It may be surprising, but anyone can cook. Are you able to purchase ingredients and follow recipe directions? Do you have the use of basic cooking utensils and equipment? If you said yes to the two previous questions, than you are well on your way to learning how to cook! If you want to make the sort of meals that will make your friends and family beg for seconds, cultivate your culinary expertise by reviewing the tips provided in this article.
Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Usually, ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months. You may retain your spice’s flavor for about 5 years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Generally, ground herbs and spices stay fresh for around a year, after that they begin to lose their flavor. Whole spices can stay fresh for up to five years. Their changes at longevity increase with proper storage.
Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
The longer the cooking process, the more nutrients that you lose from most vegetables. To retain their nutritional value, saute or steam them. Better yet, eat them raw.
When preparing stir-fry dishes, slice meat as thinly as possible and on its bias. This technique is somewhat tricky and can take a little time. You should take the meat out when it reaches a firm state yet not frozen, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
It’s very frustrating to try to cook a tasty hamburger and see it deformed or ruined, because it gets stuck to your grill. Because of this, you should use vegetable oil to brush the grill prior to cooking so that you can prevent the meat from sticking.
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 enhance the flavors of the food when you’re done cooking.
A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. Seasoned tofu is a wonderful alternative to meat, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan frying. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
Whenever you are adding seasoning to a recipe, add it slowly over time rather than dumping it all at once. This way, you’re giving the food most of the flavoring and are making the best from your ingredients.
By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Look through your recipes and determine whether or not certain steps can be completed beforehand. A lot of the preliminary work can be done a day before you cook the meal. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in your freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. Both can be purchased at just about any grocery store. Pan fried tofu, lightly sprinkled with your favorite seasonings, is a delicious substitute to meat. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.
When buying a recipe’s ingredients, read the labels. Many common cooking supplies contain hidden ingredients that can be unhealthy. Too much salt, sugar, and those dreaded unpronounceable chemicals can really alter the flavors of dishes and be generally unhealthy for you.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. Organize your kitchen logically. Keep your herbs and spices together and follow this grouping rule with other supplies as well.
Doing this means your fruit will always be fresh. Since many fruits are not in season during certain parts of the year, doing this will allow you to enjoy them anytime.
Wash your dishes as you use them, when you are cooking. If you have a double sink, keep hot soapy water and clear, fresh rinse water in each side of the sink. Utensils and mixing bowls can wash up quickly, and you will have them ready to use again as you prepare additional courses of the meal.
Replace the standby liquids of milk and water in recipes to mix things up. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
Let your food rest a bit before sitting down to eat. Many individuals don’t know it’s important to let your meal sit for a bit before dishing it up. It can be tempting to serve a meal straight off the grill. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
When serving a salad for guests that accompanies a meal, avoid pouring dressing on it. Leave the dressing on the side instead. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Also, give a variety of different dressings.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Try keeping similar items in one area. For instance, put all your spices together in one cabinet.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
Clean cooking utensils are an absolute necessity when you start any cooking project. Any leftover food post-washing can ruin whatever you plan on cooking next. This is especially bad when bacteria is remaining on the utensil.
Proper care for a wood cutting board. Excess moisture, heat and dryness may cause a wooden chopping board to split and warp. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. If you have a damaged cutting board, you should purchase an oil product that is designed for cutting board restoration. Make sure you let your board dry before using it again.
A meat thermometer is a great way to show you are cooking meats properly. All kinds of meat have a minimum internal temperature that is recommended for safe consumption. Bacteria loves meat and you could ingest it if you do not cook it properly, it could cause you to become sick.
There are a few methods you can use to heating up tortillas. One ways is to cook them in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until they are crisp, to your liking. You can also place a tortilla directly above the flame of the grill. These methods make delicious and fresh tortillas.
There are several types of potatoes, and they are not all the same. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salad but do not work as well for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or french fries. When cooking those foods, try using fluffier potatoes, including Russets.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry cupboard. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
Find fresher ways to prepare meals with oysters. Most people prepare raw oysters by sprinkling lemon juice, but there are alternatives. Place open-shell oysters on a baking sheet and put some cream on top of them. Next, give them a healthy sprinkling of freshly-cracked black pepper, some Parmesan cheese, maybe a little bit of parsley, and let them broil until they’re lightly browned and bubbling. Oysters can also be sauteed. Coat them with seasoned flour and saute them in warm butter for about two minutes, until the oysters are golden. You can bake oysters while they are still in their shells. Plop it in a rectangular dish, add a tiny bit of butter, then sprinkle some breadcrumbs on the oysters. Once you do all that, put it in the oven at 425 degrees and let it bake for 4-5 minutes. Your oysters are ready when the butter is bubbling. Serve them with toast.
Potatoes are divided in different categories, and each category should be used differently. Different potatoes have different tastes and textures, making them ideal for some very different recipes. For that type of side dish, Russets are a good choice of fluffy potato.
Fried rice is the perfect dish to use up your extra vegetables and meat. If you have day old rice on hand, that works best; but if not, reduce the water slightly to make it a little drier than normal. Saute your meat and vegetables until crisp-tender. Then add the cold rice to the pan along with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other spices.
If you’re cooking for someone of importance, do not try your hand at an untested recipe, no matter how much you would like to impress your guest with a gourmet meal. Whether you are cooking for new in-laws, your manager or a date, you want them to be impressed with your culinary skills. Stick to dishes that you are confident you can make well, and your meal will be a success.
The thought of cooking for a crowd can be intimidating even for experienced cooks. Rather than succumbing to the urge to completely freak out, start preparing your feast in advance. This means setting out measurements, ingredients and marinades.
To some people, cooking is just something you need to know how to do or an interesting hobby. To others, it’s a way of making money. Take lots of advice from others who are good at cooking. It’s the best way you can learn. In the meantime, however, you can use some of the cooking tips presented above the next time you are responsible for preparing a family meal.
To remove the odors of fish, garlic, onions or other strong ingredients from your hands, rub them on stainless steel for a minute before washing them. You can do this on the side of a sink or use a stainless steel soap bar and it will lift the odors from your hands, leaving them fresh.