Take Food And Make It A Meal

A lot of people view having to cook as a nuisance. This article has many suggestions so that you can enjoy cooking.

When you are putting seasoning on meat, just season a small piece first. A lot of foods require you to season them carefully; for instance meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. Do not try and cook the whole piece of meat right after adding seasoning. Instead, make a little piece into a patty and cook it first. If that piece turns out well, you can continue with the rest. If not, you can make adjustments to the spices.

Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. Try to have the prep work completed before cooking; this is important. When you have a timeline for your meal to be ready, things can get a bit stressful once you start cooking. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.

Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. When you use fresh ingredients you can bring out the true flavor of your food, and they can sometimes be cheaper in the end.

You can save the sauce if you use the following information. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 tblsp water and 2 tblsp corn starch. Add this mix to your sauce to thicken it. Stir constantly as you pour the cornstarch and water mixture slowly into the pot.

Use air tight containers to store baking mixes, flour and sugar. Airtight containers will keep your foods safe from bugs, and allow them to stay fresh longer because they are not exposed to air. Airtight containers are a good investment, inexpensive, and readily available.

Partially chill meat so it becomes easier to slice into thin strips. This works well for Asian dishes, like Chinese or Thai. When meat is slightly frozen, it becomes simpler to slice because the fibers won’t stretch and tear that easy. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.

Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Plan to make a big pot of stock so you can freeze and store it. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Allow your stock to cool, then put portions in heavy-duty Ziploc bags made for freezing.

Prepare dishes that you’re an expert at when you’re cooking for someone important in your life, such as a supervisor or a new partner. Don’t attempt a dish that is new or very far out of your experience level. This will help to make cooking more enjoyable and less stressful.

When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables while keeping them from sticking to your pan. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.

Mashed Potatoes

Avoid cooking foods in excessive oil when you are trying to become healthier or drop a few extra pounds. Many foods can be prepared in an alternative way that does not involve frying in oil. Butters and oils contain unnecessary fats. Break out the nonstick cooking spray to give your food the boost in taste that cooking oil and butter give.

Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower is also the same texture and color of potatoes when mashed so it’s a great way to add more veggies, while lowering calories from classic mashed potatoes.

If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.

It is alright to use it on other foods besides meats. You can add it to scrambled eggs or make a tasty snack by sprinkling a bit on some roasted pumpkin seeds. You’ll even surprise yourself with just how delicious your food tastes.

If you are making a meal that requires garlic, buy fresh garlic or grow your own. The fresher your garlic, the sweeter a taste it will have. You can recognize fresh garlic from its firm skin and lack of bruises.

All sugars, flours, and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. You should keep your foods stored in a air tight container so they stay fresh for a long time. It is possible to buy these containers almost anywhere and they are well worthwhile.

Make your own dried tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. Finally, place your dried tomatoes in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. Not only will chicken broth help to keep vegetables from getting stuck to the pan, but they will add some nice flavors to the dish. Chicken broth is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.

When boiling pasta, salt the cooking water generously. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Once it’s been cooked, the pasta will be harder to season properly.

Wooden skewers should be soaked in plain water before each use for an absolute minimum of thirty minutes. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. Instead of cooking food on a single skewer, opt for two parallel skewers. This prevents the ingredients from sliding off into the fire.

There are a few ways to properly warm up tortillas. First, turn you oven on, to around 350 degrees, until it preheats. Place the tortilla on the rack directly until it’s warm and as crispy as you want it. You can also heat the tortillas by placing them on the grill of a gas stove. These methods will give you a fresher tasting tortilla.

If you are having people over to your home to eat, and you are including a salad with the meal, allow your guests to put the dressing on themselves. This will allow your guests to control how much dressing they want to put on their salad. Also, try and include different types of dressings.

Save on cooking time by prepping ahead of getting started. You can get many of the ingredients for future meals ready ahead of time. In some cases, the longer preparation times can make some very flavorful creations in the end. This works so well that many people find it difficult to stop.

