It is a no brainer. We need to eat to live. But there’s more to food than just the need to survive. It’s even more of a good thing to cook something that’s great other than eating it. Here are a couple tips to help take your cooking expertise to a whole new level.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. Your spices and herbs will lose some of their flavor when exposed to light, humidity and heat. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors.
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Experiment with several recipes, and give yourself the time in perfecting your cooking skills.
When not in use, put your spices in an area that receives the lowest amount of light and heat. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
Place meat in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing easier. This is perfect for meals that require really thin meat such as Chinese or Thai dishes. When the meat is partially frozen, the cuts will be much cleaner as the fibers in the meat are less likely to stretch. Then allow the slices to thaw so they’ll cook evenly.
Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. To preserve a vegetable nutritious value, cook quickly by either steaming or sauteing it. Ideally you should consume the vegetable in its raw state.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
They will act somewhat like a sponge that soaks up all the water. The right way to clean the mushrooms would be by hand, using a clean, wet cloth.
Regardless of the recipe, you can always bet that a fresh ingredient is better than its dried or frozen counterpart. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. The frozen sauce will keep extremely well until the next time you need it!
Several times your burgers will stick to the grill, and it is hard or impossible to remove them without destroying their shape. To prevent this, brush the grill with a bit of vegetable oil to keep your foods from sticking.
Garlic is delicious; however the pungent aroma will get stuck on your hands. However, rub your hands inside a stainless steel basin when you have finished working with any strong-odor ingredient. Rubbing your hands on the stainless steel, helps remove the odor from your hands, so that every other food you touch does not smell like garlic also.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. As an alternative to milk, try using thinned sour cream, yogurt, soy milk or buttermilk. Using a variety of liquids can add a bit of zest to a favorite recipe and even make it more nutritious.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.
Always properly measure cooking oil. To lower some fat content in foods, always measure your oil when you are cooking, do not pour it from the bottle right in the pan. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
Leave the bone inside the roast if you want to cook it faster. The bone helps the heat distribute on the inside of the roast, which helps it cook faster. When the joint is cooked, carefully cut the meat from the bones and serve.
When serving salad to guests, leave the dressing on the side. Some people prefer more dressing than others; let guests pour their own dressing. For an even more considerate touch, provide different kinds of dressings.
Do not use any wine when cooking a recipe that you do not think normally tastes good. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. They make wines that can be used only when you’re cooking food.
If you find that making a whole dinner at once is too much work, do parts of your food preparation the night before. Try preparing any required sauces, prepping vegetables, or marinating meats the evening before the meal will be cooked. You will more prepared to cook your meal the next day, and will experience less stress!
Many food items leave their odors on cutting boards, which can linger even with vigorous scrubbing. Mark your ends on the cutting board using indelible ink so that you can remember one side from the other.
Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. What you want to do with them is slice the meat, put it in a freezer friendly tupperware, and stick it into the freezer. It will keep fresh for several weeks which you can use for sandwiches or if you prefer a salad.
If you purchase fruit that is still green and want it to ripen quickly, put it in a plastic bag with perforations. As fruits ripen, ethylene gas is released. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
It is essential to remain organized when cooking, so that you do not burn food or make other blunders. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. If you just cook without a plan, you will waste lots of food, which is the same as wasting lots of money.
It will be very helpful to have all cooking supplies nicely organized. If they are not properly organized, you will wind up rummaging around to find what you need. Place the cooking supplies that are similar in one place. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.
Always clean your utensils very well before you use them. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. This could allow bacteria to easily spread.
Start with the preparations prior to cooking. You will save gas or electricity, and you will be able to focus on one thing at a time.
There are quite a few ways that tortillas can be heated. One ways is to cook them in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until they are crisp, to your liking. If you have a stove with gas burners, you can tweak your tortillas by crisping them quickly right over the flame. Trying any of these methods will create an amazing tortilla.
You should blot ground meat before you cook it. It is always advisable to blot away moisture from ground meat. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when it’s cooked. It will start to sizzle away. The meat, which is suppose to sear, may steam instead.
Wrapping the turkey together with string is trussing. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If the legs and wings aren’t tied together, the tips could burn, cooking much more quickly than the main part of the turkey.
When you are making pasta you need to be sure to add a liberal amount of salt to the water. This is the most effective time to season pasta. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.
Be careful not to overcook or undercook your cake. The times that they recommend for cake baking can be wrong due to several factors. To test for doneness, insert a clean toothpick into the center of the cake. If batter sticks to the toothpick when it comes out, more baking is needed; when the toothpick stays clean after insertion, it’s time to eat!
When you are preparing salsa that will be stored rather than used immediately, dice your onions, rinse them in cold water and blot them with paper towels to get them completely dry. There is sulfurous gas in fresh onions. Your fresh salsa will be ruined by this gas. If you rinse off the onion and then dry it, it will get rid of the gas.
While you may wish to present them with something elaborate, avoid testing new recipes when you are making a meal that really matters. A fancy gourmet meal that you make yourself is one way to try and make a good impression on your boss, in-laws or a new love. Make sure that the meal is a success by preparing something that you know how to cook well.
Prior to barbecuing food, be sure that the grill is properly prepared. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. Your coals should be kept at a medium heat range and covered with a layer of ash. This is the best grilling temperature.
There are a number of delicious ways to prepare oysters. Oysters can be prepared in multiple ways even though they are typically eaten on the half shell with a smidge of lemon juice. Cover open oysters with cream and place them, including shells, onto a broiler pan. Add grated Parmesan cheese and shredded fresh peppers to the oysters and bring to the boil. Another great way to cook the oysters is to saute them. Coat the oysters in seasoned flour then shallow-fry them in some hot butter until they are golden in color. Oysters are best cooked in their shells. Add breadcrumbs and butter to the top of each oyster, put them in a sizable casserole dish, and bake for about five minutes at 425 degrees. Serve when heated with a toasted piece of baguette.
Although you are considering something fancy to impress others, stay away from new recipes when cooking for important people. Whether preparing food for a boss, in-laws or a brand new love interest, you want your cooking to wow them. Cooking them one of your specialties is a safe bet.
Try reheating foods that contain lots of oil rather than microwaving them to avoid having a greasy mess. Because oil heats the quickest, the concentrated heat of the microwave can cause the oil to separate from other ingredients of the dish. Baking will allow the entire dish to heat at the same time and keep all of the ingredients cohesive.
Stackable Cooling Racks
Try new ways to serve that conveniently frozen corn to your family. For example, for Thai inspired corn mix a half a cup of sweetened coconut into your corn and cook as usual.
Utilize stackable cooling racks. When you’re baking lots of treats like cookies, making these treats can take up way too much space. Stackable cooling racks help you use the available space most efficiently. Using stacking cooling racks enable you to allow your baked goods to cool without sacrificing counter space.
Make your corn more exciting by adding flavored butter to it. Soften the butter in the microwave, or let it soften to room temperature. Next, mix in spices, sauces or herbs to create a burst of new flavors. You should give BBQ, lemon juice or honey a try.
The fun of cooking is often as enjoyable as eating the product it creates. You should not only learn basic cooking tips, but make them your own. Experiment. Change the tips you read in this article to make them work for you. Your cooking skills will become better, and everyone will ask you to bring along all your meals and desserts, wherever you go.
To get the most possible juice out of a citrus fruit, place it inside the microwave. Heat up your citrus fruits for about ten seconds. For an additional boost, roll the fruit up and down the kitchen counter a few times before juicing, in order to loosen up the juice from its flesh.