How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
All of the prep work can be done ahead of time. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. When properly stored, ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for up to a year. You may retain your spice’s flavor for about 5 years. If you store them properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
It is essential that you are prepared before you start to cook a meal to serve to your loved ones. Make sure you have everything you need to make your food. Get everything set to cook the next day. Determine if you have you got the right utensils, etc. This will help to alleviate your anxiety and maximize your potential.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
Store your spices in a cool, dark place. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. Fresh spices offer better taste profiles than stale ones.
To make slicing meat into thin strips a little easier, partially freeze it. This works well for Asian dishes, like Chinese or Thai. There’s less tearing of the semi-frozen meat as it’s cleanly sliced. The strips should be allowed to fully thaw before they are cooked so that they can cook evenly.
People want to use apples very often in fall and winter, but unless they are stored properly, they will spoil rapidly. Warm, dry air rots apples, so they need to be stored in loosely tied bags, and then placed in the fridge or cool area. Check your apples regularly. If one apple starts rotting, the whole bag will be spoiled.
Did you ever regret throwing moldy fruit away? Have you ever tried to salvage a fruit by slicing away the bad-looking part? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. Throw the fruit away as mold can grow beyond just what the eye can see, which could end up making you sick.
Do you have trouble determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? The best way to cook meat consistently is to invest in a digital meat thermometer that gives accurate readings of the temperature inside the meat. Close the top of the grill to cook meat faster if you use meat that is more than 1.5 inches thick.
People tend to use a lot of apples for cooking in the fall and winter months, but if they are stored incorrectly they will quickly spoil. Apples spoil in warm, dry air, so keep them in a refrigerator or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied. However, you will still need to keep a watchful eye on your apples. Even properly stored apples can spoil. They’re a fickle fruit.
If your burgers tend to stick to your grill, it might be hard to cook them while preserving their shape. To prevent this in the future, brush a bit of vegetable oil onto the grates before adding the food.
If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. You will then have it readily available for when you need to make a quick and easy meal. All that needs to be done is to warm it up in a pan. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.
If you have a tight deadline to cook a roast, leave the bone in the piece of meat. The meat cooks faster because the bone will carry the heat through the inside of the roast, helping it cook from the inside out. When you are done cooking the roast cut it off the bone.
By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy out-of-season fruits when no one else can!
If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. You risk the final flavor of any dish if you make it with an unfamiliar wine or one with an off taste. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.
Do not use any kind of wine in your cooking that you haven’t tasted on your own. The taste of the wine will be reflected in your meal. Try using wines that are sold specifically for cooking.
Stop! Don’t throw away those turkey leftovers! Take the leftovers, cut them up, put in a container and store in the freezer for future use. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
One of the most important things every cook needs is a well organized kitchen. You will consistently find it difficult to locate necessary items in a disorganized kitchen. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. The flavor of spices diminishes if they sit around for too long. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. You can make stock in large quantities if you wish, then store it in bags and put it in the freezer. 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.
You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. When your cooking area is organized, you will be more productive and avoid errors. If you just cook without a plan, you will waste lots of food, which is the same as wasting lots of money.
You can reduce the cleanup required from meal preparation by washing dishes as you use them. Fill half your sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid and the other half with rinse water. If you wash them right away, it will be easier and leave more room for preparing food. This will also make the dishes available for use if you need them again.
Keep your kitchen clean by washing your dishes when you are done with them. If you have a double bowl sink, fill one side with hot, soapy water and the other side with clear water for rinsing. If you wash bowls and silverware right away it is easier, and plus you’ll be able to use them again right away if they are needed.
Purchase quality utensils for your kitchen. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. Most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen are due to someone using a dull cutting utensils.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Gather all your ingredients together, chop what needs to be chopped, measure out all the required herbs and spices and make sure you have everything that you need on hand. When the time comes to prepare the meal, you will now only need to assemble the ingredients and cook it.
Always use fresh seasonings and herbs in simple dishes. It is fine to use dried herbs when the dish will involve varied flavors due to complexity. However, your dish will be improved by fresh herbs because of their fresher and stronger flavor overall. It is quite easy to grow a herb garden for your personal use.
Spice up your cooking with a little creativity. You do not have to follow a recipe word for word. Add things to flavor and shake up the recipe to make it your own. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. The salt will keep the herbs on the board and add extra flavor as well. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of variation among different types of potatoes. For example, some are waxy and wonderful for making potato salad or boiled potatoes but would not work well as french fries or baked potatoes. Russet potatoes are best suited for baking or mashing, or for making french fries.
Prior to barbecuing food, be sure that the grill is properly prepared. A half hour is the lead time usually needed in order to have the grill properly fired up before you cook. The coals should have an ash covering and should emit medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.
Consider reheating any oily foods in the oven rather than the microwave so that you avoid any mess. The concentrated heat in a microwave causes oil to separate from other food ingredients. Baking reheats the entire dish at the same temperature, is slower, maintains flavors, and encourages cohesion of the ingredients.
Proper care for a wood cutting board. Exposure to moisture or dryness can damage a wooden board easily. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. You should apply oil to a board that is damaged, or to an undamaged board which you want to keep in pristine condition. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it.
To prevent waste of leftovers, take all of your veggies and meat that is in your refrigerator, and make a stir fry with some rice. Rice that is cool and one day old usually works best, but fresh rice can still be used if the water level is dropped just a little so the rice is slightly drier. 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.
Find a spot that is dry, cool, and dim to store herbs and spices. Exposing them to light or heat could make them lose their flavors fast. This will ensure your spices will not be as good to use.
Start using these tips as you cook. Once you try some of these tips, you will believe that perhaps cooking is not so difficult after all. You may find that you enjoy cooking and begin experimenting even further. Give cooking a shot!
There are quite a few different types of potatoes. Not all potatoes can be interchanged in recipes. Waxy potatoes are good for boiling or using in potato salads, but they make poor french fries or mashed potatoes. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.