Are you starting to go nuts from cooking everyday for your family? Do not allow cooking to cause you grief. This article will show you a collection of helpful advice that can make cooking meals less stressful and more enjoyable. You will be relieved to find some insights here on how to finally be successful in your kitchen.
When stir-frying meat, it should be thinly sliced on the bias. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. Take the meat out as soon its gets firm (not frozen), then cut it across the grain at a forty-five degree angle.
Before attempting to prepare food with skewers, take a few things to heart. Squared or twisted metal skewers secure the food better than rounded ones.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. Because cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, it blends well with the potatoes and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. Cooking with a deadline to meet can become stressful. You can spare yourself a great deal of hassle by doing prep work in advance.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Use fresh foods any time you can, as they bring out the best flavor of the dish, and can be real money-savers too.
Grilling is not an exact science, but you may have encountered some confusion the last time you hit the barbecue. Try using a good quality meat thermometer, to see whether the inside of the meat has reached the right temperature for proper cooking and good taste. If the meat is greater than 1.5 inches in thickness, you should close the lid of the grill in order to decrease your grilling time.
Cooking with fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Make sure the the stems are completely covered with water. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. All you need to do is keep the roots of the basil trimmed regularly and you will have fresh basil ready for use for quite some time.
If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
Garlic is a wonderful taste, but not such a wonderful smell to have on your hands. After chopping garlic or other pungent foods, briskly rub your palms against the surface of your stainless steel sink. Not only will your hands smell better, but the next food you touch won’t have a garlicky smell.
Keep track of what goes into the ingredients for your recipes. There can be some ingredients in foods that are unhealthy. Make sure that an item does not contain too much salt or sugar. Both of those substances can damage the body and lead to serious health issues.
When seasoning your food, add the seasoning in increments rather than putting it all on at once. Seasoning in this manner offers several advantages. First, you are maximizing the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Second, you are utilizing ingredients in the best way possible.
If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.
If you want to cook a roast, yet you don’t have much time, don’t take out the bone. The bone will retain the heat and make the meat cook faster from the inside. When the meat is finished being cooked, you can avoid the bone when you cut and serve it.
Lowering your oil amounts when cooking can help you have a healthier diet and lose weight. Oil and butter provide a lot of un-needed fat. To achieve the same results as oil without the unhealthy fat, try using a nonstick spray.
Keep your turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Instead of tossing out the leftovers, store them in a container that is airtight and place in the freezer. Doing this will keep the turkey fresh for several weeks, and it can be made into a sandwich or a salad whenever you want.
Be sure to read labels when purchasing ingredients for recipes. Potentially unhealthy ingredients lurk in typical cooking supplies. Select ingredients that have little salt or sugar in order to make the healthiest meals possible.
Many vegetables and herbs have a smell that has a tendency to remain on cutting boards, despite how many times you wash them. Separate the halves by using indelible ink on the cutting board so you know what belongs on each side.
If you have a recipe that requires water or milk, you can change out the liquids to create a whole new flavor. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. Use indelible ink to mark the cutting board so that you know which side to use for each purpose.
If you are preparing macaroni and cheese dishes, you must always closely follow the directions on the recipe. This allows the macaroni to come out just as delicious as it was intended to with the cheese melted perfectly over the noodles. Serve the mac and cheese with a solid spoon. Use some black pepper as the spice on your mac and cheese.
It is important to have great cutting utensils at your disposal in your kitchen. Sharp knives will save you time, and are actually safer to use than dull ones. Dull knives actually cause more cut fingers and accidents than sharper ones.
When you are cooking, don’t be afraid to be creative. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. You can add a little of one thing, or take out something else, to suit your tastes and enhance the recipe. That makes a person a great cook!
Wooden Cutting Board
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. When the time comes to add the sauce to the pasta, add this water as well. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Be sure to care for your wooden cutting board properly. Exposure to moisture or dryness can damage a wooden board easily. The correct way to clean a wooden cutting board is to use a damp, soapy sponge or cloth to wipe it clean, rinse with boiling water and towel dry. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. Always allow your board to dry completely, whether it is wet or oiled.
