For many people, the act of cooking is nothing more than another chore. Actually, cooking can be really enjoyable. It can also help to contribute towards a healthier lifestyle. The best cooks are always expanding their knowledge and skill set, and this article is going provide you with some advice which could help you to improve your own cooking.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. Pastry crust should be baked to a golden caramel color rather than a pale blond shade. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.
Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Your spices will have a longer shelf life and retain their good taste if stored in a dark, cool spot. You’ll taste the difference in your dishes.
Freeze your meat slightly and you will find that it slices with ease. This is the perfect technique when you are making Thai or Chinese food. When the meat is partially frozen, cutting becomes cleaner as the meat fibers are less likely to tear or stretch. Allow the meat to thaw prior to cooking though, so that it can cook evenly.
Going through a long cooking process like boiling removes many important nutrients that are found in vegetables. Allow your vegetables to keep their nutritional benefits by cooking them quickly, or eating them raw!
Do not throw away the product of your hard work. Take one tablespoon corn starch, and combine with two tablespoons water in a mixing bowl. Simmer the sauce, and slowly stir the corn starch mixture in. Avoid over-thickening by adding the starch mixture slowly and stirring the sauce often.
Garlic is a wonderful ingredient in recipes, but the smell is quite difficult to remove from your hands. To get rid of this odor, or any other strong cooking smell, rub your hands on the inside of your stainless steal sink. This trick removes the offending scent from your hands, which prevents them from migrating to the foods you touch next.
Boiling takes time and removes the nutrients from veggies. When you use faster cooking methods, such as steaming and sauteing, vegetables keep more of the nutrients intact. The best way to make sure you get all the vital nutrients housed within veggies is to eat them raw.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. Chicken broth is an excellent base to use when preparing vegetable dishes that helps keep them from sticking and gives them some flavor. Chicken broth is cheap, and can be bought anywhere.
Have you felt sorry for tossing moldy fruit away? Have you ever tried to salvage a fruit by slicing away the bad-looking part? It is not possible to save rotting fruit. Get rid of them quickly, as mold can develop and cause health problems.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
If you want to reduce the amount of calories and fat in a mashed potato dish, substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.
You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. You can dice, slice and otherwise prepare vegetables in advance. Stir up some sauce prior to your bedtime for a stress-free pasta dish the next evening. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.
Consider drying your very own tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in your freezer. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. Kept in the refrigerator, these tomatoes will keep for a couple of weeks.
Use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for your cooking for the best results. Use fresh ingredients as much as you can, because they add better flavor to your dish and tend to be a lot cheaper.
Keep your spices and herbs stored in a dark, cool place so that their freshness and flavor is maximized. 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).
If you make sauce, freeze it into ice cubs to use later on. This makes it easier for you to make a quick meal which you can reheat at a later time. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
Whenever you have cooked a whole turkey, never throw away your leftovers. What you want to do with them is slice the meat, put it in a freezer friendly tupperware, and stick it into the freezer. The turkey can stay fresh for weeks this way.
Using chicken broth is something you can try when you’re making vegetables. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables while keeping them from sticking to your pan. Chicken broth costs very little, and can be bought at most any grocery store.
There are many herbs that have a strong smell that will stay on your cutting board. Make a small mark with a marker on one side of your board to remind you which side is for sweet items and which is for sour.
If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. You can buy these in almost any grocery store. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.
Always begin your cooking with utensils that are spotlessly clean. If old, leftover food is stuck on your cooking utensils, it could ruin the meal you are making. Another concern is the potential cost to your health, as you could possibly be exposed to bacteria.
Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat. This is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.
Get rid of the moisture on your ground meat by blotting it out before you begin cooking it. Blotting the moisture away will help the meat cook better. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when the meat is cooked. Instead, it can sizzle away. This steams the meat, giving it a different texture than searing.
You must read the food labels when you’re purchasing ingredients for any given recipe. A lot of items you purchase at the grocery store will have a laundry list of unwanted substances in there. You want to ensure that anything you buy is not high in sugar or salt because both can cause major health problems if eaten too much.
