Skill must be developed with time. No matter the reason why you have decided to cook, it is still great to have this knowledge and skill. Here are a few hints that will set you in the right culinary direction in your own home kitchen.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
Have you ever felt sorry for throwing away moldy fruits? Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? Saving half-rotten fruit in a healthy way is not possible. Discard them, as mold goes deeper than the eye can see and can make you quite ill.
If you are going to make a stir-fry dish, slice the meat on the bias, as thinly as possible. This can take time and be tricky. Freeze the meat until it is firm and then slice the thin slices across the grain.
Many individuals enjoy cooking with apples when it is cooler outside, but if stored improperly, they will no longer be usable. Place apples in plastic bags and keep them in a cool place. Be warned, there is a reason for the old adage about the rotten apple! If you fail to quickly discard spoiled apples, the rest will quickly spoil as well.
Having knives that are very sharp is essential when cooking. Dull knives are hard to cut with and they are also dangerous. If you’re trying to slice a firm vegetable with a blunted knife, you’re more likely to cut yourself with it than you are if you use a sharp knife.
Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.
Cooking vegetables quickly improves their overall quality. Though slow cooking is popular in some cultures, the process actually eliminates important nutrients and renders the vegetables tasteless. As an added benefit, these techniques tend to produce healthier vegetables in general. Learning to give them just a quick steam is the best way to cook them.
If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. Brushing vegetable oil on the grill will help keep your food from sticking.
They will act like a sponge and just soak up a lot of that water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. That way, they will not burn during the cooking process. You can keep your food on the skewers if you use two sticks parallel instead of just one.
Garlic can add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food. However, when you are cutting and chopping fresh garlic, it can also leave its odor on your hands. After using garlic or other foods with odors that stick to your hands, all you need to do is rub your hands on a piece of stainless steel, like your sink. The steel will clean your hands and remove the smell. You can buy stainless steel “soaps” at your local kitchen store to keep on hand.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
Do you know grilling times for meats? Investing in a top-notch meat thermometer, such as an ultra-precise digital one, will let let you make sure that the meat is cooked correctly inside and out. For meat that is more than 1.5 inches thick, close the lid of the grill to decrease the amount of time that the meat takes to cook.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. To replace milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can make good substitutes. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. You can then freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock bags. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.
Be sure to refresh your spices every few months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. Put a waterproof mark on the end of the cutting board so you’ll know which side to use.
The best way to prepare fresh herbs, like parsley or dill, is to bunch them together and cut them up with scissors. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
Spices should be replaced every six months. Spices do not last forever. They will eventually lose their flavor. If you don’t use a spice very often, and it will go bad before you have to replace it, give some to family and friends.
Make sure you follow directions to the letter whenever you make macaroni and cheese. This ensures your macaroni comes out perfect and that the velvety cheese is deliciously melted over your noodles. Serve your dish with a nice serving spoon. Sprinkle some pepper on top for added spice, and enjoy!
Even on simple dishes like mac and cheese, going letter by letter on the directions always gets you the best results. Your macaroni will turn out wonderful if you do it this way. It will also taste so good when you melt cheese over your noodles. Use a solid face spoon when you serve to make sure you get plenty of cheese scooped up with the macaroni. Spice up the macaroni with some pepper!
You should save some water from the pan in which you cooked the pasta so that you can add it to the pasta sauce later. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. While mixing the sauce and pasta, add the pasta water into the mix. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Blot ground meats to remove moisture before you cook. Getting rid of the excess moisture will ensure that it cooks properly. If you leave the moisture in your meat, that moisture will be released when you cook. The extra moisture will sizzle away. Instead of being seared as it should, the meat may very well steam.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. This gives extra flavor and helps to hold the herbs in place. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. Applying salt to the board will allow the herbs to stick better and give the meat a bit more flavor.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. Set aside a small amount of the water, about one quarter cup. While mixing the sauce and pasta, add the pasta water into the mix. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.
When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the grill to heat to the proper temperature for cooking. You should keep the coals at a medium heat and covered with ashes. This is the optimal temperature for grilling.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. Begin preparations around a half hour before you intend to start grilling. The charcoal should have a light coating of ash at medium heat when they are ready to use. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. More injuries, cuts and serious accidents happen as a result of blunt utensils than freshly sharpened ones.
Buying quality knives is an important investment in your kitchen. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. A greater number of accidents occur because of dull utensils. Therefore, purchasing sharper ones decreases the chance of injury.
There are two fast, easy ways to get warm, crisp tortillas. One way is to bring the oven temperature up to 350 degrees, put tortilla right on rack, and then let cook until you have the desired crispness. You can also crisp your tortilla on the gas burner of your stove-top. Just turn the flame on low and place the tortilla on the burner above the flame. Watch it carefully! It only takes a moment! Using these methods your tortilla will taste fresher and crispier.
Make sure you use a thermometer to see if the meat is done. There is a recommended minimum temperature for every type of meat; this ensures that meat is cooked well enough to be safe to eat. Since bacteria is all around us, especially on meat, it is important that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill off this bacteria and therefore prevent you from getting sick.
Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. Every meat type has a different recommended temperature in order to be safe for eating. If the meat is not properly cooked, bacteria that exists on meat will not be eliminated, and you can get very sick as a result.
“Trussing” is simply tying the turkey’s legs and wings together with string. Trussing will cook your bird more evenly when you tie the legs and wings to the bird closely. If they are untied, the tips of its legs and wings can burn while the remainder of the bird cooks.
The use of brine is an effective cooking technique. Soak chicken, turkey, duck or goose in brine about an hour before preparing the dish to make the most out of the flavors in your meal.
Keep your spices and herbs fresh by not exposing them to humidity and light. Humidity or heat can ruin your herbs and spices quickly. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
Some pungent ingredients, like garlic, onions, or fish, can stick to your hands and transfer to foods you don’t want them on. You can stop this process by rubbing your hands on stainless steel before you give them a wash. 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.
Hopefully, you are now prepared to apply what you have learned in this article. Utilize the advice in this article to start cooking fantastic meals! Regardless of why you are learning to how to cook, you can enjoy the pleasure of serving dishes you’ve prepared yourself. There is no denying that skill is required in order to be a good cook. However, a great tasting dish makes the effort worthwhile!
Take the stress out of complex dishes by lining up all the ingredients before you start cooking. If you do so, you can jump in at once; you won’t get stuck in the middle of a recipe without a necessary ingredient. It might take a little longer to do this prep work ahead of time, but you will save time in the cooking phase and eliminate the stress of having to do it while cooking.