There is no end to the ways that cooking skills can be enhanced, developed and perfected. A cook that has umpteen years of experience will still be delighted to learn new and current techniques that can enhance their kitchen time. Inexperienced cooks need little tips that can facilitate their cooking process. This advice will help you learn more about cooking.
Meat can easily be sliced into thin strips if it is partially frozen. This method is great for oriental meals that require small strips. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.
Keep herbs and spices in a location that is cool and dark. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Whole spices keep their robust flavors for up to five years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.
Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. To maintain their healthy reputation, prepare them quicker by steaming or sauteing, and you could always enjoy them naturally in their raw state.
Pie crusts and tart crusts should be cook a bit past the point that you think they should be cooked. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
For crispier French fries, put raw potatoes into cold water and let them sit there for about half an hour before frying. Doing this increases the strength of the fiber in the potatoes, which means that they don’t break down as quickly during the deep frying phase.
When creating a meal for someone you are friends with or fond of, try making what you already are good at making. You do not want to deal with the stress of trying to make something that you have ever done before. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
Have you ever wanted to cook a meal using fresh basil? Fill an empty glass with fresh basil. Now fill the glass with water to just above the stems. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. If this happens, trim the basil once in a while. This promotes continued growth, which means you have fresh basil at your disposal well into the future.
Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. Also, use two skewers through your food to help secure it, so it doesn’t end up on the ground.
Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. Cauliflower tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. You’ll still be able to enjoy mashed potatoes, but with less fat and calories!
Keep in mind that tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein when you want to add more protein to your diet. Both are easily available to buy at almost every grocery store. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. The beans can be boiled with some herbs for a flavorful protein source.
Vegetables should be cooked rapidly to obtain peak results. The longer you cook vegetables, the less flavor and nutrition they have. A plus is that faster cooking methods usually yield vegetables which are, generally, simply better for you health. Adapting the principle of faster cooking times is a crucial element in serving better quality vegetables to your family and friends.
To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat. This is a great and delicious way to cook vegetables.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. A little on seeds or eggs can liven it up. Anyone who tastes these is sure to wonder and ask if you have a special or secret ingredient.
When you cook a pumpkin, the first step is to slice in in half vertically. Put each half on a baking sheet, with the cut side facing downward. Lightly sprinkle a bit of water over the pans, then bake the pumpkin for about one hour in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
They will soak up much of the water, as if they were a sponge. So, in order to clean them, wipe off each mushroom with a clean, wet cloth.
When serving a salad for guests that accompanies a meal, avoid pouring dressing on it. Leave the dressing on the side instead. Some people like to put more salad dressing on their salads than other people do; let your guests put their own salad dressing on. Also, give a variety of different dressings.
Make a lot of stock if you are going to make it ahead of time. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.
You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. Before going to bed, cut up the onions and veggies or make your marinating sauce. Preparing your meal the next night will be a snap, and much more relaxing.
You should always look at the product labels before purchasing ingredients for a meal. Many of the most common ingredients can contain unhealthy and unnecessary additives. Check the sugar and sodium levels in the ingredient, as over consumption of these items can cause health problems in certain people.
To stay on top of the mess that comes with cooking, wash your dishes as soon as you are done using them. Have one sink prepared for washing, hot and full of soap. Set the other aside for rinsing, warm and clean. This will prevent you from mixing clean dishes with dirty ones. This is the best method to clean up quickly after cooking.
If you use herbs and spices when cooking, be sure to retain the flavor and freshness by keeping them in an area of the kitchen that is cool and dark. A lot of people store herbs and spice in cabinets which can collect heat, make sure you avoid this as this can result in flavor loss (as well as money loss).
Be creative in your cooking. The instructions for a recipe aren’t set in stone. A recipe can be greatly improved upon if you add a little of this, or take away a little of that. That’s the true indication of a skilled chef!
When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. Doing this will keep the turkey fresh for several weeks, and it can be made into a sandwich or a salad whenever you want.
If your fresh salsa contains onions and it won’t be served immediately, rinse them under cold water after dicing, and pat them dry before adding them to the salsa. Fresh onions contain sulfurous gas. The gas they release can ruin the salsa. You can remove the gas from your onions by rinsing them and drying them with a paper towel.
It is necessary for all cooks to organize their cooking supplies. Disorganization will have you rushing around the kitchen in a frenzy looking for your equipment, ingredients and utensils. Put like items with other like items. As an example, you may want to keep all of your spices together.
You should utilize a meat thermometer, so that you can be sure that the meats are thoroughly cooked. Meats have a specific internal temperature schedule that determines they are cooked and safe for human consumption. If meats are not properly cooked, any bacteria present can grow and could possibly make you very sick if not killed during the cooking process.
When you cook macaroni and cheese, make sure to follow the listed directions on your box exactly. The macaroni will be perfection if you choose to cook it in this manner. After the cheese has melted on the noodles, you will be able to enjoy macaroni that is divine. When it comes time to serve the dish, you can use a basic slotted or solid spoon. A little bit of pepper can add surprising dimension to this simple dish.
The act of tying a turkey with a string is called trussing. This keeps the wings and legs close to the bird, promoting a more even cooking. If they are untied, the tips of its legs and wings can burn while the remainder of the bird cooks.
Herbs and spices need to be kept in a dry, cool area, away from light. If your spices are exposed to light, moisture and humidity, they may lose their unique flavors. Such close proximity to these three factors will cause your spices to lose their flavors.
Homemade stock can add flavor to many dishes. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. By doing this, you’ll always have great tasting homemade stock when you desire to create soups or other types of dishes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
Anytime you cook a simpler dish, include fresh seasoning and herbs with it. Dried herbs like oregano are better with dishes that are complex. However, stronger, better overall taste is produced by using fresh herbs. You could start your own herb garden to always have fresh products.
While engaged in cooking, get in the habit of cleaning dishes as you finish using them. You should have one sink filled with water that is hot and soapy. The other sink needs to be filled with clear water for rinsing. Your pots and pans will be easier to clean right after use, and they will also be available for use again right away.
The vast varieties of potatoes do not easily substitute for each other in recipes. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salad but do not work as well for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or french fries. If you plan on making these types of recipes, you should use Russets potatoes as they are made specifically for these.
Wait a few minutes before you serve a meal to allow the food to sit for a bit. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. You may think it is better to serve the food immediately. Unfortunately, serving your meal immediately can take away from the taste and quality. It’s also important that the food simply cools down and rests for awhile for flavor’s sake. Give it a few minutes, and it should be ready to go.
Make use of stackable cooling racks. If you do not have cooling racks that stack, your kitchen could become overtaken by cooling cookies the next time you need to make a large batch. The use of stackable cooling racks is an efficient way to utilize your kitchen space. Using vertical spaces lets cookies cool down while still giving you other space to use for other activities.
No cook can boast they know every secret there is to cooking. There is always something new to learn or find out. New cooks have a lot of learning to do, and can benefit from the many tips and pointers available. Try out the tips you’ve just read and see if you can’t make your kitchen endeavors a little more enjoyable and a little more rewarding.
Cook up a wok of rice with vegetables to use any random vegetables or meat in your refrigerator. Rice that is a day old and cool is the best to use. If you have to cook it fresh, don’t use as much water so it’s drier. The vegetables and meat will need to be fried in a small amount of oil. The rice and seasonings can be added after the meat and vegetables have had a chance to cook for a bit.