People must eat food in order to stay alive. But plain “survival” foods can lead to boredom in the kitchen. Cooking a great meal can be even more rewarding than eating a good meal. Read on for tips and suggestions that will help take your cooking to a level you only dreamed of before.
Cooking with skewers can provide very beneficial if you use them properly. When using metal skewers, opt for those that are square-shaped or twisted; these will hold onto food better than round models can.
Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. Doing so allows you to focus on the cooking itself.
Prepare as much of your recipe as you can ahead of time. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking. When you have a timeline for your meal to be ready, things can get a bit stressful once you start cooking. Get everything prepared at least a day ahead of time.
If you are making a meal for someone that you want to make a good impression on, be sure to make something you know how to make well. Avoid trying to cook something new. You will feel less stressed while cooking if you follow this tip.
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 enhance the flavors of the food when you’re done cooking.
Apples are used in cooking mostly during the fall, but you must make sure they are properly kept so that they do not rot. Air that is dry and warm tends to make apples rot, and you can slow down this process by loosely placing them in plastic bags that are tied shut. Store them in a cool area, such as a refrigerator, garage or basement. Be warned, there is a reason for the old adage about the rotten apple! If you fail to quickly discard spoiled apples, the rest will quickly spoil as well.
Slicing meat is easier if the meat is frozen. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. Before you cook the sliced meat, however, you must first allow the strips to thaw.
It’s vital that you always use sharp knives when cooking. If your knife is dull, it’s obviously tougher to use, but it is also much more dangerous in general. If you are putting too much pressure onto the knife due to its dullness, the likelihood of having an accident is increased.
Do you enjoy using fresh basil in your dishes? Take out a glass and put some fresh basil inside. Then cover the stems of the basil with water. You can keep it on the kitchen counter for several weeks. Frequent changes of the water might even encourage the basil to spread out some roots. Cut or trim the basil occasionally to encourage additional growth and you can enjoy fresh basil for some time!
Do you know that guilty feeling you get when you throw away fruit that has mold? Is it alright to eat fruit after removing the moldy sections? There is, unfortunately, no good way to save fruit that is half-rotten. Throw this fruit away because of the deep mold growth which you cannot see, and it would make you sick if you ate it.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Once your stock is finished, cool it and put it in heavy freezer bags.
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Cooking pumpkins requires a few steps that are necessary. First, you must make sure it is standing upright. Second, you must cut it evenly in half by cutting down the middle. Place them upside down on different baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 350 F, spray a little bit of water over the surface of the baking sheet, and bake the pumpkin for an hour.
Several times your burgers will stick to the grill, and it is hard or impossible to remove them without destroying their shape. Before you put the burgers on the surface of the grill, you should brush it with some oil.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with preparing dinner for your family, do some of the preparations the night before. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. Your stress levels will be lessened, and you will be more ready to whip up your meal!
All sugars, flours, and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. Reducing exposure to air and insects will allow food to remain fresh and edible for longer periods of time. These containers are readily available in the marketplace and will be worth the money invested.
Good organizational skills can help you avoid cooking mishaps. You can be more productive, if your cooking station is well organized. Unorganized cooks can easily make mistakes, lose or overlook buying important ingredients, and waste good money and food that could be used.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. This is preferable to chopping the herbs because they will be less moisture laden, making them lighter and fluffier.
When trying to eat a healthier diet or lose weight, you should decrease the portion of oils used in cooking meals. For the most part, both butters and oils contain unneeded fats. You can use non-stick cooking spray as an alternative to get the same results without the extra fats.
Make certain to blot any type of ground meat prior to cooking it. The reason for the blotting is to remove the surface moisture. Any moisture in left in meat will be released during the cooking process. The meat is going to sizzle away. This could cause your meat to steam, instead of searing.
When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. This will prevent them from burning while you are cooking. Keep food from falling off of your skewers by using two parallel skewers instead of a single one.
When you are making pasta you need to be sure to add a liberal amount of salt to the water. Adding salt at this stage will ensure that the pasta absorbs it completely. Salting pasta after cooking will not be as effective in enhancing the flavor.
When you are planning to prepare a salad for guests, leave the dressing on the side. Certain people prefer a larger amount of dressing on the salad than others. Because of this fact, you should allow people to pour dressing on their own. Offer many different types of salad dressing as well.
Even a simple sandwich can be made immensely more attractive if you cover it evenly with mayonnaise across the entire bread slice. A lot of people hurry and just slap the mayo on a sandwich right in the middle of the bread. Spread the mayonnaise properly so that its flavor permeates the entire sandwich.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Using cheap or unfamiliar wine puts the flavor of your food in danger. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
If you are using raw onions to make your salsa and you plan to store it for later use, be sure to rinse the onions in cold water and dry them before adding them to the salsa. The reason for this is that when you cut an onion, you release gas with sulfur. It can affect the taste of your home made salsa. Rinsing the onions with cold water removes this gas.
Protect your investment in herbs and spices by storing them correctly – in a cool, dark space. 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).
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry cupboard. Spices can quickly lose their flavors when exposed to heat, light and humidity. Being so close to the heat will only cause the flavors of your spices to fade.
Every cook needs some method for organizing his cooking supplies. If your supplies are disorganized, you will waste time running around trying to find everything. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. For example, you want to organize your spices such as parsley and basil in one cabinet.
Be careful not to overcook or undercook your cake. Recommended baking times are just that, recommendations, and can sometimes be misleading because simple things like elevation can change the baking times of the cake. The best test for a cake being fully cooked is to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out with no batter on it, the cake has finished cooking. If the toothpick has batter on it when it is pulled out, the cake needs to stay in the oven for a few more minutes or so.
You should let your meal rest for a little bit. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. It may be tempting to get the food to the table as quickly as possible. Though if you do this, your food will not be as enjoyable. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.
Although it might feel great to impress your guests, avoid preparing a meal that you have never cooked before when entertaining someone important. You no doubt would want to impress a date, boss or everyone at your employer’s pot luck. Make sure you please them by cooking something you know you can cook well.
Keep butter or oil used to a minimum when sauteing. The extra moisture creates steaming which will prevent the food from attaining the crispy texture that sauteing is known for. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
It’s fun to learn how to cook more complicated meals. You may even enjoy eating more when you cook the food yourself. Use these cooking tips but add your own ideas to the recipe to make it your own. You will become such a good cook that everyone will be requesting your meals and desserts.
If you have leftovers that need reheating, but they have oil in them and you don’t want to deal with a mess, use an oven instead of a microwave and bake them. The high heats in a microwave can separate the oil from the rest of the dish. If you bake the dish instead you are cooking it all at the same rate, which will result in better tasting food and less mess.