Many people consider cooking a very rewarding and relaxing hobby. A kitchen filled with the delicious smells of fresh ingredients will lift up anybody’s mood. But locating the right tips and recipes so that you can prepare the ideal meal can be difficult. This article has a number of great cooking tips so you can create that perfect meal.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. This may take some patience and it can be a bit time-consuming. Take the meat out as soon its gets firm (not frozen), then cut it across the grain at a forty-five degree angle.
Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for keeping herbs and spices. Warmth, humidity and light will make them stale and unflavorful. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Though if you have whole spices, you will notice the flavors are strong for 3-5 years. When stored properly, they will stay fresher longer.
Make sure that all of your spices are stored away from heat and light. If they are stored in an area that they are exposed to light, heat and humidity, their shelf life is shortened. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Create at your own pace and allow for patience as you get the trick of cooking down.
There are many dishes you can make with apples, especially in cold-weather months. But if stored improperly, well, one bad apple does spoil the bushel. To properly store them, you should keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool temperature. One rotten apple can actually spoil the whole bag so make sure you keep an eye your apples.
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Instead, get a wet, clean cloth and wipe off the mushroom by hand.
Leave raw potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before frying them to make crispier French fries. Doing this increases the strength of the fiber in the potatoes, which means that they don’t break down as quickly during the deep frying phase.
Ice Cube Trays
This type of seasoning is commonly used on other foods besides meat. Sprinkle on popcorn for a tasty movie-night snack, or add a bit to fried rice to spice it up nicely. You will have everyone asking what the secret spice is!
After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. For a quick and easy sauce on another night, simply remove as many cubes as you need and reheat in a pan. Nothing to worry about as the sauce will be fine even after it’s been sitting in ice cube trays.
When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. Being soaked in the water prevents them from getting burned when exposed to the cooking heat. To prevent food from falling from the skewers, use two parallel skewers rather than just one.
Do you ever have difficulty determining how long you should grill your meat? Using a meat thermometer, especially one with a precise digital readout, is a good idea for checking whether the meat is cooked or not. For meat that is more than 1.5 inches thick, close the lid of the grill to decrease the amount of time that the meat takes to cook.
If you are under time constraints when you need to cook a roast, don’t remove the bone from it. The meat cooks faster because the bone will carry the heat through the inside of the roast, helping it cook from the inside out. Before serving the roast, simply cut the meat from the bone.
If you are serious about losing weight and getting healthy, you need to cut back on cooking oils. Unnecessary fats are contained in butters and oils. Consider using a nonstick cooking spray as replacement for oil.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. If the spices are stored in cabinets by the stove or near other warmer places, this could result in their flavor loss and a money loss for you.
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. Some people prefer more dressing than others; let guests pour their own dressing. Give them a choice of salad dressings.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. You can keep it fresh for several weeks, so that you can use the turkey in sandwiches or salads.
You can make remarkably flavorful dishes by making your stock yourself. Make a lot at once, so that you can divide it into batches and store it in the freezer. Doing so will give you the best stock for any dish that calls for it. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. Few people understand how important it is to allow the meal itself to rest before serving it. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
While engaged in cooking, get in the habit of cleaning dishes as you finish using them. Have one side of the sink full of soapy water and the other filled with rinse water. Just after use is the best time to wash up bowls and utensils. So clean as you go and you will always be ready with your next part of food preparation.
When it’s time to chop fresh herbs, you should sprinkle a bit of salt on your cutting board first. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Do not over-salt by making sure you don’t directly add any extra salt to the foods you’re preparing. The salt will stick to the herbs, adding some extra flavor to your dish.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. The moisture from the large pool of oil will douse the food you planned to saute and make a greasy, limp mess. Keep the burner at a low setting during this process, as well.
Use a paper towel to blot your ground meat before cooking it. Blotting removes excess moisture from your meats. If the moisture is allowed to remain, it will be released when cooking commences. If excess moisture is present during the cooking process, the end product of your meat will be altered. The meat may then stem instead of sear like it’s supposed to do.
