Cooking may seem to be a chore, but it is also an enjoyable hobby once you know the basics. With good information and equipment and a little advice from a friend who is a good cook, anybody can learn to cook. You are sure to find some of that quality advice in the article that follows.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Their flavor will suffer if they are exposed to heat, humidity, and light. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Whole spices might retain their flavors for three to five years. Storing your spices properly can help you achieve a longer shelf-life for your spices.
Before attempting to prepare food with skewers, take a few things to heart. To get a better hold on the food, use a square or twisted type metal skewer.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
When you want to cook your meat in strips, do it while it is slightly frozen. This method is great for oriental meals that require small strips. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.
It’s very important to have good, sharp knives for cooking. Dull knives are hard to cut with and they are also dangerous. It is more likely that you will cut yourself while trying to get a dull knife to cut something than when you use a well-sharpened knife.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
The process of boiling vegetables will remove a portion of their nutrients. You can keep all those healthy nutrients by using a quick method of cooking like steaming or by eating the vegetables raw.
It is possible to lower the fat and calorie content of mashed potatoes without impacting the taste or texture by replacing some of the potato content with cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.
Do you love to cook with fresh basil? Store the basil in a jar. Next, put water on the stems until they are covered. Keep it on a kitchen counter so you remember to use it. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. While the basil is alive and thriving, make sure you trim the leaves in order to progress the growth of the plant. You will have plenty of fresh basil on hand.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. Sprinkle it on roasted pumpkin seeds to create a savory snack, or add it to your scrambled eggs. Simply sprinkling on these kinds of seasonings can turn your dish into an instant hit.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Put some fresh basil into a glass. Cover the stems with water. Just put it out in an open space to maintain its freshness. If you change the water occasionally, the basil will even grow roots in the water. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.
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. And don’t worry, your sauce will still taste great even after freezing.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Recipes should be examined and items that won’t spoil that can be prepared a day or two ahead should be done first. There is a lot you can do the day before to prepare for the next day’s meal. This can make even the most difficult recipes fun and easy.
If your burgers tend to stick to your grill, it might be hard to cook them while preserving their shape. To prevent this, brush the grill with a bit of vegetable oil to keep your foods from sticking.
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.
Make sure to measure the amount of cooking oil you use! To make sure the fat content in your food is as low as possible, carefully measure the oil you cook with instead of just eye-balling it. This lets you keep an eye on just how much oil you use.
Garlic is a wonderful taste, but not such a wonderful smell to have on your hands. After you are done working with garlic and any other odoriferous ingredients, try rubbing your hands firmly on the inside of your stainless steel sink. This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
If preparing dinner becomes overwhelming, try to get some of the prep work done the night before. Before you head to bed at night do your best to cut up vegetables and onions, marinating meat, or making some sauce. Cooking will be less stressful if you have prepared everything in advance.
By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. In addition, you will then be able to indulge in fruits that aren’t in season.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
After eating turkey, whether for Thanksgiving or otherwise, do not throw away the leftovers. Instead, cut them up and put them in an airtight package and place it in your freezer. This will keep the meat fresh for a couple of weeks. When you are ready to use it, you can make sandwiches or have it in a salad.
Fresh garlic is ideal when preparing dishes that call for garlic. A good rule of thumb is that fresh garlic will have a sweet taste to it. Fresh garlic should feel firm, the cloves full, and the bulb should not be bruised or have any discoloration.
Keep your supplies and utensils well organized. Disorganization will have you rushing around the kitchen in a frenzy looking for your equipment, ingredients and utensils. Put like items with other like items. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
If you desire to keep your spices fresh, preserve them in a chilled, comfortable area until your next meal. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
Before preparing any sort of dish, you must ensure that your utensils are clean. If there is leftover food on your utensils from the last meal you cooked, it could contaminate the food you are making now. This could spread harmful bacteria into your food, and could be detrimental to your health.
Blot your ground beef with a paper towel before you brown it. Take a paper towel and soak up any extra moisture on ground beef before you cook it. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when it’s cooked. The moisture will sizzle before your meat does. Instead of searing the way it should, the meat will most likely steam.
Make washing dishes part of your cooking routine. Make sure that one side of the sink always has soapy hot water in it and the other side has clear water for rinsing in it. Washing the dishes as you go along will make the final clean up much easier.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Use recipes as guidelines rather than step-by-step instructions. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Sometimes that’s the best sort of cooking!
Whenever you are sauteing something, be sure that you do not put too much food in 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. Be sure that you do this when the temperature is low too.
If you are going to have a barbecue, then prepare your grill in advance so that you can start grilling right away. You should try to have everything ready 30 minutes prior to your cook time. The coals should be at medium heat and they should be ash covered. This is optimum grilling temperature.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you are cooking your meats properly. There is a temperature that is recommended for the different types of meat that indicates it is safe to eat. If the meat is not properly cooked, bacteria that exists on meat will not be eliminated, and you can get very sick as a result.
Trussing is when you tie your turkey with string. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If it isn’t trussed, then the extremities are more likely to burn.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. You will be able to find the best way to cook this new ingredient and have more fun.
Set 2 different timers, like the one on your oven and one on a watch or phone. If you use a watch or a cellphone as a timer, you will be sure to hear the alarm go off even if you are out of the kitchen.
Use a cooling rack that is stackable. If you do not have this, your cooking area will be cluttered with cooling cookies and baking pans. Enter stackable cooking racks to save the day. Instead of an ocean of cookies taking up your countertop, they are all stacked on the cooking racks, which means you can prepare something else while they cool.
To get a firm shell for twice baked potatoes or potato skins, use a baking potato with a thicker skin. Varieties such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes have thin skins that aren’t sturdy enough for heavy fillings.
To avoid a greasy mess, don’t reheat meals that contain a lot of oil in a microwave. Instead, reheat the meals by baking them in an oven. Microwave radiation heats oil faster than the rest of the leftovers, which means the oil starts separating from all other ingredients involved. However, if you bake the dish, it will be heated evenly, keeping its ingredients and taste intact.
If you cookware is nonstick, do not use metal utensils when cooking. If you use a harder surface, such as wood or metal, it can scar up the nonstick coating, which means that you could end up with nonstick surface in your dinner. This could not only be dangerous, but also very unappetizing.
Using a baked potato instead of a small one can help you to have nice thick skins to use to make twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes are not suitable, because their skin is not thick enough and the filling may break through.
If you have the time, you should try fishing to get fresh fish. If a person can catch and cook his or her own fish, the family will enjoy a fresh seafood dish that has been truly earned.
Cooking dinner for a party or large get-together can be stressful and overwhelming. Rather than allowing yourself to panic at the last minute, you should complete all of the preparations on the night before. Ingredients can be measured, vegetables chopped, and marinades mixed well in advance of the start of the main cooking process.
To add some interest to an ear of corn or a dinner roll, make a flavored butter. Soften the butter in the microwave, or let it soften to room temperature. Then mix in herbs, spices or sauces to add an extra burst of flavor. Use a flavoring that complements other components of your meal; lemon, honey and barbecue are all popular summer flavors.
Getting dinner on the table is just part of cooking as a whole. There is a challenge in creating a dish to delight the senses. If you are ready to make a dream meal, take a look at this advice to help you on your way. If you want to be a better cook, heed these suggestions.
When you are making a salad to take somewhere or just making one ahead of time, make it in layers. Make sure that the ingredients that are the most moist are on the bottom. On the top you should place the ingredients that get too soggy or will wilt.