A lot of people consider cooking to be just another chore that needs doing. This article has many suggestions so that you can enjoy cooking.
If you are cooking a dish in oil and need to add more to the pan, drizzle it around the sides. This way, the oil heats up before it reaches the food. Doing so will maximize the flavors of the food you are cooking by keeping them inside the food.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Humidity, heat and light can all cause flavors to weaken thus making your foods not able to obtain their potential. Herbs and spices generally keep their taste and flavor for about one year. Whole spices typically last longer than ground spices. Depending on the advice you’re reading, they can last from one to several years. In terms of lasting, remember it is the flavor of the spices that is usually the issue with the older spices losing their flavor. The color, fragrance and condition of the spice will often indicate its freshness. If stored correctly, they will remain fresher longer.
In order to make it easier to slice meat into thin strips, you should first marginally freeze the meat. Asian inspired dishes such as Chinese and Thai will particularly benefit from this technique. If you freeze the meat, it will make it easier to cut into strips as the meat fibers will not stretch or tear as easily. However, wait until the slices are thawed before you cook them. By doing this, the strips will more evenly cook.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Try a few recipes, and be patient with yourself as you are mastering this new skill.
As you are seasoning the meats, break off a tiny piece before you continue to season the rest of it. Take care when seasoning foods like hamburgers, meatloaf or meatballs. Never prepare the full amount after its initial seasoning. Just make a small piece and try it. If it tastes good, then cook it, if it needs some additional seasoning, then you can adjust your recipe before making the entire meal.
Overdo it a little when you bake a pie crust. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.
Did you ever regret throwing moldy fruit away? Is it a good practice to save them by cutting out the rotten, moldy part? If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. 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.
Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. First, check that you have everything you need to get started. Assemble utensils and other needed equipment before you start to cook. Taking the time to prepare yourself will guarantee that the meal will be a success.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Fresh ingredients can really enhance the flavor of your meal, as well as be more economical to prepare.
Oil should be added to the side of the pan. When it reaches the food, it will already be heated up. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
While garlic is excellent for cooking, it can also be absorbed into your hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
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. Do not try to cook something new for a big day. Avert a stressful experience and enjoy the occasion.
If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to cut back on the fat by eliminating some of the cooking oils you use. Oil and butter is mostly fat. A good alternative to using butter and oil is to use a low-fat cooking spray. Even better, you can use nonstick pans and eliminate oil altogether.
Apples are widely used in recipes during fall and winter, but they will spoil fast if incorrectly stored. Apples are extremely perishable. In a warm, dry environment, they will quickly go bad. Store your apples in an airtight container in a cool, preferably humid place. Quickly remove any apples that are rotting, because they will cause the other apples to spoil quicker.
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. If you do this, the skewers won’t burn on the grill. You can make sure that food stays on your skewers by skewing the food with parallel skewers.
Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. Slow cooking, and overcooking, vegetables will destroy their nutritional content and flavor. Vegetables cooked in these ways make healthier side dishes and ingredients in recipes. When you know how to cook vegetables in the least amount of time possible, you will enjoy better tasting and nutritious vegetables.
When serving a salad for guests that accompanies a meal, avoid pouring dressing on it. Leave the dressing on the side instead. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.
Never cook with wine you haven’t tried. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.
A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Once your stock is finished, cool it and put it in heavy freezer bags.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Separate the halves by using indelible ink on the cutting board so you know what belongs on each side.
Using less fats, like extra virgin oil or butter, when you cook will help you to lose weight and keep your heart healthy. These products contain a lot of unnecessary fat. Using a nonstick spray is a good alternative as it has the same effects without all the calories.
When using fresh herbs in your meal, including dill and parsley, place the herbs together in bunches, and cut them with scissors. This method of cutting herbs provides a drier, more flavorful product than chopping.
Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Adding different and interesting liquids to a recipe can help the dish become more interesting and nutritious.
Shake a little salt onto your cutting board when you are chopping up fresh herbs. The salt will keep the herbs on the board and add extra flavor as well. 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. That salt on the board adds some flavor since it sticks to the herbs.
Make sure that you do not dispose of any leftovers after your Thanksgiving dinner. The efficient thing to do is put the turkey in a plastic container and freeze it for later. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
It is important to prepare a barbecue before you are actually ready to use it. A half hour is the lead time usually needed in order to have the grill properly fired up before you cook. The heat should be moderate and the charcoal should be a little ashy. This is the best temperature to begin grilling.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. If they are not properly organized, you will wind up rummaging around to find what you need. Organize your kitchen logically. For instance, put all your spices together in one cabinet.
Make sure that you store your herbs and spices in a cool, dry, dark area. Your spices can become less spicy if you expose them to humidity, heat, or light. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
Try to wash dishes when you are cooking to save time on cleaning a mess after dinner. Beside your sink you should have hot water and rinse water on the two sides. Utensils and mixing bowls can easily be washed immediately after they are used. They will then be ready to use again immediately.
Do not fall victim to believing that all potatoes are the same. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salads while other potatoes are better for making french fries, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.
Get creative to make cooking fun. Following a recipe is not fun if you do not add a personal touch. Add things to flavor and shake up the recipe to make it your own. That is a sign of a true cook!
Learn to love stacking cooling racks. When making several batches of yummy cookies or other treats, the finished batches can use up all your counter space while cooling. If you need more room, buy some cooling racks that can be stacked. When you stack vertically, you only need a few inches of spare space.
Prepare the perfect sandwich for your guests by spreading the mayo evenly everywhere on the bread. People don’t generally pay attention to perfection in sandwiches so just dollop the mayo into the middle. Properly spreading the mayo will guarantee a flavorful sandwich with every bite.
In order to eliminate some strong odors caused by items such as garlic or other pungent foods, just use stainless steel on your hands for a few seconds prior to washing them. It does not matter if you use a spoon, a side of your stainless-steel sink, or a “soap bar” made of stainless-steel; rubbing your hand on it neutralizes the undesirable smell and freshens your hands.
Do as much cooking prep work as you can ahead of time to minimize the stress you experience in the kitchen. It will speed up preparation time, and you will avoid discovering you are short an ingredient halfway through. You may be able to find a suitable substitute in the pantry but it’s better to have the proper ingredients.
There are much better ways to heat tortillas. The first way you can heat tortillas is in the oven. You need to have an oven that is heated to 350 degrees. Place the tortillas on a rack until they are as crispy as you want them to be. Place a tortilla on the grill directly above the flame on the gas stove top as an alternative. These methods will give you a fresher tasting tortilla.
One unique grilling option is fruit. Slice up nectarines, melons and peaches and then thread them onto a skewer. Cook them until you see the grill marks on them. Use the cooked fruit to top off a serving of grilled pound cake or a dish of ice cream.
As you’ve read, there are a variety of ways that cooking can be made fun and exciting, and not just a chore. If you follow these tips, then you will realize cooking can be a creative undertaking and doesn’t have to be boring or tiresome.
Put your ketchup right in the batter for more flavorful fried foods. Ketchup is a tasty condiment when used for dipping finished foods, but you can also dip chicken, veggies, or other breaded foods into it before rolling them in breadcrumbs. Adding ketchup or another sauce will add more flavor to your recipe.