How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Keep all dried spices in a dark space that stays room temperature. If they are exposed to light, moisture, or heat, they will lose much of their flavor. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.
A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Usually, ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months. Spices that are raw, or whole, can keep the original flavor for as long as five years, though it usually falls somewhere between three and five. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower is also the same texture and color of potatoes when mashed so it’s a great way to add more veggies, while lowering calories from classic mashed potatoes.
It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. Always have all ingredients before starting to cook. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.
Do you enjoy preparing dishes that contain fresh basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. With some care, you may even be able to encourage the basil to grow roots. If this happens, trim the basil once in a while. This promotes continued growth, which means you have fresh basil at your disposal well into the future.
When making a stir-fry dish, the meat needs to be cut into very thin slices, always on the bias. However, this can take a lot of time while also being very tricky. When the meat is not quite frozen, take it out of the freezer and slice it against the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. Using chicken broth will prevent the vegetables from sticking in the pan as well as add some tasty flavor at the same time. Chicken broth can be bought at almost any grocery store, and is so inexpensive.
The quality of vegetables improves when cooked. Vegetables which are cooked slowly can lose their taste and valuable nutrients. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
When you cook a pumpkin, the first step is to slice in in half vertically. Next, take each half and place them cut side down onto separate baking sheets. Spray a bit of water on each baking sheet, and then put both into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about an hour.
Leaving the bone in is an easy way to decrease the cook time for a roast. You will have a faster cooking time because the bone will transfer the heat. When your meat finishes cooking, all you need to do is cut the meat off of the bone and enjoy!
Would you like to cook with fresh basil? Place fresh basil into a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Put it on top of your kitchen counter and it will be fresh for weeks! If you change the water occasionally, the basil will even grow roots in the water. Trim or cut the basil periodically to provide for added growth so you can partake in some fresh basil for a while!
If you find yourself overwhelmed with preparing dinner for your family, do some of the preparations the night before. You can cut your vegetables, prepare sauces, soup contents an many other things in the evening before you lay down for bed. When the time comes for you to put together the meal, it will be less stressful.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. There are many recipes where you can do the prep work the day before you start cooking. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Lay your tomato slices across a cooling rack with the cut-side facing up, and salt them lightly. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Finally, place your dried tomatoes in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use 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. You can make your own chicken broth or you can buy it at most any supermarket at a very low price.
When preparing a meal, make sure you have clean cooking utensils. Leftover food could really screw up your next dish. This can also cause bacteria to spread.
Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. The broth will add to the flavor of the vegetables and cut back on the amount of oil that is typically needed to saute them. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.
When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This will keep the herbs drier and lighter than chopped with a knife.
This way, the fruits will stay fresh all year long. Since many fruits are not in season during certain parts of the year, doing this will allow you to enjoy them anytime.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. This helps to add flavor to the pasta while it is boiling. Once it’s been cooked, the pasta will be harder to season properly.
When you season food add a little at a time every few minutes rather than adding it all at one time. Your food will taste as flavorful as ever if you season it this way.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Use recipes as guidelines rather than step-by-step instructions. You can add a little of one thing, or take out something else, to suit your tastes and enhance the recipe. That is the mark of a real chef!
Applying some salt on a cutting board when chopping fresh herbs is a good idea. This should add flavor to the herb as well as keep them in place. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
You can make dried tomatoes yourself. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. They can then be stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.
Prior to cooking, gather everything you need. This way, you will not waste gas when you are cooking, or save yourself danger when cooking.
If you use herbs and spices when cooking, be sure to retain the flavor and freshness by keeping them in an area of the kitchen that is cool and dark. If you put them above the oven, or in another warm place, the spices and herbs will not retain their flavor.
When planning to barbecue, don’t forget the lead time necessary to get the grill hot when you are ready to use it. This should be done about 30 minutes prior to putting any food on it. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. This is the most effective temperature for grilling.
If you buy unripened fruits, keep them in a plastic bag fitted with holes. 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.
The safest way to make sure your meat is cooked is using a meat thermometer. There is a recommended minimum temperature for every type of meat; this ensures that meat is cooked well enough to be safe to eat. All types of bacteria live on meat. Therefore, if the bacteria is not properly cooked, it can stay on the meat, and cause you to get sick.
Always clean your utensils very well before you use them. Leftover food could really screw up your next dish. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
Spices and herbs should be kept in a dark place that is cool and dry. Exposure to light, heat and humidity can cause them to lose a lot of their flavor very fast. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
You can chop fresh herbs quickly by bundling them together in bunches and cutting them with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
A good cooking method when working with poultry is to first brine the bird. To get good poultry taste in your meal, you should soak turkey, chicken, or even duck in brine about one hour prior to the meal preparation.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This adds flavor and keeps the herbs on the board. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. Applying salt to the board will allow the herbs to stick better and give the meat a bit more flavor.
If you need to warm up leftovers that are oily but don’t want to contend with the greasy mess, try baking them in the oven instead of popping them in the microwave. The heat of the microwave can cause the oil to separate from your other ingredients, since it heats quicker. Conversely, baking cooks the food slowly, which allows it to retain all its juices and flavor.
Complete your prep work before you start cooking a meal. That way, you are able to prevent using a lot of gas or heat while cooking, and you provide safety when using hot oil or other dangerous things while distracted.
Making fried rice or stir fry is an excellent way to use up all the leftovers in your fridge. It’s best to use day-old rice that has cooled, but you can make fresh rice if you choose; just remember to cut a bit of water from the rice recipe in order to make the drier rice that works best in meals like this. The main ingredients should be fried in oil. Afterwards, you should toss in the rice and add plenty of seasonings and soy sauce.
Use the tips contained in this article, to spice up your meals and make them more enjoyable. Once you try them and experience how good your dishes taste, you will begin to love cooking even more! You may find that you enjoy cooking and begin experimenting even further. You can try cooking now!
Be considerate to those who will be consuming your meals by reserving many spices for later addition. Spices like cayenne, garlic powder, and pepper are fabulous seasonings. Where seasonings are concerned, people have drastically different preferences. Instead of putting them on your food let the people eating choose. Each person can personalize their own dish.