Many people only see cooking as a chore that needs to be done. But cooking can be something to be enjoyed. It can also be a way to a healthier lifestyle. In order to be a good cook, you should continue to learn. The following article will help you learn some things you may not have known about cooking.
When cooking a large meal for a family gathering or dinner party, preparation is key. Look at your recipe, and ensure that you aren’t missing any ingredients. Put everything you need to cook the dish out the night before. Make sure you have all the cooking equipment and ingredients required. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
Store your spices and herbs in a cool and dark spot when you decide where to keep them. If they are exposed to light, moisture, or heat, they will lose much of their flavor. Herbs and spices that are ground usually remain flavorful for a year. Whole spices can retain flavor for about three or five years. If the spices are stored properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period.
When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. Preparing a meal for someone important, or that you hope to impress, is not the time to experiment with new recipes or exotic ingredients that you have never used before. Making a meal you are confident will taste good can make the night more enjoyable.
Do all the prep work ahead of time. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. When you have a schedule as to how long you plan to be cooking, things can get a little stressful in the kitchen. By doing all of your preparation in advance, you avoid the stress and just enjoy your meal.
Fresh apples can be a delicious ingredient for a wide variety of recipes. Heat and oxygen spoil apples, so place them in plastic bags in a cool spot. Your fridge is ideal. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.
No matter what you are cooking, fresh ingredients are always much better than dried or frozen ingredients. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. This takes a lot of the stress out of even the most complicated recipes and dishes.
The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. Always have all ingredients before starting to cook. Prepare everything the day prior, including the correct utensils and other cooking tools. This means you don’t have to worry when time is short, which means your cooking will be better.
Garlic is a great ingredient but it can leave a strong smell on your hands and utensils. To get rid of this odor, or any other strong cooking smell, rub your hands on the inside of your stainless steal sink. This will clean your hands and keep the smells from permeating whatever food you are handling next.
A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
When you store flour, sugar or any type of baking mixes, always use airtight containers. Avoid exposure to moisture and insects by sealing food in airtight containers. You can find decorative airtight canisters for staples, like flour and sugar.
Have you found yourself regretting disposing of moldy fruits? Can you actually save your fruit by cutting the part out that is rotten? The truth is that a rotten spot often signifies that the whole fruit is bad. Discard them, as mold goes deeper than the eye can see and can make you quite ill.
When you make chicken stock, a good piece of advice is to make it in a big quantity. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
Use vegetable or chicken stock to saute vegetables. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat. This is a nutritious and delicious method for cooking vegetables.
Do you enjoy cooking with the flavors of fresh basil? Take out a glass and put some fresh basil inside. Fill the glass just enough with water so that the stems can absorb it. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. If you replace the basil’s water enough, the basil can grow roots while 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!
Freezing helps ensure fresh fruit throughout the year. Furthermore, you can enjoy seasonal fruits without paying outrageous prices during the off season.
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. When you use fresh ingredients you can bring out the true flavor of your food, and they can sometimes be cheaper in the end.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Using different liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.
Don’t take the bone out of a roast if you need to cook it quickly. You will have a faster cooking time because the bone will transfer the heat. Once the roast has finished cooking, it is easy to go in there and remove the bone.
A pantry or other cool, dark space will preserve the flavor of herbs and spices the longest. Herbs and spices stored above the range or in direct sunlight will degrade their flavors.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Place the cooking supplies that are similar in one place. For instance, put all your spices in one cabinet.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As the fruit becomes ripe, it will emit ethylene gas. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.
When preparing a meal, make sure you have clean cooking utensils. You could contaminate what you’re going to cook if the utensils aren’t completely clean from previous cooking sessions. This can also spread harmful bacteria.
Instead of chopping them on a cutting board, a better way to cut herbs is to hold them in a bunch and cut them with sharp scissors. This works especially well for dill and parsley. This makes the herbs fluffier and lighter, and not wet like they would be if they were chopped.
You can make remarkably flavorful dishes by making your stock yourself. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. This ensures that tasty, homemade stock is always available when the time comes to prepare soups and other recipes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. This will allow the pasta to take on the seasoning more efficiently. Salting pasta after cooking it results in a less flavorful pasta dish.
Do all your cooking prep work well ahead of time. This way, you will not waste gas when you are cooking, or save yourself danger when cooking.
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. When you are getting ready to mix the pasta and sauce together, pour in some of the water. Starches present in the retained water can contribute to a creamier sauce when combined.
When you are sauteing a food, make sure you do not add too much to the pan. The moisture from the extra food will cause it to steam. This way the food will be too moist, not crisp like sauteed food should be. Make sure you do this at a low temperature as well.
If you are preparing salsa that won’t be eaten right away, make sure you use raw onions that are rinsed with cold water. Onions that are fresh have sulfurous gas. This could ruin your salsa. By running water over the onions and then drying them off, you get rid of the gas.
There are better ways to heat up tortillas. An oven preheated to 350 degrees will make quick work of crisping up your tortillas. Just place the tortilla directly onto the rack and wait until it reaches the desired level of crispness. Place a tortilla on the grill directly above the flame on the gas stove top as an alternative. These methods will have your tortillas tasting fresh.
Do not bake a cake too long or to short of a time. The recommended cooking times can give beginner bakers a general idea of how long to bake the cake, but these guidelines can be inaccurate because elevation and other factors have to be taken into account when determining how long to leave the cake in the oven. To be sure, test your cake by inserting a toothpick in the cake’s middle. If your toothpick is clean, your cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. However, if there is batter left on the toothpick, keep baking for a longer period of time.
Keep your spices and herbs stored in a dark, dry, and cool area. Light and humidity can diminish the flavor of spices, as can heat. Exposing the spices to these kinds of conditions can enable them to lose their flavor.
Make preparations for cooking in advance. Some preparations can be done as much as two days in advance of the meal. Sometimes, the longer window of preparation time can enhance the flavor of your final dish. Once you develop this habit, you may never go back.
In conclusion, a great cook is constantly learning. The real fun in cooking isn’t just rote memorization of recipes, but learning entirely new ways of looking at food. Cooking is also about sharing your knowledge with others. Cooking is a skill which should be be developed and sharpened, as well as shared with other people.
To add flavor to everything from mashed potatoes to soup, replace water with chicken or beef stock. The addition of bouillon cubes in the water is another easy way to flavor a meal. In this way, you will be increasing the flavor while still maintaining the amount of liquid required.