Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demand to prepare family meals every day? Don’t get frustrated by cooking! Follow the tips presented here to prepare excellent meals with only a minimum of stress. The advice given here will make you realize that you have waited too long to learn how to make cooking much easier.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. Go past the usual pale tan color and take them to a caramel gold. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Heat, humidity, and light will all weaken your spices’ flavor. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Whole spices keep their robust flavors for up to five years. They can remain fresh longer if stored properly.
Spices should be kept somewhere cool and dark. If the spices become too hot, or moist from humidity, it can shorten their shelf life. Too much light exposure also does this. When a spice is placed in a cool area with very little light, its life is extended and it will taste better. Make sure that your spices are fresh to add taste and flavor to any meal.
When you are cooking a stir-fry, ensure the meat is sliced to be very thin, and cut it on the bias. This process may take a very long time, and it takes practice. Take the cut of meat out when it is a bit firm but has not become frozen and begin to slice it across the grain diagonally.
When you are cooking an important dinner you want to whip up something you know how to cook well. Never experiment with a new ingredient or recipe in this situation. Doing this will take some of the stress out of cooking.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. Using partially frozen meats, your slicing can be cleaner due to the fibers not stretching and tearing as easy. Having said that, you must be certain to let the meat strips thaw out prior to cooking them to ensure even cooking.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. Cold water will allow the sliced potato to retain its internal fibers, meaning that they are less likely to completely break down when cooked at a high heat.
Boiling and other long preparation methods tend to eliminate key nutrients in vegetables. To preserve their healthy reputation, choose quick cooking methods such as sauteing or steaming – or better still, enjoy them in their natural, raw state.
Try adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes to lower the fat content. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. You’ll still be able to enjoy mashed potatoes, but with less fat and calories!
Do you feel bad when you throw away fruit that has gone bad? Is it a good practice to save them by cutting out the rotten, moldy part? The truth is that a rotten spot often signifies that the whole fruit is bad. Throw them away because mold grows much deeper than you can see and moldy food can make you very sick.
It has a wide variety of cooking uses, even outside the combination with meat. Sprinkle it on roasted pumpkin seeds to create a savory snack, or add it to your scrambled eggs. You will have everyone trying to guess your secret ingredient.
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
Add chicken broth to vegetables when you cook them. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is economical and widely available.
Losing weight and eating healthy can feel difficult, but you can easily lessen the amount of oil you use in your cooking. Oil and butter is mostly fat. You can use a low-fat non-stick cooking spray instead to keep your foods from sticking but still tasting great.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. Take them out to use on another night when you’d like a no hassle home cooked meal. Simply reheat the sauce cubes slowly in a medium pan on your stove top. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!
If you plan to use wooden skewers when cooking, soak them in water for about thirty minutes prior to use. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. Use two parallel skewers as opposed to a single skewer to keep food intact.
For a high-protein diet, meat isn’t the only source available. Tofu, lentils and beans are great protein substitutes. Both are readily available in grocery stores. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
The ideal way to cook a pumpkin is to first place the pumpkin upright on the cutting surface. Cut the pumpkin in half, then down the middle. Put each half, cut side down, on a separate baking sheet. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you are using! When it is time to add oil to your cooking pan, measure it instead of pouring directly from the bottle. This can ensure you are aware of the amount of unhealthy fat going into your food. This way, you know exactly how much fat you are adding to your dish.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. If the recipe has called for water, you could easily use chicken broth, beef broth, or juice when suitable. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. Using different liquids can add nutritional value, while at the same time punching up bland, old recipes.
If you have a tight deadline to cook a roast, leave the bone in the piece of meat. The bone inside of the meat acts as a conductor of sorts, helping the meat to cook faster. Once the meat has finished cooking, remove the bone prior to serving.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Cut up the remaining meat, place it in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, and store it in your freezer. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
If making dinner every night is becoming laborious, start preparing for it the night before. You could pre-cut the vegetables, pre-mix the sauce, or even prepare the meat marinade prior to heading off to bed. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.
You can chop fresh herbs quickly by bundling them together in bunches and cutting them with scissors. This will prevent them from clumping together and they will be drier than when you chop them.
Before you begin to cook, you must make sure that your kitchen utensils are clean. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. Bacteria will develop and spread on unclean utensils.
While cooking or baking, wash the dishes as your sauce simmers or your cookies bake. Keep one side of the sink full of sudsy hot water and use the other side to rinse clear. Washing your dishes is easier if you do not wait until the food gets dry and sticky. Make sure you wipe your dishes and put them away for the next meal.
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 chopping method produces lighter, fluffier herbs that are drier than conventionally cut herbs.
Allow meals to rest before serving. It is a little known fact that foods should rest for a short period after the cooking process. This is especially true of meats. Many are tempted to quickly serve food hot off the grill or stovetop. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.
Don’t completely drain the water after cooking pasta, save some to add to the pasta sauce. Take about a quarter cup of the water and set aside. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. Amalgamation will help the starch in the pasta to add a creamy quality, and extra body to your sauce.
Creativity in the kitchen can be exciting. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. A recipe can be greatly improved upon if you add a little of this, or take away a little of that. That is really a creative cook!
There are a few ways to heat up tortillas. One way is to preheat the oven temperature to 350, then place the tortillas on the rack. You can also use a gas stove top to warm tortillas right on the grill. Either of these ways adds a crisp, fresh texture to your tortillas and Mexican dishes.
If you want to cook with a vegetable or fruit that you haven’t used before, take time to learn more about it. You may find that your research leads to many great new ways to use the food. Teaching yourself prior to beginning any kitchen task will get you more fun out of your experience.
Try not to under or over cook your cake. Though recommended cooking times are a great guideline for novice cake bakers, they can be misleading, because factors such as elevation can impact the actual cook time of the cake. You can insert a toothpick or even an uncooked, long spaghetti noodle to check the cake to see if it is ready. If your toothpick is wet or sticky, give your cake a little longer to cook. If it’s clean and dry, your cake is ready to cool and frost.
Make preparations for cooking in advance. Prepare ingredients for several days worth of meals ahead of time. Some ingredients even benefit from advance preparation, developing a better flavor that will enhance the quality of your meal when you cook it. Advanced preparation of your food can help to improve your overall body of work as a chef.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. One of the things that you can do is create components of your meals in advance. There are many occasions where longer prep times actually lend a more flavorful touch to your meal. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
Cooking for your family can sometimes drive you crazy. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to make cooking easier and to make the results of your labors in the kitchen more rewarding. You can take a deep breath and relax when you plan your family’s next meal.
In order to guarantee you hear the timer go off, set the oven and a watch. Having a timer with you ensures that you hear it go off wherever you are in the house or even outside.