Many people see cooking as a relaxing, rewarding pastime. A kitchen filled with with aroma and fresh ingredients is a great mood enhancer for most people. However, it can be very tough to find the best recipe and cook a perfect meal. This is the first step in learning to make a fabulous meal.
Slice meat thinly on the bias for stir-fry dishes. Perfectly sliced meat takes time and patience, though. Before the meat is frozen (but when it is firm), pull the meat from the freezer, and slice the meat at a forty-five degree angle.
Cut meat thinly across the grain when you are stir-frying. It takes a little practice and time to get it right. Once the meat has become more firm, you should slice against the grain at 45 degrees.
If you want to slice meat into thin strips, freeze it partially before bringing it to the cutting board. This technique is suited for meats used in many Asian dishes. When you freeze meat, it makes the slicing much cleaner because it prevents the meat from being as flexible. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.
Longer cooking times and techniques, like boiling, destroys healthful nutrients in veggies. Allow your vegetables to keep their nutritional benefits by cooking them quickly, or eating them raw!
If you’re cooking food for an important person, such as a new date or even your boss, you should make sure you are cooking food you are experienced at. It is great to experiment when cooking but you should not try to do this when you are trying to make a good impression. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
When creating a meal for someone you are friends with or fond of, try making what you already are good at making. Don’t attempt cooking experiments or recipes you’ve never tried before. You will feel less stressed while cooking if you follow this tip.
Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Try putting a bunch of basil that is fresh inside a glass. Then, add water to the glass, immersing the stems in water. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. Frequent changes of the water might even encourage the basil to spread out some roots. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.
Lots of recipes for fresh basil? Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Make sure the stems are covered by an adequate amount of water. When you do this, it easy to store and stays fresh for several weeks. If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. Cut or trim the basil occasionally to encourage additional growth and you can enjoy fresh basil for some time!
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. You should use a clean, wet cloth and wipe the mushroom off by hand.
Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.
While garlic is a great addition to many dishes, it has the frustrating feature of rubbing off on your hands. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. This serves to both clean your hands thoroughly and prevent the odors from seeping into any other food you are going to handle.
If you decide to make a roast, leave the bone in if you are in a hurry. The reason this cooks your roast faster is because the bone pulls the heat to the center of the roast. When your roast is finished, simply cut around any bones before you serve.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. This makes it easy to prepare a quick meal by reheating the sauce using a saute pan. The sauce will be very edible after it comes out of the trays.
Leftover flavors and scents can remain on your cutting board, even after repeated washing. This can save you from eating garlic strawberries.
After purchasing fruits that are not quite ripe, store them in a plastic bag that is perforated with holes. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
Stay organized when you are preparing a meal to avoid kitchen catastrophes. Having an organized cooking area will ensure that you are productive when cooking. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.
Doing preparations a day before you’re going to make dinner for the family is beneficial if you are feeling overwhelmed. Before going to bed, cut up the onions and veggies or make your marinating sauce. With so much already prepared, you will likely be less stressed.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. By doing this, you’ll always have homemade stock available whenever you are in the mood to cook soup. Making homemade stock ensures that you know what is in it and that it isn’t made with preservatives.
If you enjoy flavoring your food with spices and herbs, be sure to place them in a location that is void of light and remains cool; this will help them stay fresh. The quality and freshness of spices and herbs will diminish when locked in warm areas.
When you are cooking pasta, use a fair amount of salt in the water. Adding salt to the water prior to cooking ensures the pasta is infused with flavor. Pasta salted during cooking tastes better than pasta salted after the fact.
New spices should be purchased every six months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
If you plan to make salsa ahead of time and it won’t be eaten immediately, you should rinse raw onions off and make sure to dry them off. The reason for this is that there is sulfurous gas in an onion. Sulfurous gas can completely ruin salsa. You can remove the gas from your onions by rinsing them and drying them with a paper towel.
Allow your food to sit for a moment before serving it. It is a new idea to many, but allowing your food to rest can be quite beneficial. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. If you do this, you will really be missing out. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
If you saute a food, don’t overload the pan. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. You need to make certain you are sauteing items at a lower temperature.
A simple sandwich can often be a perfect one, if you pay attention to details such as covering the bread entirely with a smooth and consistent layer of mayonnaise. Many people who are rushing just place it in the middle. If you spread mayo evenly, you will be sure that your sandwiches are flavorful.
Take care of wooden cutting boards properly. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. Never immerse the board in water, rather, sponge it off with warm, soapy water. Use an oil specifically formulated for cutting boards to restore and protect wooden boards. Before you use the board, make sure it is dry.
If you don’t plan to eat your salsa within half an hour, and onions are on your ingredient list, run cold water over the onions and then use a paper towel to blot the water off. There are sulfurous gasses in onions. Fresh salsa can be ruined by this type of gas. Once the onions are rinsed and dried, the gas is gone.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. Some potatoes are waxy and are great for making things like boiled potatoes or potato salad but are not so good for french fries, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. When cooking those foods, try using fluffier potatoes, including Russets.
Trussing refers to the method of tying a turkey up with string for baking. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If you don’t truss your bird, the smaller pieces could dry out and burn.
If you want a shell for double-baked potatoes or skins with additional firmness, try using a thick potato designed for baking. Red potatoes have thin skins and cannot support a dense filling.
Try to make sure you cook your cake to the proper temperature and do not over or under cook it. If you are just beginning baking, you may have a hard time understanding how to adjust recommended oven temperatures to take variables such as elevation and humidity into account. This can cause your cake to bake strangely. To be sure, test your cake by inserting a toothpick in the cake’s middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done; if batter comes out with it, the cake needs to be baked longer.
If you cookware is nonstick, do not use metal utensils when cooking. Metal or wooden utensils could scratch the nonstick coat and cause flakes to fall from the pans. Not only will this not taste very good, but it can be hazardous.
To make your cooking experience easier, you should always prepare your ingredients prior to cooking. By doing this, you will avoid the issue of being partially through the recipe and then realizing that you need something. Gathering the ingredients first may seem like an extra step, but it really isn’t. It will save you time and trouble.
Make it a habit to cook with fresh seasonings and herbs whenever possible. Dried ingredients, like herbs, are acceptable if you are making a complex dish of many flavors. For a simpler dish, fresh herbs are more efficient because their flavor is much stronger. Starting an herb garden is an excellent way to make sure that fresh herbs are always on hand.
Leafy dark greens are a very healthy food, but can be rather difficult to prepare. It could become annoying when removing their tough stems. To make it easier, take the leaf and fold it lengthwise, then cut out the stem in the middle. You could also cut the stem from the folded leaf using a knife. Then all you have to do is unfold the leaf, and you will have one perfectly stemless green.
As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.
For an easy way to spice up a simple food such as dinner rolls or corn, add in some flavored butter. First, bring some butter to room temperature, or soften it using a microwave. Then you want to add some sauce, herbs or spices to give the butter that extra kick. You should give BBQ, lemon juice or honey a try.