Eating is easy; cooking is hard…at first. The following article will give you the information you need to be able to prepare meals with ease. There is no reason to fear the stove, the groceries in your pantry, or your cooking equipment. Being able to cook good food is a well sought-after talent and a great joy as well! Take this advice to heart, and you will be enthusiastic about whipping up something special with greater regularity.
Before attempting to prepare food with skewers, take a few things to heart. To get a better hold on the food, use a square or twisted type metal skewer.
Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. Save time by doing the prep work before you begin cooking the meal. When you need to create a meal within a certain amount of time it can be stressful. If all of the prep work is completed well before the actual cooking begins, this will help alleviate some stress later.
Here is a way to save your sauce and use it in your recipes. Combine 1 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoons water, and stir together in a separate bowl. Slowly add this mixture to your simmering sauce to thicken it up. You need to add this solution very slowly and stir while adding so the sauce does not become too thick or burn.
As with many other things in life, one of the keys to making great meals for your family is preparation. Ensure that you aren’t missing important ingredients before you start cooking. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. Taking the time to prepare yourself will guarantee that the meal will be a success.
To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.
Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. Stir this mixture into the thin sauce and it will thicken up. Make sure you stir your sauce and stop pouring the mix once your sauce looks better.
Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. You’ll still be able to enjoy mashed potatoes, but with less fat and calories!
If you boil your vegetables it can cook out the nutrients. To retain these nutrients, rely on cooking methods that don’t take a lot of time, including steaming or sauteing. You can even eat them raw if you have the taste for it.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. No worries, because the sauce is still quite edible after being frozen in ice cube trays.
When making food for someone whom you want to impress, stick to a familiar dish that you are confident preparing. 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. You will be more comfortable cooking, and there will be less of a risk of messing it up.
Whenever you are storing flour, sugar or any other baking mix, you should always use an airtight container. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. You can find decorative airtight canisters for staples, like flour and sugar.
Do you find yourself throwing away molded fruits a lot? Have you ever wondered if you could simply cut away the part with mold and keep the rest? Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. Mold grows inward to places that you can’t even see and can make you sick so throw moldy fruit in the garbage.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. There is not a lot of expense when buying chicken broth, and most grocers carry it.
Mashed Potato Dish
When you are planning to use skewers for your cooking, always soak wooden skewers for at least thirty minutes in water prior to use. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. Keep food from falling off of your skewers by using two parallel skewers instead of a single one.
If you want to reduce the amount of calories and fat in a mashed potato dish, substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.
When you are purchasing ingredients to make something read your labels. Most common cooking supplies have hidden ingredients that are unhealthy. Be sure that the ingredients you are buying do not contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, as these both can cause health problems if overdone.
You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. This can make harder recipes easy, and complicated ones a fun, fast experience.
Cater to your guests by serving salads with dressing on the side. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.
They will soak up a ton of water, just like a sponge. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
Replace your spices twice a year. What happens a lot is that spices are kept in a household for far too long and lose a lot of their flavor. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.
Several times your burgers will stick to the grill, and it is hard or impossible to remove them without destroying their shape. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
When cooking, make it a habit to wash up dishes as you are using them. To make it easy, just have one sink filled with soapy water and fill the other side with rinse water. Most bowls, pots, pans and utensils are much easier to clean immediately after they’re done being used, and this will ensure that they’re ready go if you need them again during the preparation of your meal.
Being creative is a great way to get better at cooking. Following every recipe to the letter will give results, but it won’t make you a great cook. When you’re comfortable with the recipe, play within it to see what can be reduced, increased, or added for a better taste or texture. You will not become a real cook by just following what cookbooks say.
When preparing chicken stock, it is best to make a large batch. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
When you are using your cutting board to chop herbs, sprinkle a little salt on the board. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Don’t add any additional salt to the food while you’re preparing it, or it may become too salty. The salt will stick to the herbs, adding some extra flavor to your dish.
When you season food add a little at a time every few minutes rather than adding it all at one time. Seasoning in this manner offers several advantages. First, you are maximizing the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Second, you are utilizing ingredients in the best way possible.
Make sure you use a thermometer to see if the meat is done. There is a minimum internal temperature to which a meat needs to be cooked so that it is safe to eat. Meat that has not been cooked sufficiently can have bacteria growing in it, and these can cause illness if eaten.
Use a paper towel to blot moisture off of any ground meat before you put it in the pan to cook. If your meal includes ground meat, then blotting the moisture is especially important. If you just let the moisture sit, it will affect how the meat cooks. It will begin to sizzle. Instead of being seared as it should, the meat may very well steam.
Your spices and cooking herbs will last longer if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Exposing them to light or heat could make them lose their flavors fast. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
Be careful to rinse raw diced onions with cold water and blot dry before putting them in salads, sauces or salsa. The reason for this is that there is sulfurous gas in an onion. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. Rinsing the onions in cold water will get rid of the gas.
Measuring and chopping ingredients before you begin cooking can save you time. Many recipes include ingredients that can be prepared a few days in advance. Sometimes, the longer window of preparation time can enhance the flavor of your final dish. You will find that preparing ahead will become a habit that you greatly value.
An excellent suggestion is to purchase solid cutting utensils for use in your kitchen. Sharp knives are less time consuming, easier, and safer to use. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
Experiment with new ways of preparing oysters. Try preparing your oysters differently if you are tired of the usual drizzling of lemon juice. Take opened oysters in shells, put them on a broiler-safe pan, and put a little heavy cream on top. Next, grate some Parmesan cheese and pepper and sprinkle it over the oysters, then broil until it reaches a boil. Oysters can also be sauteed. Using a bit of seasoned flour, dredge the oysters and fry them up with hot butter for roughly two minutes, until they turn golden brown. Another option is to bake the oysters while they are still in their shells. Place this is a casserole dish and add a small dab of butter. Next add some breadcrumbs that are fresh to each oyster. Bake this at 425 degrees about five or four minutes. When the butter and juices are bubbling, serve piping hot with a toasted baguette.
Wood Cutting Board
In order to guarantee you hear the timer go off, set the oven and a watch. If you wear a stopwatch on your neck or use the timer on a watch, you will make sure that the beeps are heard no matter your location.
Proper care for a wood cutting board. Keep a wood cutting board away from heat and too much or too little moisture, as this can cause warping and splitting. Cutting boards should never be immersed in water, but cleaned with a soapy sponge and rinsed off. If your board becomes damaged, use an oil consistently that is made for wood boards. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
When you are aware that you have a busy day coming up, prepare some of the dinner ingredients the night before. By doing some vegetable chopping, or pre-assembly of dishes the night before, you’ll be a lot less stressed on cooking day.
There is no need for you to be intimidated by cooking. You can save some money by making your food, and improve your nutrition and health all while having fun. Apply the advice you’ve just learned from the above article to your grocery store trip, kitchen, and then your plate. Kudos to home-cooked food; whip some up and dig right in!
In order to eliminate some strong odors caused by items such as garlic or other pungent foods, just use stainless steel on your hands for a few seconds prior to washing them. Try using a spoon, the side of the sink, or a “soap bar,” this can cause your hands to again be fresh and odor-free.