It does not matter how seasoned a cook you are, there will always be room for improvement. Even experienced chefs are constantly learning new things to impress their hungry customers. New cooks also need to learn the little tips that make cooking easier. Read on for some tips that can help you improve your cooking adventures.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. 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.
Keep a few pointers in mind if you plan to attempt cooking with skewers. Using metal skewer types will increase your chances of success when compared to wooden options.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed potatoes. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. 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. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.
If you are baking crusts for a pie or tart, you will probably need to bake them for a while longer than you thought. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Place a few fresh sprouts in a glass. Next, ensure the stems are covered with water. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. By changing the water every so often, your basil will develop roots. 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.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
When you need to add oil and your food is already cooking, add it on the sides of the pan so that it will heat as it rolls towards the food. This will help keep the foods flavor locked in and make for a tasty meal.
Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Not only will the chicken broth stop the vegetables from getting stuck to the pan, but it will also make the dish more tasty. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? If you want to keep it fresh, first place it in a glass. Make sure the stems are submerged in water. You can put it on the kitchen counter and keep it for weeks. Switching out the water from time to time will cause the basil to grow, as well. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.
You should always use cooking oil in exact measurements. Use only the required amount of oil necessary, and resist pouring straight from the bottle to the cooking pan, to reduce the fat content in your foods. This should enable you to carefully watch how much oil you are cooking with.
When you use fresh ingredients, your cooking will be considerably better than if you used canned, dried or frozen ingredients. Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.
Prepare things the day before if you cannot handle doing everything in one night. Before you head to bed at night do your best to cut up vegetables and onions, marinating meat, or making some sauce. This way, your next meal will only require a modicum of effort, making dinner stress-free.
By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. Much of the preparation can be done the day before it is needed. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.
Get creative to make cooking fun. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, add a few steps of your own. In some cases by making little modifications to the recipe here and there will result in a dish that is tastier than if you had used the original recipe. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.
Leave the bone in your roast if you are pressed for time. The bone acts as a conduit, transporting heat through the center of the meat. When your meat is done cooking, you can just cut around the bone and serve.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. When you combine the sauce and the pasta, add this little amount of water to the mix. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.
Try drying your own tomatoes. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt that is used on this board gives your herbs some extra flavor because it sticks to them.
You should discard your spices biannually and buy new ones. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. Share your spices with friends or relatives if you will not use as much as you buy.
A sharp knife is the cook’s bosom companion; spend the money for top-quality cutlery. In addition to the practical benefits, you will also improve your safety when cutting foods with sharp utensils. This is due to the fact that there is a higher rate of accidents when using dull utensils.
You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. Get organized to cut back on unnecessary food waste.
Sauteing with too much food in the pan can lead to unwanted issues. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Make sure you saute foods on a low temperature.
Always follow the instructions if you are making something like macaroni and cheese. You will get the best results this way and be glad you did. For serving, a solid spoon works best. Use pepper to add a little spice to your macaroni and cheese.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry cupboard. Spices rapidly lose their flavor and aroma if they are kept in areas that are bright, humid, or warm. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
Trussing is the process of tying the turkey with string. This helps keep the bird’s legs and wings close to his body, helping it cook more consistently. If you don’t tie down the limbs, the tips of them will likely burn before the body of the turkey is done.
Before using an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, learn about the qualities of it before you start. You might be surprised how much you can do with that new food. By taking the time to educate yourself, you will have fun, and also prevent any disasters in the kitchen!
Make sure that you store your herbs and spices in a cool, dry, dark area. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
Cooling racks that stack on top of one another are greatly beneficial in the kitchen. When you take on big baking projects like several batches of cookies or cupcakes, the finished batches can crowd your counter space. Cooking racks that stack provide you the tools to use your space more efficiently. Going up instead of spreading out allows you to free up much more of your counter space so you can continue working.
It may be tempting to cook something new and fancy for a guest, though it is best to stick with what you already know you are good at. You don’t want to send your extended family, your new date, or everyone in your department at work running and screaming from your bad cooking. Sticking to something you know how to make will ensure things go smoothly.
A great way to add zip to some of your staple foods, like potatoes, use beef or chicken stock instead of water. Bouillon cubes are a great way to add instant flavor when mixed with the right amount of water. In this way, you will be increasing the flavor while still maintaining the amount of liquid required.
Fresh 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. Place halved oysters, still in their shells, onto a broiler pan, then cover them with a dollop of cream. Add grated Parmesan cheese and shredded fresh peppers to the oysters and bring to the boil. Oysters are also delicious when sauteed. Fry your oysters in flour and hot butter for two minutes. You can also keep the oysters inside their shells, then bake them. If you bake oysters put butter and breadcrumbs on each oyster and bake them in the oven at about 425 degrees for about five minutes. When you notice the juices and butter bubbling, serve it hot with a baguette that is toasted.
If you want a shell for double-baked potatoes or skins with additional firmness, try using a thick potato designed for baking. Red potatoes don’t have the skin thickness for high-density fillings.
No cook can boast they know every secret there is to cooking. There is always something new to learn or find out. New cooks also need as much information as possible, while they are learning to cook. The next time you’re in the kitchen, consider trying out one of these tips. You may find that the more you learn, the more fun you will have while cooking.
Consider using ketchup to batter ingredients that you are going to fry. In addition to dipping your cooked food in ketchup, it can be utilized as a pre-dip for foods before they are dipped in bread crumbs. The ketchup adds a whole new dimension of flavor to fried foods.