For many people, the act of cooking is nothing more than another chore. Cooking, though, can be something very enjoyable! It’s also a good step toward a more healthy lifestyle. Every good cook constantly looks for ways to improve their cooking skills. Use the tips in this article to learn more about cooking and to start seeing cooking as an enjoyable activity.
If you have not yet cooked with skewers you should definitely consider this fact. If using skewers made of steel or metal, avoid ones with rounded surfaces and try ones with square or beveled designs.
A cool, dark storage area will preserve your herbs freshness for the longest period of time. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.
Prepare dishes that you’re an expert at when you’re cooking for someone important in your life, such as a supervisor or a new partner. Avoid cooking with new ingredients or a new recipe that you have never used before. Cooking will be less stressful.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. Try to have the prep work completed before cooking; this is important. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Prepare early to avoid later stress.
Have you felt bad before when you have had to throw away your moldy fruit? Is it possible to save the fruit by cutting the bad part out of it? There is no way to salvage fruit that has begun decomposing. Throw them away because mold grows much deeper than you can see and moldy food can make you very sick.
Your spices should be stored in a cool place that is free of light. Putting them in a warm, lighted area can reduce their useful life, due to light and heat exposure. Spices last longer and taste better when stored in cool, dark locations. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.
Apples are a mainstay of fall and winter cooking, but they will spoil quickly if not stored properly. Apples will spoil in warm, dry air, so put them in a loosely tied bag in a cool basement or refrigerator. However, if even one apple becomes rotten, it will quickly spoil all apples in the same bag.
Do not throw your sauce away. This simple trick can save it. Combine a tablespoon of starch with two tablespoons of water. Add this mixture to the sauce while it simmers in order to thicken it up. However, it is important that the sauce is stirred often while the mixture is being added so as to stop it becoming too thick.
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest French fries. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.
Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. 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.
By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. Much of the preparation can be done the day before it is needed. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
No matter what you are cooking, fresh ingredients are always much better than dried or frozen ingredients. Use any fresh ingredients that are available. They are not only tastier in general, but they also tend to be cheaper, as well.
It’s important to cut down on the amount of oil you use when you’re cooking, if you’re trying to eat in a healthy way and control your weight. Most oils, and butters, too, contain a very high fat content, and this fat is neither necessary or always the good kind. Replace them with a nonstick cooking spray and you won’t notice the difference.
Garlic is a wonderful taste, but not such a wonderful smell to have on your hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. Not only does this remove the smell of the odoriferous food ingredient from your hands, it also keeps this odor from passing to other foods that you are about to handle.
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. That way, you won’t be able to burn them as easily. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.
When you do this, you can enjoy your favorite fresh fruits all year. It will also allow you to eat seasonal fruits at any time you wish.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you use! This will help you reduce how much fat is present in your cooking. By carefully doling out the oil, you will know the true amount of fat you getting when you cook.
You need to use the freshest garlic possible when you are using it in a dish. Garlic that is fresh is sweeter than garlic that is not. Fresh garlic is firm and lacks bruises.
Cater to your guests by serving salads with dressing on the side. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Make sure you have a selection to choose from.
Spices should be stored in a cool, dark area so that they stay as fresh as they can for as long as possible. When you store your herbs out on the kitchen counter, they will lose their flavor quickly and become stale.
If you’re pressed for time and are making a roast, it helps if you fix a bone-in roast. The meat cooks faster this way due to the fact that the bone carries the heat right to the interior of the roasting pan. When the meat has cooled enough to let the juices settle all you have to do is go around the bone when cutting and serve.
When you finish a turkey meal, always make sure you save what remains. Instead, cut it up, place it into a an airtight container, and put it in the freezer. Turkey will stay fresh for a couple weeks and you can use it in sandwiches or a salad.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. Store extra stock in bags in the freezer that are resealable. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
You should consider drying your tomatoes on your own. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can pack dried tomatoes in a jar stuffed with organic olive oil and your favorite freshly cut herbs. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
Make preparations for cooking in advance. It is sometimes possible to do some preliminary tasks in the days preceding the actual meal preparation. Sometimes you will even discover that preparing ingredients over an extended period of time will enhance the flavor of the final product. After you experience the benefits of preparing in advance, you may well make it your standard practice.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
You should instead set the watch timer and the oven timer. Using the alarm on your watch will help make sure that you hear it go off, and prevent from overcooking your food.
Use your own stock for more flavorful food. It is possible to utilize resealable bags to store any excess in the freezer if you prepare large quantities. This allows you to have savory homemade stock available that you can use for various dishes, like soup. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
Make use of stacking racks for cooling things straight out of the oven. If you are making a large amount of cookies or baked items, laying them out to cool will take over your kitchen. Cooking racks that stack provide you the tools to use your space more efficiently. Your cookies can cool on the rack, but you will still have full use of your kitchen surfaces.
Allow meals to rest before serving. It is often overlooked, but it makes a difference when you let the food sit and allow the flavors to be absorbed. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
Add flavor to your bland dishes by replacing water with a stock. Alternatively, you can still use water but add some bouillon cubes to it. Each of these suggestions provides the proper amount of moisture for your food while still giving it a bit of extra flavor.
In conclusion, all great cooks are looking for ways to enhance their skills. Joy that comes from cooking comes not just from preparing a meal, but also from learning about various foods, and acquiring new cooking skills and techniques. When you love to cook, and share the joy of cooking with others, it can be very rewarding. Cooking is a skill which should be be developed and sharpened, as well as shared with other people.
To make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, use baking potatoes for a firm shell. Red potatoes have too thin a skin to hold a thicker filling.