Do you find your kitchen boring? But taking up cooking as a hobby changes that. Your kitchen will transform into a destination, and every minute you spend there will add up to make a wonderful meal that everyone will stop and admire. The tips below will get you started.
Freezing meat will make it more solid, and easier to cut into thin strips. This technique is especially useful for the meat slicing styles typically used in Asian cuisine. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don’t extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.
When you shelve an herb or a spice, make sure it’s dark and cool. Their flavors will be weakened when they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. When properly stored, ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for up to a year. Spices that are raw, or whole, can keep the original flavor for as long as five years, though it usually falls somewhere between three and five. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors.
Every cook needs access to a set of sharp knives. You are more likely to injure yourself using a dull knife. If you are putting too much pressure onto the knife due to its dullness, the likelihood of having an accident is increased.
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. Using this technique ensures that your food will have more flavor.
Prolonged boiling of vegetables destroys many of the nutrients contained within them. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.
When cooking for someone who is important to you, it’s best to prepare something that you are skilled at making. You can avoid stress by sticking to familiar recipes and food you enjoy. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
Apples are a popular ingredient during fall and winter, but unless they are stored properly, they spoil quickly. Place apples in plastic bags and keep them in a cool place. Make sure to keep an eye out for rotting apples, because if you have one rotten apple, it will turn all the other apples rotten in no time.
Do you ever feel bad for disposing of fruit with a little mold on it? Could you instead just cut off the mold and eat the rest like you can with cheese? Unfortunately, you cannot save half rotten fruit and expect it to be healthy. Toss it in the trash; you may not be able to see all of the areas that are affected by the mold, and if you eat any of it, you can become very ill.
It is alright to use it on other foods besides meats. Try using it to season roasted potatoes or chickpeas. People will wonder where that burst of flavor is coming from.
Freezing helps ensure fresh fruit throughout the year. In addition, it will allow you to eat fruits that are not currently in season when you crave them.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Cover its stems completely with water. Keep on the kitchen counter so it’ll be fresh for weeks! Your basil will even send out new roots if you change its water regularly. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.
Do not use a random amount of cooking oil. A simple way to reduce fat when you cook is to measure your oil, rather than pour it straight from the bottle. You’ll be able to carefully account for all of the oil that you use.
Baking mixes, flour and sugar should all be stored in airtight packaging. These sorts of containers will help keep all of your foods fresh and safe from bugs. These containers can be purchased at almost any store and definitely make for a good investment.
When you are cooking roast and do not have a lot of time, leave in the bone. The reason this cooks your roast faster is because the bone pulls the heat to the center of the roast. Once your roast is done, just cut the meat from the bone, then serve.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. That tasty chicken stock is very versatile and can be perfect for your next stew, casserole or soup. Allow the stock to cool, then split it up into heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags.
Try drying your own tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. The next step is to put the rack on an old cookie sheet and then place in an oven set at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. They can then be stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
Try to make dinner preparations the evening before. For example, you can chop any vegetables and herbs you will need and store them in the refrigerator, as well as marinating whatever meat you will be preparing the next evening. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.
If you have turkey for a meal, whether it’s on a holiday or another occasion, make sure you keep the leftovers. Instead, cut them up and put them in an airtight package and place it in your freezer. This will keep the turkey fresh for a month or more, and can be easily thawed to use in sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Make sure that you do not dispose of any leftovers after your Thanksgiving dinner. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. You can keep it fresh for several weeks, so that you can use the turkey in sandwiches or salads.
You can reduce the cleanup required from meal preparation by washing dishes as you use them. Have one sink prepared for washing, hot and full of soap. Set the other aside for rinsing, warm and clean. Utensils and dishes are easier to wash when they’ve just been used, and they’ll be ready for the next meal you want to make.
Follow the instructions carefully whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. 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. Use a solid spoon to serve it. Another great tip is to spice things up a bit with some black pepper.
Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This way, the flavor is able to fully permeate the pasta. When you salt your pasta after cooking, the flavor is not as full.
For dishes that involve multiple steps, make it easy on yourself by doing portions of the work on the evening prior to cooking. Use this time to gather all needed ingredients, chop veggies and measure seasonings. Make sure you have everything you need. The next day when you have to cook your meal, all you need to think about is assembling and cooking the dish.
Be careful to rinse raw diced onions with cold water and blot dry before putting them in salads, sauces or salsa. Fresh onions emit sulfenic acid when cut and this turns into a gas. Your salsa will be ruined if you use raw onions. Rinsing and drying the onions is enough to get rid of this gas.
Wooden Cutting Board
It is important to have great cutting utensils at your disposal in your kitchen. Sharp knives are less time consuming, easier, and safer to use. You are taking the risk of getting frustrated and hurting yourself with old and dull utensils.
It is important to maintain a wooden cutting board properly. To keep your wooden cutting board in top shape, avoid exposing it to excess moisture. Don’t immerse it in water. Instead, quickly wash it with soapy warm water. Use an oil specifically formulated for cutting boards to restore and protect wooden boards. Be sure to dry it off completely before using.
Try not to under or over cook your cake. While the recipe or directions are a good starting point in cooking times, they may need adjustment. Factors like what kind of oven is used and elevation play a part in what the optimal cooking time will be. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If it is covered in batter, your cake is not done yet. Wait until the toothpick comes out clean.
There are many ways to heat tortillas. One way is place the tortilla on a rack in a 350-degree preheated oven. Let it cook until the tortilla is at the level of crispiness you prefer. You can also heat the tortillas by placing them on the grill of a gas stove. Either of these ways adds a crisp, fresh texture to your tortillas and Mexican dishes.
When you cook a simple meal, use fresh seasonings and herbs. Dried herbs, such as oregano and basil. are only good for dishes that are complex and have many different flavors going on. The flavor of dried herbs is more subtle and slightly different than the flavor of fresh ones. Consider growing your own herb garden. You can grow many herbs in a small space and have them on hand constantly.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If you don’t tie down the limbs, the tips of them will likely burn before the body of the turkey is done.
Cooling racks that stack can prove invaluable when you are baking. When you’re baking lots of treats like cookies, making these treats can take up way too much space. Therefore, stackable cooling racks allow you to capitalize on your limited counter space. making use of the vertical cooling space allows your counters to stay clear for your other work.
Your spices and cooking herbs will last longer if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Your spices can become less spicy if you expose them to humidity, heat, or light. This will overexpose your spices to heat and cause them to lose flavor.
If you know the next day is going to be hectic, work to prepare some of your meal ahead of time. With some forethought and effort ahead of time, you can have stress-free meal preparation. Try things like cutting and paring vegetables the day before, or putting together pastas or lasagna and storing them to use as needed.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. It is sometimes possible to do some preliminary tasks in the days preceding the actual meal preparation. Sometimes, preparing your ingredients in advance yields a bonus in the form of better flavor. Once you develop this habit, you may never go back.
If you’ve been handling smelly ingredients like garlic, onions, or fish, try rubbing your hands with stainless steel for about one minute before you wash them. Whether you use the side of your sink, a spoon, or a ready-made stainless-steel “soap bar,” this action removes the offending odor and keeps your hands fresh.
These tips might give you some creativity of your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your very own special recipes. If you enjoy cooking, it can be a life-enriching hobby. Your kitchen will be the place everyone wants to be.
If you and the kids are getting tired of the same boring bag of frozen corn all the time, try to mix it up. For a new taste that both kids and adults are sure to enjoy, add coconut flakes to the corn for a dish that is Thai-inspired and surprisingly delicious.