In order to live, all human beings need to eat. Most of us want to actually enjoy what we are eating and not just eat for survival. Cooking a fabulous meal can be just as exciting, if not more, than the pleasure of eating the meal. The following advice will help you to improve your cooking skills.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Exposure to heat, light, and humidity can cause them to lose their flavor. As a general rule, most of your ground herbs and spices will stay fresh for about a year if stored correctly. Whole spices may keep their flavors, possibly, three years or longer. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.
Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. The crust should have a nice golden color to be fully cooked. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
Stir-fry recipes require meat to be sliced very thin and at an angle to the grain. This is not easy to do and could take some time. Take out the meat before it is frozen, but very firm, and cut into it at an angle of 45 degrees perpendicular to the grain.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Take a large bunch of this fresh herb and place it in a glass. Make sure the stems are submerged in water. The basil can remain fresh for several days if it is placed in indirect sunlight. Frequent changes of the water might even encourage the basil to spread out some roots. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
You may have felt regret when you threw away a moldy orange or lemon. Is it alright to cut out the rotten part and save them? There is, unfortunately, no good way to save fruit that is half-rotten. It is important to throw moldy fruit in the trash because eating moldy food can cause you to become very ill. There is often more mold on the fruit than can be seen by the naked eye.
Save time and money by freezing leftover sauce in ice cube trays in the freezer. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. The sauce will be very edible after it comes out of the trays.
Do you know grilling times for meats? A well-manufactured meat thermometer, especially a precision digital model, is always a sound method of seeing to it that the inside of your meat is cooked thoroughly. Put the grill lid on to reduce cooking time for cuts that are more than an inch and a half thick.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. The bland cauliflower taste will make it so that you do not notice much difference in the taste, while accentuating the taste of some of the other ingredients. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
Always use an airtight container to store baking ingredients such as sugar or flour in the kitchen. These containers do two things to keep your food fresher: they keep bugs from entering them, and they keep air exposure to a minimum. These are carried in many stores and make a wise investment.
Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. Use fresh foods any time you can, as they bring out the best flavor of the dish, and can be real money-savers too.
Always make certain you are checking out the ingredient labels when getting items for a recipe. Many common cooking supplies contain hidden ingredients that can be unhealthy. You want to produce a product that is not high in sugar or sodium.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. And don’t worry, your sauce will still taste great even after freezing.
If your a fan of cooking with spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a dark and cool area in order to keep their flavors. If you keep spices above the oven or in hot places, they will lose their flavor.
If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. Some people prefer more dressing than others; let guests pour their own dressing. For an even more considerate touch, provide different kinds of dressings.
Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. Make a small mark with a marker on one side of your board to remind you which side is for sweet items and which is for sour.
If you want to cook a roast and need it done quickly, do not remove the bone. The meat cooks faster because the bone will carry the heat through the inside of the roast, helping it cook from the inside out. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.
Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
Never cook with wine you haven’t tried. Using cheap or unfamiliar wine puts the flavor of your food in danger. There is wine available that was made specifically for cooking.
If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. You can cook it in large batches, pour the extra batches into plastic freezer bags, and then simply store them in the freezer. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. Doing it on your own, prevents any unnecessary preservatives from being added to the stock.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. It is highly tempting to serve the food as soon as you take it off the grill. However, you will miss out on great food if you do. Let the meal be for a few minutes, and give it time it cool off.
Creativity in the kitchen can be exciting. It is not always about following a recipe letter for letter. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.
When boiling water to cook pasta, be sure to add a generous sprinkling of salt. Seasoning will impregnate the pasta more efficiently while it cooks. Salting the pasta after cooking it does not allow it to hold seasoning that well.
To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Save about one quarter cup of this water. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. The addition of the starchy water will bulk up your sauce and make it creamier.
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. Use around a quarter cup and put it aside for your sauce. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. Starches present in the retained water can contribute to a creamier sauce when combined.
Impress people with a perfect sandwich by spreading mayonnaise evenly and smoothly all over the bread, from crust to crust. A lot of times people rush and only put mayonnaise in the center of the bread. When you spread your condiments evenly, you ensure that every bite is as good as can be.
It’s important to spread mayonnaise on sandwiches evenly from crust to crust. Sometimes, when people are rushed, they just slap some mayo down in the middle of the bread. An even spread helps keep the taste consistent from bite to bite.
Purchase quality utensils for your kitchen. Sharp knives will save you time, and are actually safer to use than dull ones. More accidents and cuts happen due to dull utensils than properly sharpened ones.
Prepare all of your ingredient before you begin cooking. This is the best way for you to prevent any accidents or waste in the kitchen. Oil should not sit in a pan for too long, or it could cause a fire. Having everything ready to go will help you to be able to monitor what is going on in the kitchen, and not create a hazardous area.
It is important to properly care for your wood cutting board if you want it to last a long time. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. A wooden cutting board will be ruined if it is placed into water. Bring a damaged wood board back to life with regular oiling, using only oil made for cutting boards. Allow your board to dry completely between uses.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. You may end up steaming your meal because of the water content of your vegetables. Keep the burner at a low setting during this process, as well.
Do your prep work to save cooking time. Ingredients for meals can often be prepared a few days ahead of time. With this added preparation, you may find that meals are less stressful, as well as more flavorful. Once you get used to prepping in advance, you will probably never go back to doing it on the fly.
Trussing refers to the method of tying a turkey up with string for baking. This ensures that the legs and wings remain near the bird, which results in more even cooking. If not tied down, the tips of the wings and legs tend to burn easily while the rest of the bird is still cooking.
Double up by setting a watch timer in addition to the oven timer. Using a timer that you wear on you, such as one on a watch or stopwatch around the neck, will ensure that you hear the timer go off regardless of where you are.
Spices and herbs need to be stored somewhere that is dark, cool and dry. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
Grilled fruit is pretty tasty. Slice up nectarines, melons and peaches and then thread them onto a skewer. Grill the fruit until you start to see grill marks. A good way to serve them is over ice cream or a pound cake.
The are many varieties of potatoes, and some cannot be used as substitutes for other varieties. For example, some are waxy and wonderful for making potato salad or boiled potatoes but would not work well as french fries or baked potatoes. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.
Add a squirt of ketchup to the batter when making fried foods. Ketchup is not only for dipping cooked foods into, but it can also be used to dip chicken or vegetables into before dipping in breadcrumbs. Ketchup will add an unexpected tangy element to fried food and will prompt your friends to ask for your secret.
Leaning to cook and be as funner than eating. The advice in this article will enable you to start building a skill set for cooking that you will continue to build on for years to come. Your friends and family will enjoy your new hobby as much as you do.
For people who enjoy cooking, it can be fun to catch your own fish. There are many advantages to one catching his or her own fish. Cost effectiveness and freshness aside, it’s also a great money-saver.