Dried Tomatoes

Use another timer in addition to the oven timer. Using the alarm on your watch will help make sure that you hear it go off, and prevent from overcooking your food.

Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. Cut Romas tomatoes in lengthwise halves, or slice ripe regular tomatoes into half inch slices for drying. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Next, the tomatoes need to spend about 10 hours in an oven set to 190 degrees. Put a cookie sheet under the rack before it goes in. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can store dried tomatoes in an olive oil filled jar. Add fresh herbs for seasoning. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you want to reheat a greasy dish, bake it again instead of making a mess in your microwave. The very high temperature in the microwave will cause the oil to leave the food. By heating or cooking your food in the oven, you’ll be rewarded with food which tastes as it should and has a juicy texture.

Having a clean and organized kitchen is essential to cooking a great meal or dessert. You can be more productive, if your cooking station is well organized. When you are disorganized, misplacing items or making food inedible becomes much more likely.

Nonstick cookware will not stay nonstick for long if you use metal utensils to move your food, so make sure that you’re only using rubber, silicone, or any other utensil that will not damage the coating. Hard utensils like wood or metal can scratch your cookware and the coatings on them that provide that non stick surface. This will not only taste unappealing, it is potentially toxic.

Keep your kitchen clean by washing your dishes when you are done with them. If you have a double sink, keep hot soapy water and clear, fresh rinse water in each side of the sink. Cookware is easier to clean right after it has been used, and it will be ready for another use immediately.

If your schedule will be packed the following day, get some of your ingredients ready the day before you intend to cook. Chopping up veggies or preparing a lasagna before hand can help to save you stress for the next day.

You should blot ground meat before you cook it. Eliminating the moisture off the meat is always good. If the moisture is left, it will undergo its natural chemical changes whilst you are cooking. The extra moisture will sizzle away. Instead of being properly seared, the meat will get steamed, altering its taste and texture.

If you’ve been handling smelly ingredients like garlic, onions, or fish, try rubbing your hands with stainless steel for about one minute before you wash them. It doesn’t matter whether you use a spoon, one of your sink’s corners, or a stainless-steel soap bar. Performing this particular action will eliminate the odor and freshen your hands.

You should let your meat rest prior to serving. Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. It can be tempting to serve a meal straight off the grill. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. It’s also important that the food simply cools down and rests for awhile for flavor’s sake. Give it a few minutes, and it should be ready to go.

Use ketchup as an ingredient in your fried food batter. Most people usually only use ketchup to dip their cooked foods in, but it is actually a great choice to dip uncooked foods into before they are dipped into the dry coating. Ketchup provides excellent flavor to fried foods, and your friends will love it.

You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Measure out one-fourth of a cup and place it to the side. When the time comes to add the sauce to the pasta, add this water as well. The pasta water contains starch, which will give your sauce a thick creaminess.

Leafy green vegetables are the ultimate in healthy eating, but getting them to the dinner table can be an ordeal. Removing stems is laborious and time consuming. To make things easier, have the leaf folded in half lengthwise, then from the middle break out the stem. If you prefer, you can slice the stem off the folded leaf using a knife. Either of these techniques will give you a perfect leaf without a stem.

A good kitchen requires good knives. It’s safer to cut with a sharp instrument than it is to with a dull one, and you will also save some time. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.

If you are trying to measure a sticky substance, cooking oil can help. Apply a light coating of canola or other oil with little flavor, to your measuring spoon or cup. The ingredient you are measuring will slide out easily, which will prevent messy clean-ups and waste. Peanut butter and honey can be measured this way as well.

Hopefully this article has demonstrated to you that cooking doesn’t have to be a thankless chore. Taking the advice offered here can change your meal preparation time from humdrum to lively.

Experiment with everyday vegetables like corn to get your family excited about eating them. Mixing new ingredients into the corn, like coconut for a Thai flavor, will give them an interesting treat.

Gastronomi festival
God mad