It is important to maintain a wooden cutting board properly. Keep a wood cutting board away from heat and too much or too little moisture, as this can cause warping and splitting. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, instead, clean it using a sponge and warm water. You should apply oil to a board that is damaged, or to an undamaged board which you want to keep in pristine condition. Be sure to let your cutting board dry completely before you use it again.
Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. Many do not realize the importance of letting their cooked food rest. It is highly tempting to serve the food as soon as you take it off the grill. But if you do, you miss out on the full flavors of the dish. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.
To find out if your meat is cooked properly, measure the temperature with a meat thermometer. Each meat has minimum internal temperatures that are recommended so that it is safe to eat. Bacteria can easily survive in meat, so unless it is thoroughly cooked, this bacteria can stay in the meat and make you ill.
Get creative to make cooking fun. You need not follow a recipe exactly. In some cases by making little modifications to the recipe here and there will result in a dish that is tastier than if you had used the original recipe. Now that’s real cooking!
Timing is a crucial element when baking a cake. Suggested cooking times are helpful to beginning bakers but experienced bakers know that they need to consider variables such as altitude when determining the optimum cooking time. A good way to judge whether a cake is finished is by sticking a toothpick into the center of the cake. The cake will be done when the toothpick comes out without any batter attached; if it doesn’t, bake it longer.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Set aside a small amount of the water, about one quarter cup. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Make sure to use fresh herbs and seasonings whenever cooking a simple dish. Dried ingredients, like herbs, are acceptable if you are making a complex dish of many flavors. However, using fresh herbs in your dish is a lot better if you can because it provides a fresher, stronger, and yummier taste. To make sure that you always have some fresh herbs, plant an herb garden that you have easy access to.
Impress your friends with a perfect sandwich by spreading the mayo evenly on the entire surface of the bread. Often, condiments are haphazardly squirted onto only the center of the bread. When it is spread out evenly, each bite of the sandwich will be delicious and full of flavor.
Using a baked potato instead of a small one can help you to have nice thick skins to use to make twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes contain skins that are too thin to hold very much filling.
There are a couple of ways to heat up tortillas properly. The first way is to have a preheated oven, at 350 degrees, and bake the tortillas to your liking. Or you can place a tortilla directly over the flame when you are cooking with a gas stove top. These methods can give you fresher, and more delicious tortillas.
When your recipe calls for butter and sugar, soften your butter but do not melt it. If the butter has already been melted, place the butter in the freezer to harden for a couple of minutes. You can also use the melted butter in the dough and then place the mixed dough in the refrigerator. Cooler dough will prevent your cookies from spreading too much.
You can make a nice wok full of stir fried rice and bits and pieces of veggies and whatnot from your fridge. If you have day old rice on hand, that works best; but if not, reduce the water slightly to make it a little drier than normal. Stir-fry leftover meat and vegetables in a small amount of oil. Mix in the rice, add flavoring such as soy sauce, ginger, even teriyaki sauce.
Add some spices to your dishes once they’ve been cooked. You can use garlic powder, cayenne, or salt and pepper for seasonings. Many people prefer different kinds of spices, and not everyone has the same taste. Instead of adding spices while you are cooking, let people season their own food after you have served it. Everyone will enjoy your cooking more if you leave options open for them.
Always use rubber, nylon or silicone spoons and spatulas when cooking with nonstick cookware. If you use harder utensils, you might scratch the cookware, and damage it as well as ruin your food. This can prove to be unhealthy and will also reduce the appeal of your food.
Using nonstick pots and pans will require that you use utensils made of silicone or nylon. Metal or wooden utensils are hard and can damage the surface of your cookware, making the nonstick surface unreliable and even flaking off pieces of the coating into your food. This not only ruins your food, but it could be a health hazard.
As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.
Shake things up if your family is tired of the same frozen sweet corn on the table every night. For a new taste that both kids and adults are sure to enjoy, add coconut flakes to the corn for a dish that is Thai-inspired and surprisingly delicious.