Sometimes, your kitchen may seem uninteresting. You can change this by taking up a hobby, like cooking. Your kitchen will transform into a place that you like to be, and you’ll be able to make delicious meals the whole family will love. Keep reading for some new and exciting cooking ideas.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. This can take a lot of time and be hard to do. Cut your meat as it is still a little frozen and cut it at a forty five degree angle, with the bias.
Cooking with skewers can provide very beneficial if you use them properly. Twisted or square shaped metal skewers hold the food better than round ones will.
When you add seasoning to your meats, test a little bit before you cook the whole thing. Certain foods require very careful seasonings, especially dishes like meatballs, meatloaf and burgers. Spices and seasonings added when the meat is fully cooked are unlikely to stick. It is a good idea to cook a small portion of the meat first. You can adjust the seasoning if you don’t like it.
Your meat need to be sliced thinly across the grain when you are preparing stir-fry. This can get a little tricky and does tend to take up some time. Use meat that is firm, but unfrozen, and slice the meat across the grain, at 45 degrees.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
Always keep your spices away from light in a cool place. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. Spices stored in a cool, dark location will taste better and last longer. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. The right way to clean the mushrooms would be by hand, using a clean, wet cloth.
Apples are used a great deal to cook in the winter and fall months, however it is important to store them properly to prevent spoiling. Apples keep best when they are stored in a cool location where there is plenty of air circulation. If one of the apples in a bag begins spoiling, the rest will soon follow.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. If you make a large pot of stock, you can freeze it and store it for future use. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. Once your stock is finished, cool it and put it in heavy freezer bags.
When cooking pumpkins, first set the pumpkin upright; then slice it down the center, cutting it in half. Set each half cut-side down on its own baking sheet. Make sure you sprinkle some water on the sheets. Bake the pumpkin for an hour.
Do you cook often with fresh basil? Try putting a bunch of basil that is fresh inside a glass. Add some water to cover the stems. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. If you keep the water as fresh as you can, roots will start growing. Cut or trim the basil occasionally to encourage additional growth and you can enjoy fresh basil for some time!
You can make dried tomatoes yourself. To be able to dry them yourself, cut the tomatoes half an inch thick, or you should cut Romas lengthwise in half. You should place them on cooling rack, and salt them lightly with the cut side up. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
Finding the correct amount of time to grill certain meats is a science that not many of us know how to do. You need to use a good meat thermometer so that you can be sure that the inside of the meat is cooked properly. To reduce cooking times on thick meat, lower the lid on your grill.
Find a convenient cool dark place for storing herbs and spices. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.
The best way to prepare fresh herbs, like parsley or dill, is to bunch them together and cut them up with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. That tasty chicken stock is very versatile and can be perfect for your next stew, casserole or soup. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Use your own stock for more flavorful food. If you make it in large quantities, you can store the excess in resealable bags in your freezer. Doing so will give you the best stock for any dish that calls for it. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.
Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. You may think it is best to serve your meat right off the grill so it is piping hot. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.
Read labels when shopping for recipe ingredients. There are many hidden, unhealthy ingredients put into common cooking preparations. Make sure that an item does not contain too much salt or sugar. Both of those substances can damage the body and lead to serious health issues.
Stay creative and have fun when cooking. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. Give the recipe your own personal twist by leaving an ingredient or two out, substituting, or adding something. These little changes can result in an exceptionally good dish that is better than the original recipe! That is how a real cook gets it cooking!
Before cooking pumpkins, cut them up and place them on a baking sheet flesh side up. Place them on an ungreased baking pan with the cut side down. Put a little water on the sheet and then bake the pumpkin halves for about an hour at 350 degrees.
It is important to cook your meat properly, so always have a meat thermometer on hand. All of the different meats require a certain internal temperature in order for it to be safe to eat. All types of bacteria live on meat. Therefore, if the bacteria is not properly cooked, it can stay on the meat, and cause you to get sick.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry, cool, dark place. Your spices can become less spicy if you expose them to humidity, heat, or light. Such close proximity to these three factors will cause your spices to lose their flavors.
