Cooking is a regrettable necessity in some people’s eyes. But cooking can be something to be enjoyed. Also, learning to cook can improve your overall life and health. The best cooks are those who are always willing to learn new techniques. Furthering your knowledge also makes the cooking experience far more pleasurable; use the following tips to help you grow as a cook.
You have probably felt guilty for pitching moldy fruits before. Can you save the rest of the fruit if you cut away the moldy, rotten part? You should never eat or keep a piece of fruit that has any mold on it. It is important to throw moldy fruit in the trash because eating moldy food can cause you to become very ill. There is often more mold on the fruit than can be seen by the naked eye.
In order to get the most out of your selection of spices, you should store them out of the light and heat. If they are stored in an area that they are exposed to light, heat and humidity, their shelf life is shortened. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
Are you partial to using fresh basil in your cooking? Place several sprigs of fresh basil into a glass container. Add water until the stems are covered. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. Change the water once in awhile, and before long roots will even form on the basil. Trim your basil plants once in awhile to promote more growth, and enjoy your fresh basil for quite a long time.
If you are cooking a dish in oil and need to add more to the pan, drizzle it around the sides. This way, the oil heats up before it reaches the food. This will help keep the foods flavor locked in and make for a tasty meal.
When you are cooking with garlic, you may notice that your hands will pick up the strong smell. After touching garlic or another strong-smelling ingredient, stop and rub your hands on your stainless steel faucet. It helps stop the transfer of the garlic to other foods since it cleans your hands.
Does pitching moldy fruit into a trash can upset you? Have you ever wondered if you could simply cut away the part with mold and keep the rest? Unfortunately, there’s no safe way to save a piece of fruit that is partially rotting. You should dispose of any rotten fruit, as mold penetrates further than the naked eye can see. Rotting food can carry a number of pathogens, so it is best to avoid the risk.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. Allow the stock to cool, then split it up into heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Both beans and tofu are readily available in most grocery stores. Tofu can be seasoned and pan-fried, and then served in lieu of a meat dish. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.
When simmering or boiling vegetables, try adding 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. There is not a lot of expense when buying chicken broth, and most grocers carry it.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. Instead of using milk, you can substitute yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.
When purchasing the ingredients to make a recipe, take the time to read the nutritional information on the food packaging. Many common cooking supplies contain hidden ingredients that can be unhealthy. 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.
Measure out your cooking oil! Measuring amounts into a cup when cooking instead of pouring guess amounts straight from the bottle lowers the fat you put into your dish. This way, you know exactly how much fat you are adding to your dish.
When you need to season your food, add your seasoning a little bit at a time instead of all at once. If you do it in this manner you can flavor your food the best way and use your ingredients in the best way.
If you only have a short time to cook a roast, leave the bone inside the meat. If you leave the bone in, the meat will cook quicker. This is due to the fact that once the bone is heated it will help cook your meat from the inside out. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.
You can make your own dried tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Then put them on a rack that you might use to cool cookies and then lightly cover them with salt. Next, the tomatoes need to spend about 10 hours in an oven set to 190 degrees. Put a cookie sheet under the rack before it goes in. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. Keep the tomatoes fresh by storing them in freezer bags. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Dried tomatoes should be stored within the refrigerator and used within two weeks.
After your Thanksgiving meal, don’t throw away turkey leftovers. Instead, cut it up, place it into a an airtight container, and put it in the freezer. This will keep the turkey fresh, so it can be reused for salads or sandwiches.
After having a big Thanksgiving turkey, don’t pass up those leftovers. Cut up the remaining meat, place it in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, and store it in your freezer. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. When spices sit around for too long, they tend to lose flavor. If you buy a certain spice and you know that you are not going to use it all before it goes bad, give half to a friend or family member.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Use permanent ink to mark one end of the cutting board to identify which is which.
When cooking ground meat, blot it dry before cooking. It is always advisable to blot away moisture from ground meat. Moisture that is left on your meat will release as steam while you’re cooking. All the moisture will vaporize out. This makes it unlikely that the meat will sear properly.
Use a substantial amount of salt in the water when you are cooking pasta. This will help season the pasta as it cooks. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.
Prep your grill in advance of your barbecue cookout. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. Cover the coals with ashes, and allow them to reach a medium heat. This is the most effective temperature for grilling.
One of the best cooking tips you can find is to use your imagination. Following a recipe exactly is boring and stale. With a little resourcefulness in adding extra ingredients, reducing or altering the amount of spices, or substituting one type of meat or vegetable for another, you can often create a meal that tastes far superior to the original. That makes a person a great cook!
You need good cutting utensils for your kitchen. Dull knives waste time and can mash food instead of cleanly slicing. Sharp knives are safer to use, too. Many cuts and accidents are caused by dull utensils.
To make pasta sauce even more delicious, save some of the water you boiled the pasta in. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The water from the pasta contains starch, which can thicken your sauce.
Wooden Cutting Board
Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting fresh herbs. This gives extra flavor and helps to hold the herbs in place. Do not add any salt to the dish you are making to prevent over-salting. The herbs gain more flavor when the salt sticks to them.
You need to properly care for a wooden cutting board. To keep your wooden cutting board in top shape, avoid exposing it to excess moisture. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. To restore a damaged board, oil it on a regular basis, using a product specifically designed for wood cutting boards. Allow it to dry completely before using.
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. Sulfurous gas is a property of fresh onions. Your freshly made salsa can be ruined by this gas. You can remove the gas by rinsing and drying the onions.
When you truss your bird, you tie its legs and wings together. Trussing keeps the good stuff inside your bird and also accommodates more consistent cooking. Otherwise, the meat found in the legs and wings tends to become dry and tough during cooking.
If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. This will create extra moisture that will act to steam the food rather than adding that crispness that comes from sauteing. Remember, sauteing is always done at low temperatures.
When cooking dishes with a simple flavor, use fresh herbs or seasonings. Dried herbs aren’t quite as conspicuous in more complex or layered dishes. For the more simple fare, fresh herbs will impart a more robust flavor. Consider growing your own herb garden. You can grow many herbs in a small space and have them on hand constantly.
Always use fresh seasonings and herbs whenever you cook something simple. Dried herbs like oregano and basil are generally more appropriate for highly complicated dishes with varied flavors. Don’t forget though, the best tasting herbs are always the freshest. If your situation allows, plant an herb garden, so that you are never at a loss for fresh herbs.
Do some research about fruits or vegetables you have never cooked with before. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. Learning about the foods you’re cooking with will make the cooking experience more enjoyable.
Try new methods of preparing oysters. Most people prepare raw oysters by sprinkling lemon juice, but there are alternatives. Place open oysters in a broiler pan and spoon cream on top. 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. You can also choose to saute the oysters. Coat oysters with some seasoned flour and saute in warm butter for a couple of minutes, until they are golden. You can also make a baked oyster dish, keeping them in the shells. You want to put them into a casserole dish with a little butter and breadcrumbs on top of each oyster, and put it in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes. When the butter and juices are bubbling, serve piping hot with a toasted baguette.
A wonderful cook is forever learning new ways to achieve delicious meals. The beauty of cooking is that it is not just about the physical act, but also about different types of food and cooking methods. It is also important to teach others what you know. Cooking shouldn’t simply be a skill that you learn; it should be a gift that you share.
Using a baked potato instead of a small one can help you to have nice thick skins to use to make twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes don’t have the skin thickness for high-density fillings.