Reserve some pasta water for use in your pasta sauce. Use around a quarter cup and put it aside for your sauce. Then, mix a little of this water in with your pasta sauce. Through a process known as amalgamation, the starch in the pasta water creates a creamy texture in your sauce.
If you have a recipe that requires water or milk, you can change out the liquids to create a whole new flavor. If the recipe has called for water, you could easily use chicken broth, beef broth, or juice when suitable. To replace milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can make good substitutes. Adding different and interesting liquids to a recipe can help the dish become more interesting and nutritious.
When chopping fresh herbs, try shaking a small amount of salt on your cutting board first. The salt helps to keep the herbs on the cutting board during chopping and also adds some extra flavor. Don’t add any additional salt to the food while you’re preparing it, or it may become too salty. Some of the salt will adhere to the herbs and add flavor to your dish.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. It’s often possible to do some preparations even a couple days before you need to cook. Sometimes, preparing your ingredients in advance yields a bonus in the form of better flavor. This works so well that many people find it difficult to stop.
Do not use a random amount of cooking oil. To have a lower amount of fat added to your cooking, make sure you measure your cooking oil carefully instead of just pouring right from the bottle to the pan. By doing this, you can keep a close eye on the amount of oil you use in cooking.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. You can make potato salad with waxy potatoes, but you should use a different kind for fries or mashed potatoes. For those applications, you want to use fluffy potatoes like Russets.
Stay organized when you are preparing a meal to avoid kitchen catastrophes. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. A lack of organization in your kitchen work areas can cause you to lose focus, among other things, and can easily result in wasted time, money, and food.
Set a watch timer in parallel with the oven timer. If you engage in another activity away from your oven, you will hear your watch timer beep.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. Doing so will give you the best stock for any dish that calls for it. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
Stacking cooling racks can be a lifesaver in the kitchen. When you are making large quantities of baked goods, they can quickly take up all the available space when you take them out of the oven to cool. Stacking racks make the most of kitchen real estate. By using these vertical racks, your treats can cool while you have free space to do some work that needs done.
Leave your meal to sit for a short while before serving. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. If you do this, you aren’t getting the full experience associated with your food. Always allow your meal to rest and cool down a little.
To make use of those ends of vegetables and bits of leftover meat sitting in your refrigerator, create a satisfying wok filled with homemade fried rice. Rice that is cool and one day old usually works best, but fresh rice can still be used if the water level is dropped just a little so the rice is slightly 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.
Use your creativity as much as you can. You need not follow a recipe exactly. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. That is really a creative cook!
Don’t overspice the food when you cook it; give people the option of choosing their own spice levels. Some great seasonings to use are pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Many people like different things in terms of spices. Allow for your food to be complimented with these spices when the meal is served. This way, everyone can season his meal to taste.
Put a little bit of salt on your cutting board before chopping fresh herbs. This gives the herbs a little more flavor, but more importantly, it makes the herbs stick to the board better, so that they don’t fly everywhere as you chop them. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt you put on the board will stick to the herbs and add a bit of flavor.
Ketchup makes a great ingredient to batter for fried foods. You can not only dip foods in ketchup, but you can also use it to dip foods in before you coat them with breadcrumbs. Ketchup adds a flavor that you might find surprisingly delicious. If you use this for guests, do not be surprised if they ask you for your secret recipe.
A wonderful cook is forever learning new ways to achieve delicious meals. The fun is not only in the cooking, but in the learning about new foods, styles and techniques to try. It is also about passing on what you have learned to others. Cooking is a skill which should be be developed and sharpened, as well as shared with other people.
Use colorful foods in your meal preparation. Meals that are full of color are healthy and visually stunning. Even if your main meal is dull, use colorful garnishes like herbs, vegetables, or lettuces to spice up your plate! Put your creativity and imagination to work when choosing colorful foods for your meals, and watch how quickly those meals disappear.