to put out new growth. This will ensure that you have fresh basil on an ongoing basis!
Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can leave it sitting for a few minutes. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. It is highly tempting to serve the food as soon as you take it off the grill. If you serve immediately off the grill, you will lose most of the juices in meat when you cut into it. Instead, allow the meal to cool and rest for a few minutes.
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. Use fresh ingredients as often as you can; they offer more flavor and tend to be less expensive as well.
When you are cooking pasta, use a fair amount of salt in the water. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Salting cooked pasta will not have the same effect.
When preparing a salsa that won’t be used immediately, rinse any raw onions you are using in cold water and dry them well. Chopping raw onions releases sulfurous gases. After about twenty minutes, the gas can have an effect on the taste of your salsa. Then you run the onions under water, much of the gas is removed.
To cook flavorful veggies that turn out well, use chicken broth. This helps to prevent vegetables from sticking on the pan. In addition, chicken broth improves the vegetables’ flavor. Chicken broth doesn’t cost much, and is widely available at most grocery stores.
It is important to properly care for your wooden cutting board. Heat, dryness, and excess moisture can cause a wooden cutting board to warp and split. Never immerse the board in water, rather, sponge it off with warm, soapy water. Bring a damaged wood board back to life with regular oiling, using only oil made for cutting boards. Be sure to dry it off completely before using.
Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. This is a tasty way to cook your veggies.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. It helps to keep the legs and wings of the turkey close so that the bird cooks more evenly. If they are not tied down, there is a good chance that they will burn while the remainder of the turkey is cooking.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.
Brining is a fabulous cooking method. To help you get the best flavors from your poultry, you should consider soaking such foods as goose, duck, turkey and chicken in brine for at least an hour before you start cooking preparations.
If you are preparing macaroni and cheese dishes, you must always closely follow the directions on the recipe. The macaroni will turn out perfectly if you do this, and you will have an amazing dish once the cheese is completely melted on the noodles. Serving with a solid-faced spoon will prevent the finished meal from sticking and globbing. Consider adding some pepper to your macaroni to add some spice.
Look for interesting ways to prepare oysters. Oysters are normally eater raw with a drop of lemon, but there are other methods of preparation. Place the oysters in a broiler pan, being careful not to remove them from their shells. Add cream to each oyster. Add some cheese and pepper on top, and cook until you see the liquid churning. You could also try sauteing the oysters. To saute oysters, dredge oysters through seasoned flour and place in a pan of hot butter and fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown. You can also keep the oysters inside their shells, then bake them. Put them in a standard casserole dish, add a bit of butter and freshly-made breadcrumbs to every oyster, and allow them to bake for roughly five minutes in a 425 degree oven. As soon as the juices and butter start to bubble, they are ready to be served with a simple toasted baguette.
Set 2 different timers, like the one on your oven and one on a watch or phone. If you engage in another activity away from your oven, you will hear your watch timer beep.
Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting 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. You don’t need to add extra salt to the food you are preparing. This will over-salt the dish. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
To eliminate the stress of cooking, prepare and assemble all the ingredients you need before you start. This way, you won’t ever be in a situation where you need something quick but don’t have it ready. It takes you the same amount of time to prepare before cooking as it does while cooking, but this method saves a lot of headache.
When sauteing food, don’t put too much oil in the pan. Too much moisture can cause food to steam rather than saute, affecting the crispness of the meal. This should be done at a lower temperature, too.
Fruit is especially delicious cooked on a grill. Put sliced nectarines, melon, and peaches on a skewer and grill them. Watch the fruit carefully, and leave the skewer on until your fruit is nicely covered with grill marks. Serve in conjunction with some ice cream or a pound cake.
All good cooks began by creating easy dishes from simple recipes. Maybe you think that years of experience and training go into making delicious foods. This could not be further from the truth. Everyone can learn how to cook amazing meals. Start applying the tips you have just read and experiment with different things.
Make a flavored butter to add a new twist to staples like dinner rolls or ears of corn. Make sure that your butter is room temperature by either leaving it on the counter for a while or softening it in the microwave. Then, for an added kick to the flavor, put in some spices, herbs or sauces. Try BBQ, chipotles, lemon juice or honey.