A simple few secrets could make you a much better cook. This article will let you know the ins and outs, along with the secrets of what it takes to be a good cook. Read them in their entirety to ensure you learn exactly what it takes to get cooking like a pro!
When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. It is essential to have all prep work finished before it’s time to begin cooking. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. You can spare yourself a great deal of hassle by doing prep work in advance.
Give pie and tart crust a little longer baking time than you normally would for the best results. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.
A sharp knife is imperative when preparing food. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. It is much easier to cut yourself trying to force a dull knife through a vegetable, than cutting it with a sharp knife.
Cut your meat as thin as you can if you are using it in a stir-fry. This may take some patience and it can be a bit time-consuming. Take the meat out of the freezer once it firms up (not frozen) then cut at an angle of 45 degrees across the grainy part of the meat.
Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. 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. If you learn to cook vegetables for the right amount of time, it will help to keep them tasty and preserve nutrients.
If you partially freeze meat before slicing it, you will find that it is much easier to cut it into thin strips. This is great to do when you need to slice meat thinly for Chinese or Thai meals. By marginally freezing meat, slicing it is made cleaner, as its fibers will not tear quite as easily. Having said that, you must be certain to let the meat strips thaw out prior to cooking them to ensure even cooking.
Do you have trouble deciding how long to grill your meat? It is always good to use a meat thermometer to determine when your meat is properly cooked. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.
If you need to season your meat, prepare a small portion and taste it prior to cooking the entire amount. Items such as burgers, meatballs and other meat dishes need deliberate, specific seasoning. Hold off on cooking the entire dish until you have checked the seasoning. Just cook a small piece formed into a patty. After doing this, you can either adjust the seasoning to better suit your tastes, or just continue to cook the meat as is.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.
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. With a dull knife, you may have to struggle to cut a vegetable, making it more likely that you will get injured in the process. Using a sharp knife will make it easier to cut that vegetable, so you are less likely to get hurt.
When you are planning to use skewers for your cooking, always soak wooden skewers for at least thirty minutes in water prior to use. This helps them avoid burning when you cook. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
Do you feel like you’re wasting money when you throw away a piece of moldy fruit? Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? There is, unfortunately, no good way to save fruit that is half-rotten. These foods can cause you to become ill, as mold goes much deeper than the eye can see.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! Both beans and tofu are readily available in most grocery stores. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Vegetables which are cooked slowly can lose their taste and valuable nutrients. As an added benefit, these techniques tend to produce healthier vegetables in general. It is worth it to take the time to use cooking methods that preserve the most nutrients.
When purchasing recipe ingredients, always carefully read the label. Cooking staples can be full of not-so-nice things that can spoil your health. By reading the labels, you can check to see if the product contains sugars or sodium in high amounts. Sugars and sodium can be detrimental to your health if over consumed.
Properly frozen fresh fruit can stay good for up to a year. This will help you to have fruit whenever you want it, even when it is out of season.
You should think big when preparing chicken stock. Plan to make a big pot of stock so you can freeze and store it. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. Try cooking your veggies in chicken broth. It adds a nice flavor, and the veggies will not stick to the pan. Chicken broth can be found at any grocery store, and is very low priced.
When serving a salad for guests that accompanies a meal, avoid pouring dressing on it. Leave the dressing on the side instead. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. Offer many different types of salad dressing as well.
In the interests of eating sensibly and losing weight, it is essential to use less oil when cooking. These types of foods contain many unnecessary fats you can live without. To achieve the same results as oil without the unhealthy fat, try using a nonstick spray.
Only cook with wine that you have tasted before and that you enjoy. If you select wine that you do not enjoy or use a bottle that you have never tried, you may not like how your food turns out. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.
If you choose the wooden versions of cooking skewers, it is a good idea to immerse them in water, and leave them there for about half an hour before using them. This way, you don’t burn them when you are cooking with them. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
Many vegetable and herbs give off a smell that tends to remain in your chopping board, even though you scrub it over and over again. You can mark your cutting boards with permanent marker to tell which one or which side is for each type of food.
If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. The taste of the wine will be reflected in your meal. Try using wines that are sold specifically for cooking.
Organize your materials as best as possible, if you desire to prevent the hazards of burns in the kitchen. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. Being disorganized can make it quite easy to make it impossible to find things when you need them, which makes you miss out on the goodies that you could be indulging in.
Once your meat is finished cooking, let it sit before serving it. Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. Eating it so quickly after cooking doesn’t give the juices or flavors enough time to sink down into the meats, or whatever you may be preparing. Always let the meal cool and sit for a little while.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Place the cooling rack on a cookie sheet and dry in a 190 degree oven for up to 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. Save approximately 1/4 cup of water after cooking your pasta. When the time comes to add the sauce to the pasta, add this water as well. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.
There’s almost always leftovers after serving turkey. Rather, cut up the meat and store in in the freezer. Leftover turkey can be used for enchiladas, pot pie, sandwiches and salads.
Get all your preparations done and ready before you begin cooking a meal. This way, you can prevent distractions like hot oil in pans or other distractions. You can also save on gas and heat by not turning on appliances before you are ready.
You should let your meal rest for a little bit. Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. It may be tempting to get the food to the table as quickly as possible. Eating it so quickly after cooking doesn’t give the juices or flavors enough time to sink down into the meats, or whatever you may be preparing. Always let the meal cool and sit for a little while.
Take care to not overfill your pan when you are sauteing. The moisture that the extra food volume adds will cause the food to steam, which means it won’t be as crispy as intended. Make sure you do this at a low temperature as well.
You do not need to cook something elaborate to impress others. A simple sandwich with mayo or mustard perfectly spread to each corner of the bread can make a lasting impression. Often people tend to hurry and the mayo ends up on only part of the sandwich. An even spread will ensure that every single bite tastes as it should.
Different varieties of potatoes can have specific uses; you cannot always use one type in lieu of another. Waxy potatoes are good for boiling or using in potato salads, but they make poor french fries or mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes are best suited for baking or mashing, or for making french fries.
As said preciously, there are some easy tricks you can learn to cook well. To some it comes naturally, but for others, they need as much advice as they can get. After reading, you can become the cook you want to be.
If you are combining sugar and butter for a cookie recipe, it is essential that the butter is soft but not melted. If the butter is melted, put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a minute or two to stiffen it up. You could also put the entire cookie dough mixture in the refrigerator. If your dough is on the cooler side, you cookies will not spread too much.