Do you love all sorts of food? Do you have a large sweet tooth? Have you ever tried making ethnic food yourself? Have you ever desired to cook these delicious dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen? Start cooking and put a stop to all that wondering. These tips are here to help you create excellent meals.
Spices should be stored in a dark and cool place. The flavor of herbs and spices will be diminished if they are subjected to humidity, heat, or light. Generally speaking, properly stored herbs and ground spices can keep a good portion of their flavor as long as one calendar year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. Spices that are stored correctly remain fresher for longer.
Your meat need to be sliced thinly across the grain when you are preparing stir-fry. This can take time and be tricky. Use meat that is firm, but unfrozen, and slice the meat across the grain, at 45 degrees.
If you are just starting out with cooking, consider doing your research at your local library. There are plenty of cookbooks with simple recipes available. Work your way through a few different recipes, but do not allow yourself to become discouraged during the learning process.
There is a way to save your dish and you can use it immediately. Mix two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Thicken your sauce by stirring in this solution. Make sure you combine them gradually and consistently so as to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.
When preparing meals at home, you must use sharp knives for best results. Dull knives are difficult to use and they are dangerous to cut with too. With a dull knife it is easy to slip and cut yourself because it is harder to slice the food, but a knife that is sharp makes much smoother cuts.
It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. You are more likely to get cut exerting force on a dull knife to slice a vegetable than you are when using a sharp knife.
People tend to use a lot of apples for cooking in the fall and winter months, but if they are stored incorrectly they will quickly spoil. Warm dry air causes apples to rot, so put them in plastic bags with loose ties in a fridge or cool basement. Check your apples regularly. If one apple starts rotting, the whole bag will be spoiled.
Try to cook the foods that you are talented at when you are cooking for a special event. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. Cooking will be less stressful this way.
If you want crispier and crunchier French fries, then soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water for a period of at least half an hour before use. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
After you make sauce, pour the leftovers into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. Don’t worry, your sauce will taste great even after having been frozen.
Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. As an alternative to milk, try using thinned sour cream, yogurt, soy milk or buttermilk. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.
When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is great for preventing sticking of vegetables and incorporating some great flavor with them. You can make your own chicken broth or you can buy it at most any supermarket at a very low price.
When serving salads to guests, it is a good idea to leave the dressing on the side of the salad rather than on it. This will allow your guests to control how much dressing they want to put on their salad. Offering a variety of dressing for their salad is the best way to make sure that all guests are happy.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. Most grocery stores stock these items. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.
Don’t use bitter, sour, or tasteless wine in your recipes. Using a wine that you dislike could ruin the taste of the food. Cooking wines are available.
You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. Keep your kitchen in order. Being unorganized when you are cooking can lead to you wasting a lot of money and food.
Prepare things the day before if you cannot handle doing everything in one night. Before you head to bed at night do your best to cut up vegetables and onions, marinating meat, or making some sauce. You will more prepared to cook your meal the next day, and will experience less stress!
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This is preferable to chopping the herbs because they will be less moisture laden, making them lighter and fluffier.
You can make stock ahead of time to add to other dishes. Making a large amount allows you to store some in the freezer for future meals. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
Try drying your own tomatoes. Start by slicing a ripe tomato one-half inch thick, or you can cut Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Take a cooling rack and place the tomatoes on it. Sprinkle them with salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. You can then freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock bags. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Care for your wood cutting board properly. Excessive moisture, dryness, or heat all affect wood cutting boards and can cause them to split and change shape. Never immerse the board in water, rather, sponge it off with warm, soapy water. Bring a damaged wood board back to life with regular oiling, using only oil made for cutting boards. Be sure to dry it off completely before using.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Place the remains in a container and store in the freezer for preservation. The turkey will be more fresh after a couple of weeks when doing this. It is great in a sandwich or a salad.
Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. Different types of meat have a certain internal temperature that is considered safe to eat. There is a lot of bacteria that lives on meat, so cooking it to a high enough temperature to kill it off is important to avoid food borne illnesses.
The odors of many spices and vegetables will stay on your cutting board and will be impervious to soap. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
If you are trying a new fruit or vegetable that you are not accustomed to, take a little time to learn some things about it. You might be surprised of the possibilities you will learn about for food. Becoming knowledgeable should precede any work you do in the kitchen, and it will also help in giving you a more enjoyable cooking experience.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. Make as much of it as you want and keep the excess in your freezer. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. When you prepare your stock from scratch, you will be certain that it is 100% natural, not loaded with preservatives.
Be sure to not attempt a recipe that you have never made before when you are cooking for somebody important to you. Regardless of who it is, you will want to try and impress them. The best way to make them happy would be to cook a great meal, so make sure you cook something you are familiar with.
Be sure to keep your dishes clean as you cook to avoid a lengthy clean up. Make it easy on yourself by filling your sink with water, while reserving a separate section for rinsing. It’s easy to wash bowls and utensils right after you use them, and they’ll be all set for the next ingredient that needs mixing.
Instead of using water, you should consider using beef or chicken stock. This helps add flavor to all types of foods including mashed potatoes. You could also add bouillon cubes in the water that you are using. This process adds another layer of flavor to your food, in addition to giving it the required amount of moisture needed to cook.
Before cooking ground beef, pat it gently to remove moisture. Blotting the ground meat’s moisture is a good thing to do. Moisture that is left on your meat will release as steam while you’re cooking. The moisture will dissolve. Therefore, it’s more likely that the meat will steam instead of sear like it should.
If you have odors from the food that you are cooking with, stuck on your hands, use stainless steal and rub them for about one minute, and then wash with soap. Rub your hands on a spoon, or on the sink for instance. Wash your hands with soap afterward.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you’re ready to combine the pasta and sauce, pour in a bit of the water. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.
To accurately measure and distribute a sticky ingredient, grease your measuring utensils with oil first. Before you measure, you will want to coat the spoon lightly with an oil that doesn’t have much flavor, like canola oil, then the sticky substance you are measuring will glide off much easier, which will reduce the waste and will make clean up easier. This works for honey and peanut butter too.
The smallest touches, such as spreading mayonnaise well from edge to edge of the bread, can mean the difference in making your food “pop” with your guests. Lots of times, people get lazy and just throw some mayonnaise in the center. Every bite can be more delicious when it is spread evenly!
For a simple way to add interest and complexity to your corn on the cob or dinner rolls, try mixing up a flavored butter. Bring the butter to room temperature, or put it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it soft. For extra flavoring, you will need to mix in herbs, sauces or spices. Try BBQ, chipotles, lemon juice or honey.
Using the tips you’ve read here will help you to make amazing meals that you and your family will adore! Use your creativity to try out new and unique spices and flavors. You might even discover your next favorite meal through your experimentation! These tips and your personal taste should aid you in becoming an even better chef!
When you are making a salad to take somewhere or just making one ahead of time, make it in layers. 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.