Food is necessary for survival. But eating can be more than just having food in order to live. As fulfilling as eating can be, cooking a great meal is equally as fulfilling. Here are a couple tips to help take your cooking expertise to a whole new level.
If you are baking crusts for a pie or tart, you will probably need to bake them for a while longer than you thought. Pastry crust should be baked to a golden caramel color rather than a pale blond shade. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
When you decide to cook with skewers there are a few strategies to keep in mind. Squared or twisted metal skewers secure the food better than rounded ones.
Consider adding oil to your pan’s side, rather than in the middle, so that your food is already heated when they come into contact. The flavor will be greatly enhanced when it has completed cooking.
Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. Herbs and spices can quickly lose their flavor if exposed to continuous light or heat. Spices and herbs that are ground usually retain their flavor for close to a year. Spices that are whole will retain flavor longer, closer to 3-5 years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.
Meat can easily be sliced into thin strips if it is partially frozen. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. However, to make sure that the meat cooks evenly, take the time to let it thaw out prior to cooking.
If you are baking crusts for a pie or tart, you will probably need to bake them for a while longer than you thought. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
When you season meats, try cooking a little piece prior to the entire piece. Many foods, like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs take careful seasoning to taste great. Don’t cook it all at once after you have seasoned it. Cook a tiny portion of it in the shape of a patty first. Then, you could either cook it like that or add more seasonings accordingly.
Slice meat thinly on the bias for stir-fry dishes. Sometimes, however, this can be a little challenging and tedious. Take the meat out as soon its gets firm (not frozen), then cut it across the grain at a forty-five degree angle.
Cooking vegetables for a long time robs them of the critical nutrients that make them a healthy choice. To get the greatest health benefit from vegetables, cook them quickly with methods like steaming or sauteing, or serve them raw.
When cooking for someone that you want to impress, it is a good idea to cook foods that you are comfortable with cooking. Do not attempt to take on a fancy new recipe, or use ingredients you have not previously worked with. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.
Garlic may be a tasty addition to your meals, but the smell that stays on your hands is a bit of a downside. To remove the odor, simply take your hands and rub them against the sides of a stainless-steel sink. This works for garlic and for other foods that leave behind a strong odor on your hands. Not only will your hands smell better, but the next food you touch won’t have a garlicky smell.
Did you ever feel guilty for tossing moldy fruits in the garbage? Is it alright to cut out the rotten part and save them? It is impossible for you to save fruit that has already begun to rot. Get rid of anything that has mold on it. Mold goes deeper than the eye can see and could be very harmful.
When burgers and other foods become stuck to the grill grates, it can be hard to loosen them without damaging the food. Before you put the burgers on the surface of the grill, you should brush it with some oil.
Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. Allowing the sliced potatoes to soak up more cold fluids helps to reinforce the fibers that are in the vegetable, that way when they are deep fried, they are better able to stand up to the heat and won’t completely break down.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. Chicken broth is an excellent base to use when preparing vegetable dishes that helps keep them from sticking and gives them some flavor. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. Vegetables which are cooked slowly can lose their taste and valuable nutrients. These cooking techniques are much healthier. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.
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. Also, use two skewers through your food to help secure it, so it doesn’t end up on the ground.
Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
Sauteing vegetables in a little chicken broth is a healthful way to cook them. The chicken broth will make the vegetables taste a lot better, and you will be able to avoid using other oils that may add fat and calories. You will love this cooking style if you just give it a try!
Dry ingredients and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. This is a good way to keep your food fresh and protect it from bacteria and bugs. It is possible to buy these containers almost anywhere and they are well worthwhile.
Buy fresh cloves of garlic and mince them yourself for use in recipes. The fresher your garlic, the sweeter a taste it will have. Fresh garlic is hard, not wrinkled, or mushy-feeling.
If you struggle to find time to make dinner every night, do some of your prep work the morning before. Start cutting up your ingredients the night before to gain time. When you decide to cook the following day you’ll have less to do and become less stressed, this lets you focus on your main cooking tasks.
Measure the oil you use when cooking! To lower some fat content in foods, always measure your oil when you are cooking, do not pour it from the bottle right in the pan. Measuring your oil is the only way to control the impact it has on the flavor and fat content of your dish.
If you decide on using fresh herbs, gather them in bunches and snip the stems with scissors. This is perfect for flavorful herbs like dill and parsley. This will keep them drier and less heavy than if they are chopped.
If you’re pressed for time and are making a roast, it helps if you fix a bone-in roast. The heat will focus in the bone and cook the meat from the inside. Simply cut the meat from around the bone when the roast is done cooking, and serve it to your family or guests. No one will be any the wiser.
Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. A lot of people do not wait long enough before serving food. Many people are tempted to rush food to the table when serving a meal. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. Always allow your meat sit for about 5 minutes before eating.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. The water from the pasta contains starch that, when mixed with your sauce, will create a creamy texture.
It will be very helpful to have all cooking supplies nicely organized. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. Group similar items together, and keep them in the same area. As an example, keep all of your spices stored in one cabinet for ease.
Sprinkle a small amount of salt over your cutting board surface before chopping your herbs. This keeps your herbs on the cutting board and can add a bit of 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. The salt you put on the board will stick to the herbs and add a bit of flavor.
New spices should be purchased every six months. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.
If you are cooking a simple meal, add some seasonings and fresh herbs to add some flavor. If you are making a more complex dish, use dried herbs such as oregano or basil. Fresh herbs have a stronger flavor and can improve the taste of any dish. To keep yourself always supplied with herbs you might want to grow some of your own.
You may have heard master chefs on TV say, “Let the meat rest before serving it.” Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. But many foods need to “rest” for a few minutes before being served in order to taste their best. You always want the meal to sit or rest for a short time.
Use an oven timer as well as a watch timer. Having the second timer on a watch insures that you’ll hear the beep even if you aren’t right in the kitchen.
Be careful to rinse raw diced onions with cold water and blot dry before putting them in salads, sauces or salsa. Onions that are raw have sulfurous gas in them. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. Rinsing the onions with cold water removes this gas.
To make use of those ends of vegetables and bits of leftover meat sitting in your refrigerator, create a satisfying wok filled with homemade fried rice. Believe it or not, day-old rice actually has the best texture and flavor, but you can improve the texture of fresh rice by cutting back on water. Fry your meats and vegetables in some oil. Then add rice and season it.
Learning how to cook is as much fun as eating. Utilize the advice above in you cooking, and always make sure to tweak and experiment to add a personal touch to any dish you prepare. Your skills in the kitchen will get better, and you will be the one that people look forward to seeing when you show up at an event with a platter of something yummy.
Dark leafy greens can be considered a pain to prepare, but they are very healthy. It could become annoying when removing their tough stems. To make it easier, take the leaf and fold it lengthwise, then cut out the stem in the middle. You can also use a knife in order to cut from the folded leaf the stem. Simply open up the leaf now and enjoy greens that are free from stems.