Do not use any wine when cooking a recipe that you do not think normally tastes good. You run the risk of ruining the taste of the dish if you use a wine you haven’t tried before. If you want a safe bet, most liquor stores carry cooking wines.
Keep close watch when baking to avoid under cooking or overcooking a cake. While the recommended baking times are good guidelines, they can be affected by factors like elevation. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake instead. If you stick a toothpick in your cake, and when you pull it out, it does not have any batter on it, the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven.
If it can be hectic getting dinner ready in time, try preparing ingredients the night before. Start cutting up your ingredients the night before to gain time. Your stress levels will be lessened, and you will be more ready to whip up your meal!
You can make a simple dish much better with seasonings and herbs. Dried herbs and spices can be used for complex recipes that have a plethora of flavors. However, herbs that are fresh are superior and provide a more flavorful, stronger taste overall. If your situation allows, plant an herb garden, so that you are never at a loss for fresh herbs.
Save on cooking time by prepping ahead of getting started. You may even be able to prepare your ingredients a day or more in advance. Some ingredients even benefit from advance preparation, developing a better flavor that will enhance the quality of your meal when you cook it. Once you get in the habit of advanced prep, you may never return.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. The dried tomatoes can be put in plastic bags and frozen. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. Dried tomatoes should be stored within the refrigerator and used within two weeks.
Oysters are best when served fresh, but consider the different ways to prepare them. Oysters can be prepared in multiple ways even though they are typically eaten on the half shell with a smidge of lemon juice. Put opened oysters in their shells on a broiler pan, and cover with a little cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and some freshly grated pepper, and the broil until they are bubbling. Sauteing your oysters is another great idea. Just drop them in some seasoned flour, then fry them in butter until they turn golden- about 2 minutes. Another way is to keep the oysters in their shell and bake. Lay the oysters inside a casserole dish. Put a little bit of butter and a sprinkle of some fresh breadcrumbs on each oyster. Once the oven reaches 425 degrees, bake them for approximately four or five minutes. Remove when the juices and butter start to bubble; serve immediately, accompanied by a freshly-toasted baguette.
A pantry or other cool, dark space will preserve the flavor of herbs and spices the longest. Cabinets located above stoves or other warm corners of your kitchen are bad places to store spices and herbs, as doing so will sacrifice both taste and eventually dollars.
While creaming butter for cookies, it has to be soft but not to the point of being melted. If your butter is melted, put the bowl in the freezer to solidify it a little bit, or just put the dough in the refrigerator. When the dough is colder it will not spread as much when you’re making cookies.
To reduce the amount of stress you experience when cooking a complicated dish, you can prepare some of the ingredients the night before you need them. You can place all of your ingredients in a designated area so that you can be sure that you have all of the ingredients to prepare the dish. You can then chop fruits or vegetables and measure all dry ingredients that you need for the recipe. You will only have to get everything put together when it’s time for you to cook.
Making a simple dish of fried rice is a great way to make use of the leftover meat and vegetables in the refrigerator. Use cool rice from the day before or cook fresh rice with less water that you would normally use. You start by stir-frying meat. Once is is almost all the way cooked, remove it to fry the veggies. Once the veggies are nicely crisp, return the meat to wok, and add in the cold rice. Apply spices, such as ginger or garlic, and soy sauce to complete the meal.
Try these tips and come up with your own ones. Make great food that you and your family will enjoy like meals that you can relax with and savor. Cooking will not only provide you with the nutrients you need to survive, but it can also allow you to find a relaxing way to express yourself. Make the kitchen the heart of your home.
To take the stress out of cooking time, pull out all of your ingredients beforehand. By doing this, you avoid the hassle of making it through half of a recipe and realizing you are missing a key ingredient. Laying out all the necessary tools and ingredients ahead of time takes little effort and can potentially save you from some big headaches.