Having to cook and dish up meals every day can get a little humdrum at times. To liven up your relationship with cooking, how about diving in and learning a few new techniques? Cooking can be fun, the more you learn. Here are some great cooking tips to get you going.
Be sure to keep your spices in an area that is cool and dark. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can retain their freshness for 36-60 months. Their changes at longevity increase with proper storage.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. Moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor of your spices. Herbs and spices that are ground usually remain flavorful for a year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If you store them correctly, they will stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
Prepare in advance as much as possible. It is essential to have all prep work finished before it’s time to begin cooking. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.
If making stir-fry, meat must be cut on the bias and sliced thinly. It takes a little practice and time to get it right. Take out the meat before it is frozen, but very firm, and cut into it at an angle of 45 degrees perpendicular to the grain.
Here is a tip that will thicken your sauce quickly and easily so that all your hard work will have not been wasted. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water. Stir it into your sauce as it simmers and it will get thicker. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. To keep your spices spicy and fresh, store them in an area that is cool and dark. These fresh spices will help add flavor to your meals, making them tastier!
A good piece of advice you can observe when cooking with oil is to pour it down the sides of the hot pan. When the oil reaches the food in the middle, it will already be hot. This will give more flavor to what you are cooking.
Sharp knives are essential to cooking. If you try to cut using a dull knife, you will have a lot of difficulty, and it can also a very dangerous. If you have to work on forcing a dull knife to go through something, you’re much more likely to accidentally cut yourself in the process than with the one quick, clean cut of a sharpened knife.
Do you feel bad for getting rid of fruits that are moldy? Ever thought if you could just pick out the mold and salvage the fruit? No, it’s not okay to remove the moldy parts. No healthy method of saving any fruit that is partly rotted exists. 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.
To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.
Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious. These cooking techniques make the vegetables more healthy overall. Cooking better vegetables is all about cooking them for the least amount of time possible.
Garlic’s only disadvantage is that it transfers smell onto your hands. After touching garlic or another strong-smelling ingredient, stop and rub your hands on your stainless steel faucet. This will take care of the odors clinging to your hands and enable you to handle other ingredients without contaminating them with strong aromas.
Are you a fan of using fresh basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. You can keep it on the kitchen counter for several weeks. With some care, you may even be able to encourage the basil to grow roots. Trim or cut the basil regularly to encourage growth and you will be able to enjoy fresh basil!
Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Use a clean cloth to wipe them off.
Always store baking supplies such as baking mixes, flour, and sugar in airtight containers. When you store food in airtight containers, it will not spoil so readily, and bugs won’t be able to get into it. You can buy these nearly anywhere, so they’re a worthwhile investment.
Keep sauce easily by filling an ice tray with the leftovers and freezing it. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. You should place them on cooling rack, and salt them lightly with the cut side up. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
If you want to eat well and lose weight, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of oil you use in cooking. Butters and oils contain unnecessary fats. A good alternative to using butter and oil is to use a low-fat cooking spray. Even better, you can use nonstick pans and eliminate oil altogether.
If you are planning a complex meal, reduce your stress by doing the prep the night before. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and chop and measure them in advance. When you have to cook the meal, the only thing on your mind will be actually putting it together.
When you plan on using wooden skewers for cooking, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. That way, you won’t be able to burn them as easily. To ensure that your food stays on the skewers, use two skewers instead of one to hold the food firmly in place.
Stay creative and have fun when cooking. You do not have to follow a recipe word for word. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.
That way, fruit can stay crisp and fresh all year. Also, you’ll have certain fruits on hand that can’t be grown during certain periods of the year.
To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you are ready to mix your sauce and pasta together, incorporate some of this water. Through a process known as amalgamation, the starch in the pasta water creates a creamy texture in your sauce.
Do not use any kind of wine in your cooking that you haven’t tasted on your own. Using a type of wine you find unpalatable will negatively impact the flavor of your food. There are wines available that are used just for cooking purposes.
When you barbecue, get your grill ready before you start. At least half an hour before you plan to cook, prepare the grill in readiness. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. This is the most effective temperature for grilling.
“Pay as you go” dishwashing is easy to do. This way you avoid ending up with a big pile of dirty dishes to do after the meal. Fill one side of your sink with hot soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. Utensils and dishes are easier to wash when they’ve just been used, and they’ll be ready for the next meal you want to make.
When sauteing food, avoid over-filling the pan. This will create extra moisture that will act to steam the food rather than adding that crispness that comes from sauteing. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.
Shake a little salt onto your cutting board when you are chopping up fresh herbs. This gives extra flavor and helps to hold the herbs in place. Do not add too much salt to your dish. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.
You need to be careful not to overcook or under cook a cake. Box times are more of guidelines than the actual time a cake should be baked. This is due to various factors that can make a difference, such as elevation. Insert a toothpick into the cake’s middle. If you stick a toothpick in your cake, and when you pull it out, it does not have any batter on it, the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven.
If you make salsa with raw onions and you will not be eating it within 20 minutes of preparation, you should rinse the onion pieces first, then blot them dry completely. Raw onions emit sulfurous gas when they are chopped. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. Rinsing in cold water and drying the onions first will eliminate this gas.
It is best to try a recipe at least once before preparing it for an important occasion. You don’t want to put off a date, a coworker, or even the dodgy in-laws with substandard food. Spend additional time preparing the dish to make it extraordinary for this special person.
Keep your wood cutting board in tip-top shape. To keep your wooden cutting board in top shape, avoid exposing it to excess moisture. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, but instead, wipe it off with a sponge using warm water and soap. You can find oil designed for cutting boards to maintain yours. Make sure you let your board dry before using it again.
These cooking tips can improve the style of your cooking and make this into a wonderful hobby. Cooking, of course, is delicious, but it can also be a great and fun way to learn about food. When you learn all that you enjoy about cooking, you also learn about yourself. As you get more and more into cooking, you will have more and more fun as well as your meals will be delicious.
Brining is a technique for preparing poultry. Any poultry can be put in a brine for roughly an hour, to greatly improve the flavors in your meal.