Food Festival

Pushing Your Way Through To Cooking Success

Learning to cook can be an intimidating subject for some people. There seems to be so much to learn. It doesn’t seem like you can ever know everything there is to know about cooking. But this article can help you gain knowledge and skill that can increase your enjoyment of cooking.

Ensure that you are getting the most out of your chef’s knife by holding it properly during use. The thumb and the index finger should be on either side of the blade, at the point where it meets the handle. This will give the ultimate in control, when slicing through ingredients.

It is fine to alter recipes. Do you like more cheese than what is called for? It’s fine to add more. Do you think onions would be good added in? Try it! Adding your own special twist to a recipe can help make a meal one of a kind!

Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.

Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.

Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.

Damp paper towel and a plastic bag can extend the life of your greens. If you wrap your fresh herbs or fresh greens with a damp paper towel and then place them in a plastic bag, they will last longer. They will normally stay fresh three to four days longer if you do.

Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!

If you are having a big party, one of the worst things that you can do is to put dressing on the salad. Since the salad will sit out for a long time, it will probably get soggy after a while. Instead, leave an assortment of dressings out for people to choose.

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Tofu is a great source of protein that vegetarians should use to get the nutrients their body needs. Many vegetarians are lacking in protein because they are not eating meat. Tofu can be prepared in a variety of ways and really soaks up flavors so it can be served as a meal or as a quick snack.

When a recipe calls for vegetable shortening, coconut oil is a healthy alternative that should be used. Coconut oil can be difficult to find in the typical grocery stores so you may need to look in a healthfood store to find it. It is important to read the label to make sure it is true coconut oil.

When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.

When you are going to purchase beef, make sure that the package does not have too much liquid in it. An excessive amount of liquid may indicate that the beef was not stored properly or that it is no longer good. Make sure you always check the expiration date as well.

If you are a big fan of having baked potatoes with your meal but do not like the long cooking time, you should soak them in salt water for twenty minutes before you bake them. They will take only about half of the usual time to bake after being soaked.

When you are making casseroles, roasts, and other things that may stick to the bottom of a baking sheet, you should line the bottom of the pan with foil. This is a good idea because after you are done cooking you can throw the foil away and you will not have a lot of cleaning up to do.

Do not use oil when boiling pasta. You may hear many sources tell you that oil in your water when boiling pasta will keep it from sticking when it is drained. This may hold some truth, however, the oil can not only break the pasta down prematurely, it will also prevent your sauce from sticking to it. Use salt in the water to achieve a faster boil and rinse cooked pasta with warm water to prevent sticking.

Check your meatloaf or meatballs by test cooking a small piece. You want your meat to taste perfect, so when you make a mini hamburger patty, and fry it up to taste it, you can decide if the seasoning is just right or if you need to add more flavor. Doing this ensures your meatloaves and meatballs are perfect when you pop them out of the oven.

It can be intimidating to learn to cook but it doesn’t have to be. This article can add to your base of knowledge about cooking. The more you know about cooking, the less intimidating it is. When you are not so intimidated, you will relax and can begin to experience the true joy of cooking.