Making the same meals every day can be oppressively boring. To liven up your relationship with cooking, how about diving in and learning a few new techniques? Knowing what you’re doing will help you to prepare more nutritious meals which your whole family will enjoy, making both the cooking and eating processes a blast. Below, you will see some great tips that will make cooking fun and exciting for you.
Stir-fry meat needs to be sliced thin, on the bias. Sometimes, however, this can be a little challenging and tedious. When the meat is not quite frozen, take it out of the freezer and slice it against the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Give pie and tart crust a little longer baking time than you normally would for the best results. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. This golden color means that the sugar has caramelized, leaving a sweet flavor.
Partially frozen meat is easier to cut into thin strips. This technique is particularly good for meats served in Asian cuisine. The knife can cut the partly frozen meat with less damage than if it were thawed. This is because the partially frozen meat fibers are not as easily stretched or torn. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.
When not in use, put your spices in an area that receives the lowest amount of light and heat. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Always keep your spices in a dark and cool location to extend their longevity. These fresh spices will help add flavor to your meals, making them tastier!
Do you ever hesitate to toss moldy food? Do you think it’s a good policy to cut off any moldy, rotten parts and save the rest of the fruit? Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. Discard the fruit, because the mold penetrated deeper than can be seen with the naked eye, and moldy foods can cause some people to experience health problems.
Have you felt bad before when you have had to throw away your moldy fruit? Have you ever tried to salvage a fruit by slicing away the bad-looking part? Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to save fruit that has begun to rot. After a certain point, the fruit may become moldy, though you may not be able to tell by looking at it. Consuming the fruit could make you very ill.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. Using a slow cooking method is sometimes suggested, but the results are less nutritious and don’t taste as good. These cooking techniques make the vegetables more healthy overall. The key to improving your vegetables is learning how you can cook them in the minimum amount of time.
People mainly use plenty of apples in cooking during the winter and fall months, but if not stored properly they quickly go bad. Apples need to be kept loosely in plastic bags while in your refrigerator or basement because they rot in dry, warm air. You must still keep an eye out on the apples because one apple that is rotten can spoil the whole bag.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. To prevent your burgers from sticking, brush the grill with oil prior to cooking.
When cooking pumpkins, set the pumpkin so the top is facing up and slice it in half down the middle. Lay both halves upon separate baking sheets cut side down. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and roast the pumpkin for one hour in a 350 degree oven.
A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
If you are watching your weight and trying to eat healthy, it is essential to reduce the amount of oil you use when you cook. Butter and oils are often unnecessary fats. Try using nonstick cooking spray instead: this product does not contain anything unhealthy and works just like oil.
Measure the oil you use when cooking! A simple way to reduce fat when you cook is to measure your oil, rather than pour it straight from the bottle. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.
Wooden skewers should be soaked in water for a minimimum of thirty minutes before they are used. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. Double up on the skewers per kebab to ensure that nothing falls off of them.
It’s necessary for a cook to organize all cooking supplies. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Consider storing similar things together. For example, since basil and parsley are both spices, put them in the same cabinet.
Anytime you are cooking a dish that calls for substantial seasoning, try to add spices gradually throughout the process rather than all at once at the very start. It is easier to add more seasoning to taste than to take some away, and you’ll more evenly divide your ingredients.
Directions should be followed closely when you are making macaroni and cheese. Remember that the makers of your mac and cheese designed these instructions with the best possible result in mind. A solid spoon should be used when serving the macaroni masterpiece. Another great tip is to spice things up a bit with some black pepper.
Never forget to measure oil when you are using it for cooking. Pouring straight from a bottle does not give you an accurate idea of how much fat you are using, which can result in overindulgence. This allows you to keep a strict amount of oil, instead of overdoing it.
When you are cooking, a good habit to get into is to wash the dishes as soon as you are done with them. Have a sink of hot, soapy water on one side and rinsing water on the other. Cookware is easier to clean right after it has been used, and it will be ready for another use immediately.
When cooking a recipe calling for garlic, use the freshest garlic for the best results. The general rule is that the fresher garlic is, the sweeter it will taste. Fresh garlic should feel firm, the cloves full, and the bulb should not be bruised or have any discoloration.
Blot raw meat before you grill or sear it. Blotting the moisture off of your ground meat is definitely always a great idea. If you do not do this, the moisture will be released as it is cooking. This moisture will just sizzle off. This steams the meat, giving it a different texture than searing.
Leave the bone in your roast if you are in a hurry. The roast will need less time to cook because the bone transmits heat inside it. When your meat finishes cooking, all you need to do is cut the meat off of the bone and enjoy!
Spice up your cooking with a little creativity. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. That’s the true indication of a skilled chef!
You can dry out your own tomatoes. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Another way to preserve your dried tomatoes is in olive oil, with herbs for added flavor, in a glass jar. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry cupboard. Exposure to light, humidity, and heat can make your spices lose their flavors quickly. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
To maintain the freshness and flavor of herbs and spices store in a cool dry place away from direct light. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
Avoid overcooking or undercooking a cake. Even though recipes have guidelines for recommended baking times, they can vary due to differences in ovens or elevation. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If your toothpick is clean, your cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. However, if there is batter left on the toothpick, keep baking for a longer period of time.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Simply chop and seal in a freezer safe container to store in the freezer. The turkey will be more fresh after a couple of weeks when doing this. It is great in a sandwich or a salad.
If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
Fruit produces ethylene gas as it ripens. 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.
Make it a habit to cook with fresh seasonings and herbs whenever possible. If a dish has many ingredients and complex flavors, then dried herbs, like oregano and basil, are fine to use. Though when possible, it is always better to use fresh herbs as they provide your dish with better flavor. It is possible to have an herb garden no matter where you live. The garden will allow you to have fresh herbs available at all times.
Before preparing any sort of dish, you must ensure that your utensils are clean. Any leftover food post-washing can ruin whatever you plan on cooking next. This can be costly because it might allow for bacteria to spread.
If you are preparing a recipe with an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, enhance your skills as a chef by taking a moment to educate yourself about it. You may find that your research leads to many great new ways to use the food. If you take the time to learn about the item before heading into the kitchen, the experience will be that much more enjoyable.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. If you make it in large quantities, you can store the excess in resealable bags in your freezer. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. Homemade soup stock or bullion is a wonderful way to eliminate high sodium and preservatives that are present in commercially made products from your diet.
If you use these tips, cooking can become your hobby. Cooking can be very enjoyable, and you can learn much about food in the process. You will learn so much about yourself at the same time you are learning about cooking and the meals you love to prepare. As the art of cooking becomes increasingly more entertaining, you will begin to produce even better dishes.
To make your pasta sauce a little better, use some of the water that you cooked your noodles in. Set aside a small amount of the water, about one quarter cup. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.