Begin your cooking career with simple recipes that include your favorite foods. Not just anyone will be able to cook naturally. That being said, everyone can learn to cook. There are basic techniques and information that will help start you on the path to becoming a good cook. Read on for some essential cooking tips and ideas that you can use in your own kitchen.
A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. Herbs and spices can quickly lose their flavor if exposed to continuous light or heat. Usually, ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
The prep work comes first. The prep work should be done before you even start cooking. When you have a schedule as to how long you plan to be cooking, things can get a little stressful in the kitchen. You can help lessen the potential stress by getting all your prep work done early.
When preparing stir-fry meals, cut the meat on the bias and keep it thin. There’s a trick to this, and it can take a little time. 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.
There’s something you can do to save your effort and your sauce. Take one tablespoon corn starch, and combine with two tablespoons water in a mixing bowl. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Make sure you add starch slowly and are constantly stirring the sauce so it doesn’t get too thick.
If you have a meal that is important, like for a date or your boss, try cooking one of your better dishes so that you are familiar with it and know it tastes good. Trying out a new recipe may end in disaster. You will have a more relaxed and less anxious cooking experience.
You can boil away all of the health benefits of many vegetables. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.
Texture and taste don’t have to suffer when you are trying to lighten up your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower makes for a great substitute to help drop the fat and calorie content. 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.
Did you ever feel bad for throwing old, moldy fruit away? Have you ever thought to just remove the moldy section by cutting it out? A half rotten fruit cannot be saved. If you see that fruit is starting to rot, just throw it away because even if some parts look healthy, the mold has most likely already spread throughout.
The downside of tasty ingredients like garlic and onions is that their flavors and smells transfer to your hands. To remove the odor, simply take your hands and rub them against the sides of a stainless-steel sink. This works for garlic and for other foods that leave behind a strong odor on your hands. This process removes the odors from your hands and keeps you from transferring them to the next piece of food you work with.
Have you ever struggled to determine the time it takes to grill your meat? The best way to cook meat consistently is to invest in a digital meat thermometer that gives accurate readings of the temperature inside the meat. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you’re cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.
Do you want to cook with fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Make sure the stems are submerged in water. You can keep basil fresh for weeks on top of your kitchen counter this way. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. You should also trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. The vegetables get flavor from the broth, and there is no need to use as much oil as it normally takes to saute them. You will love this cooking style if you just give it a try!
To make the cooking process easier and faster, many preparatory steps can be completed ahead of time. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. Many different prep tasks can be finished a day or so before cooking the meal. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.
Read labels when shopping for recipe ingredients. There are a variety of ingredients that, while common, are not the healthiest. Make sure anything you buy does not have too much sugar or salt or it can hurt you.
Garlic is a popular ingredient that has one notable downside; its trademark scent transfers easily to your skin. Try rubbing your hands on stainless steel when they smell from an odoriferous cooking ingredient This will cleanse your hands and prevent the smells from transferring to the food you handle next.
Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
If you are serving a salad with a meal where you have guests, do not pour the salad dressing on the salad, keep it on the side. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. Give them a choice of salad dressings.
Never forget to measure oil when you are using it for cooking. Pouring straight from a bottle does not give you an accurate idea of how much fat you are using, which can result in overindulgence. Doing this will make it easy for you to keep track of exactly how much oil is being used.
It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. They make wines that can be used only when you’re cooking food.
Keep the bone in your roast if you’re trying to make it and you have no time to spare. This will help the meat to cook quicker because the heat will be carried to the center of the roast through the bone. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.
Don’t throw away any leftovers from your turkey. Place the remains in a container and store in the freezer for preservation. With enough leftover turkey, you can enjoy turkey sandwiches and salads for several weeks after the bird was cooked.
Only cook with wine that you have tasted before and that you enjoy. If you use a wine that you are not familiar with or do not enjoy, you are risking culinary disaster when it comes to the flavor of your food. There are cooking-specific wines available at the supermarket.
When cooking ground meat, blot it dry before cooking. It is always advisable to remove excess moisture on meat, particularly if it is ground. If your meat is soggy before you sear it, then it will be soggy afterward. This will cause it to sizzle. Therefore, it’s more likely that the meat will steam instead of sear like it should.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Drying them is easy – simply cut Roma tomatoes in half, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes 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. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
When you are making pasta you need to be sure to add a liberal amount of salt to the water. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. Salting after boiling your pasta will not give the same effect of absorption.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. Herbs and spices stored above the range or in direct sunlight will degrade their flavors.
Spice up your cooking with a little creativity. Don’t always stick to the exact recipe. You can add a little of one thing, or take out something else, to suit your tastes and enhance the recipe. That is the definition of a true cook!
Spices should be replaced every six months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you know you will not use the whole spice bottle, give some of it to someone you know.
You should save some water from the pan in which you cooked the pasta so that you can add it to the pasta sauce later. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. When you mix your pasta and sauce, also add the water you reserved. Amalgamation will help the starch in the pasta to add a creamy quality, and extra body to your sauce.
It is a good idea to store unripened fruits in perforated plastic bags. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. This not only saves you time from having to deal with knives that are dull, but it’s safer to use utensils that are new and sharp, rather than ones that are old and dull. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
Homemade stock can add flavor to many dishes. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. In creating your own stock at home, you are assured that it isn’t loaded with preservatives.
There are many ways to heat tortillas. Preheat the oven to 350 and place your tortilla in the oven until it is crisp. An additional option is to place the tortilla on the grill directly, straight above the flame. You’ll notice a fresher, more enjoyable tortilla than by just throwing them in the microwave.
Explore creativity when you cook. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. That is really a creative cook!
Not many people are born with a natural talent to cook, though if you are good at following directions, you can be an amateur chef quickly. Apply all your basic knowledge and spend some enjoyable time in the kitchen. If you incorporate the tips in the article, you should be well on your way to being the best cook you can be.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. Every meat type has a different recommended temperature in order to be safe for eating. 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.