It is a fact that people need to eat if they want to survive. But doesn’t everyone want to do more than survive? It is better to cook something great than to eat something wonderful. Included in what you’re about to read is advice on how to cook better.
When you are making stir-fry dishes, make certain the meat is thinly sliced on the bias. This can take a lot of time and be hard. Then take the meat of out the freezer when it has firmed up a little, but has not frozen yet, and cut the meat at 45 degrees with the grain.
Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. Their flavor will suffer if they are exposed to heat, humidity, and light. Ground spices, when stored correctly, can retain flavor for up to a year. Spices that have not been ground may still be worth using for three years or a little more. You must store them correctly in order to maintain their freshness.
You should try a small portion of the meat you are cooking when seasoning meats. It’s hard to correct overly seasoned meat but spices can always be added. Avoid cooking all of it after it’s been seasoned. Instead, make a small patty out of a little piece and cook that first. After you do this you can either completely cook it or add more seasoning as you see fit.
If you are learning to cook for yourself or your family, pick up a cookbook from your bookstore or library. Look for one that has basic, easy recipes that will be fun to cook. Focus on one recipe at a time and give yourself enough time to improve your cooking.
It is extremely important that your knives are always sharp. Knives that have not been sharpened in a while can not only pose a threat to your health, but also a threat to smashing your food. You’re less likely to cut yourself chopping up a vegetable with the clean, fast strokes of a sharp knife, than when you are forcing and wiggling a dull knife.
Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
When creating a meal for someone you are friends with or fond of, try making what you already are good at making. Avoid the temptation to try a new dish or ingredient. This will make cooking less stressful.
There’s an easy way to save thin sauces. You need to mix 2 tablespoons filled with water and 1 tablespoon filled with corn starch in a bowl. Add this mix to your sauce to thicken it. Adding the cornstarch mixture slowly and continuing to stir helps you judge the proper thickness of your sauce.
Have you ever felt sorry for throwing away moldy fruits? Should you save the moldy fruit and cut away the bad parts? Trying to salvage fruit when half of it is bad may save money, but it is not worth the health risks. Rid yourself of this fruit. The mold can run deep and can make you sick if eaten.
To make slicing meat into thin strips a little easier, partially freeze it. This works especially well for meats to be used with Asian recipes. The meat holds a tighter form when the it is partially frozen making the strips clean cut with out any stretching of the meat. However, always thaw your food before cooking it.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. Vegetables that are slowly and thoroughly cooked, are less tasty and nutritious than vegetables that are cooked briefly. A plus is that faster cooking methods usually yield vegetables which are, generally, simply better for you health. The less time you take to cook them, the better your vegetables will be.
Sometimes, your burgers can stick onto the grill. This makes removing them extremely difficult or impossible without compromising their shape. To prevent this, brush the grill with a bit of vegetable oil to keep your foods from sticking.
Do you enjoy the flavor of fresh basil? Place some basil in a clean glass. Add water to cover the stems. Basil will stay fresh in bowl of water for up to four weeks. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Trim your plant on occasion and you will encourage future growth. This means you will have fresh basil in your kitchen for a long time to come!
When you cook a pumpkin, the first step is to slice in in half vertically. Place each half on a baking sheet. Spray a bit of water on each baking sheet, and then put both into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about an hour.
Nearly any recipe benefits from using fresh ingredients rather than the frozen or dried version. Use whatever seasonal ingredients are available to create tasty dishes, which are also less expensive.
Buy your garlic as fresh as possible for any dish that needs the flavorful ingredient. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste than old garlic. You can identify fresh garlic by its lack of bruising and firm skin.
Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
If you’re feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, consider doing much of the prep work the evening before cooking. For example, you can chop any vegetables and herbs you will need and store them in the refrigerator, as well as marinating whatever meat you will be preparing the next evening. You will save a lot of time, and feel much less stressed when you have to cook.
Tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein. Both beans and tofu are readily available in most grocery stores. Tofu can be pan-fried with some seasonings, and makes a tasty meat alternative. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
Keep those turkey leftovers after the big meal. Try cutting them up, storing them in a container that is airtight, and then place them in the freezer. The turkey will stay fresh for quite a few weeks if you follow these tips. It is a great way to ensure you can have sandwiches for weeks to come.
When making food that relies on seasonings, use some every few minutes, versus using it all at the start. By cooking in this way, you can help different seasonings “open up” and release their flavor into the dish without overpowering it.
It will be very helpful to have all cooking supplies nicely organized. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Store similar items together in the same place. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. Then put them on a rack that you might use to cool cookies and then lightly cover them with salt. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. You can then freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock bags. Dried tomatoes can be placed into a jar that is filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You can make remarkably flavorful dishes by making your stock yourself. Making a large amount allows you to store some in the freezer for future meals. This allows you to have savory homemade stock available that you can use for various dishes, like soup. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.
If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. When you do this, you will have delicious, healthy stock ready-to-use whenever you make soups and stews. Homemade soup stock or bullion is a wonderful way to eliminate high sodium and preservatives that are present in commercially made products from your diet.
When boiling pasta, salt the cooking water generously. The seasonings in the water will infuse the pasta thoroughly. Salting pasta after cooking will not be as effective in enhancing the flavor.
When you want to chop herbs, sprinkle some salt on your cutting board. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. The salt that is added to your dish with the herbs will provide enough flavor.
Be creative with your approach to cooking. The instructions for a recipe aren’t set in stone. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. That’s the true indication of a skilled chef!
Purchase quality utensils for your kitchen. Not only will you save time by not having to mess with dull knives, but it is also much safer to use a sharp utensil than a dull one! You are less likely to harm yourself with a sharp knife than a dull one.
For an improvement to your pasta sauce, save some of the water used to cook the pasta. Set aside a small amount of the water, about one quarter cup. Before adding the sauce to the pasta, mix in the cooking water. The water from the pasta contains starch that, when mixed with your sauce, will create a creamy texture.
A meat thermometer should be used to ensure that meat is being cooked properly. There is a temperature that is recommended for the different types of meat that indicates it is safe to eat. If meat is under cooked, the bacteria in the meat can be consumed, which could result in illness.
If you want to cook with a vegetable or fruit that you haven’t used before, take time to learn more about it. It can be a wonderful surprise to see all that you can do with a new food item. You can have much more fun when cooking if you do some prep work and research ahead of time.
Spices and herbs should be kept in a dark place that is cool and dry. Flavor loss occurs when they are exposed to heat, light and humidity. This will ensure your spices will not be as good to use.
Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. Many ingredients can be prepared a few days before you actually cook the meal for which they’re needed. There are many cases in which the flavor of the ingredients is actually improved by early preparation. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
When you know how to cook, it be as entertaining as actually eating. Apply these tips and practice with different recipes until you feel more comfortable. Your skills will quickly improve if you try making something every day. Soon your friends will be impressed and enjoy your new skills more than you suspect.
An excellent cooking method is brine. Soak your proteins, especially poultry, in a brine for an hour prior to cooking to really pull out the inherent flavors.