There are two good ways to heat tortillas. One is to place them on a rack in a 350 degree oven. Leave them long enough to become just crisp. You can also crisp your tortilla on the gas burner of your stove-top. Just turn the flame on low and place the tortilla on the burner above the flame. Watch it carefully! It only takes a moment! You will have a better tasting tortilla if you use these suggestions.
Pick a place that will not compromise the quality of your cooking spices; try somewhere that is non-humid and light free. Exposing them to light or heat could make them lose their flavors fast. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
In order to ensure your meats are being cooked properly, you should make use of a meat thermometer. Meat must reach a minimum temperature to be safe. This temperature varies for each kind of meat. Meat that has not been cooked sufficiently can have bacteria growing in it, and these can cause illness if eaten.
There are several types of potatoes, and they are not all the same. There are potatoes that are good for mashing, and there are others that are good when used in potato salad; it really does matter what variety they are. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.
Ensure that herbs and spices are stored in an area that is dark, dry and cool. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. This will ensure your spices will not be as good to use.
Cook meals you can serve proudly and confidently for important guests. 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. Stick to the basics, or at least something that you have made multiple times.
Keep close watch when baking to avoid under cooking or overcooking a cake. While the recipe or directions are a good starting point in cooking times, they may need adjustment. Factors like what kind of oven is used and elevation play a part in what the optimal cooking time will be. To determine if your cake is done, use a toothpick or clean knife blade to find out. Poke it gently into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done; if batter comes out with it, the cake needs to be baked longer.
Use brine in your cooking. Add the brine approximately one hour before preparing any poultry dish to really bring out the flavor.
Make sure to use fresh herbs and seasonings whenever cooking a simple dish. Dried herbs like oregano and basil are generally more appropriate for highly complicated dishes with varied flavors. Fresh herbs tend to be better if you want to have a fresher and stronger overall taste. Maintaining a small indoor or outdoor herb garden is one easy way to guarantee you always have those fresh herbs when you need them.
Set a timer on your watch or cellphone in addition to the oven. That will let you move on to other projects on the house while assuring that you’ll hear the timer go off wherever you are.
When creaming butter and sugar for cookies, make sure that your butter is softened, but not melted. It the butter is already melted, put it in a freezer for a couple minutes to let it get harder. You can also put the dough in the fridge once it has been mixed. If you chill your dough it will not spread out.
Use soft butter not melted butter when creaming sugar and butter to make cookies. If you use a microwave to soften your butter and it becomes a liquid, you can wait for it to become more solid as it cools or you can accelerate its cooling by putting it in your freezer or refrigerator in order to regain some of its thickness. Your cookies will be less likely to spread if the dough has been allowed to cool.
Once your dish is finished, break out the spices. Spices, such as garlic powder, salt, cayenne and pepper, are all wonderful seasonings. People differ in their preferences for the amount and types of spice they like on their food. Provide spices and seasonings at the table when the dish is done, rather than adding them while you cook. This way, each person can personalize their own meal.
If you want to rid your fridge of leftover vegetables and meats the night before grocery shopping, mix them up in a wok with fried rice. While cooking a wok of rice is best with day-old rice, fresh rice with less added water can also work. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, then throw in your rice an season with some soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other spices of your choice.
Leafy greens are very good for you but it may be hard to prepare them. Removing the stems can be difficult and tiresome. Try folding the leaf across and breaking the stem out through the middle. If folding it doesn’t work for you, take the folded leaf and a knife, and remove the stem with the knife. Either of these techniques will result in nice, stem-free leaves.
Cooking for others can be stressful. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to make cooking easier and to make the results of your labors in the kitchen more rewarding. With these tips, you can make fixing a good meal a snap.
Layer salads properly when you are preparing a salad in advance. If you don’t want to send up with a wilted and soggy mess, put juicy ingredients in the bowl first, and then layer upwards to produce like lettuce on the top.