Many see cooking meals as simply another chore. But cooking can be something to be enjoyed. It’s also a good step toward a more healthy lifestyle. The best cooks are those who are always willing to learn new techniques. Furthering your knowledge also makes the cooking experience far more pleasurable; use the following tips to help you grow as a cook.
Stir-fry meat needs to be sliced thin, on the bias. This can require some time and some effort. When you remove the meat from the freezer, it should be firm, not frozen. Slice across the meat’s grain while holding the knife at a 45-degree angle.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. This deeper color is evidence that the sugar has caramelized in the crust for added sweetness.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
Have you ever thrown away food that is old and felt bad about it? Can you save the rest of the fruit if you cut away the moldy, rotten part? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. Throw half-rotten fruit away, because mold can go much deeper than your eyes can see; you can get very sick from eating food with mold.
It can also be used on other foods, rather than just on meat. Sprinkle on popcorn for a tasty movie-night snack, or add a bit to fried rice to spice it up nicely. The interesting flavor will leave everyone wondering what the secret ingredient it.
Its potential applications go way beyond meat. Try roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled with the seasoning for a tasty snack or mix it in your scrambled eggs. Everyone will start to wonder about your secret ingredient and what it might be!
If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to cut back on the fat by eliminating some of the cooking oils you use. Most oils, and butters, too, contain a very high fat content, and this fat is neither necessary or always the good kind. A nonstick cooking spray will suffice and is not as unhealthy.
Cook your veggies in 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. Chicken broth is easily purchased at almost every supermarket, and is quite inexpensive.
To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. The broths adds some additional flavor, and reduces or eliminates the need to use cooking oil to prepare them. This is an easy, delicious way to prepare veggies for you meal.
If you are making a roast and you need to cook it quickly, do not take out the bone. The bone acts as a conduit to draw heat to the center of your roast, helping the roast to cook more quickly. Once the meat has finished cooking, remove the bone prior to serving.
If you prefer to use spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a cool, dark place, so their freshness and flavor is preserved. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.
When you are cooking pumpkins, first stand the pumpkin upright and then cut it in half directly down the middle. Put the halves with the sides down on your baking sheets. Sprinkle some water on both baking sheets, then at 350 degrees bake the pumpkin for about an hour.
Organize your materials as best as possible, if you desire to prevent the hazards of burns in the kitchen. You can ensure that you are efficient when you are organized. If you aren’t organized, you will start to forget what you buy and that will make you spend too much money that could have been spent on something you would have eaten.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. Let people add what they want to their salad. Offer a variety of dressings, so there will be something to everyone’s taste.
When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Locate the ingredients, cut up and measure herbs and spices and look through your cupboards to make sure you have what you need. When cooking time arrives, you’ll need only to be concerned with assembling and cooking the meal.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. You should place them on cooling rack, and salt them lightly with the cut side up. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Dried tomatoes can be placed into a jar that is filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.
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.
Keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dark place where they will stay fresh. Do not keep your spices in a warm place or where they would be exposed to the sun because they could lose their flavor.
To improve your pasta sauce, put aside some of the water used during the cooking of the pasta. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. When you’re ready to combine the pasta and sauce, pour in a bit of the water. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.
Many vegetables and herbs have a smell that has a tendency to remain on cutting boards, despite how many times you wash them. Mark your chopping board using indelible ink in order to keep track of which side you used.
When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. This adds flavor and keeps the herbs on the board. You don’t need to add extra salt to the food you are preparing. This will over-salt the dish. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
While cooking or baking, wash the dishes as your sauce simmers or your cookies bake. If you have a double sink, keep hot soapy water and clear, fresh rinse water in each side of the sink. Dishes clean best immediately after use and by washing them immediately, they will be ready to prepare the next ingredient for your meal.
Spreading the mayo evenly and smoothly on the entire surface of the bread will make perfect sandwiches that will impress your friends and family. People don’t generally pay attention to perfection in sandwiches so just dollop the mayo into the middle. When you take the time to spread the condiment evenly, you make sure that each bite is bursting with flavor.
Always drain and blot your ground meat after cooking to remove excess fat. One smart move in the kitchen is to remove the moisture from ground meats. Any moisture on the meat will be released as the meat cooks. The extra moisture will sizzle away. This is undesirable, since the meat will technically steam, instead of searing.
Make sure that you maintain your wooden cutting board. Stressors, like heat or extremes in humidity, can warp or split a cutting board made of wood. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. If you need to restore a board that is damaged, regularly apply an oil that is formulated for wooden cutting boards. It should be completely dry before its next use.
If your fresh salsa contains onions and it won’t be served immediately, rinse them under cold water after dicing, and pat them dry before adding them to the salsa. Fresh, raw onions emit sulfurous gas. It can affect the taste of your home made salsa. Rinsing and drying the onions gets rid of the gas.
There are a few ways in which you can reheat tortillas. One of the ways you can do this is placing the tortilla on the oven rack after preheating it to 350 degrees. Or you can place a tortilla directly over the flame when you are cooking with a gas stove top. A hot, fresh, crunchy tortilla is within reach when these simple techniques are used.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. Sharp knives are less time consuming, easier, and safer to use. Dull knives cause more accidents than sharp ones.
Use the freshest herbs and seasonings available, even when making a simple meal. You can use dried herbs, such as oregano and basil, if your dish has many complex flavors. However, fresh herbs are much better and will produce a stronger, fresher and overall better taste. Consider planting your own herbs to guarantee a fresh and steady supply.
A cooling rack that can stack should be used. If you bake large batches, the cooling baked goods often take up every spare inch of space in your kitchen. Cooking racks that stack provide you the tools to use your space more efficiently. Stack your cookies vertically until they cool off, and use your work space to prepare something else.
If you want to avoid the greasy mess that you can get when you warm up leftover food that is oily, try baking it rather than microwaving it. Because oil tends to get hot quickly, a microwave’s concentrated heat causes it to become separated from the rest of the food. However, oven baking provides a consistent heat to the dish, not allowing different ingredients to separate.
Use a thick-skinned baking potato for firmer-shelled twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes have thin skins and cannot support a dense filling.
Using beef or chicken stock to take the place of water in potatoes and other foods also adds flavor. You can also dissolve cubes of bouillon into the required amounts of water. Doing this will provide the food you’re making with the required amount of moisture and will also enhance the flavor.
Put some spices on the food when it’s done cooking. Choose from a variety of spices, including garlic powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper. Everyone has different preferences of spices and other seasonings. Instead of including these spices during the cooking process, make them available afterwards so people can customize their meal. This way, everyone can season his meal to taste.
If you want to make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, try using a potato with a thick skin. Red potatoes are not suitable, because their skin is not thick enough and the filling may break through.
If your family regularly sits down to dinners with a standard side dish of frozen corn off the cob, now might be a good time to make a change. 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.
Use softened butter for baking instead of melted butter. If the butter melts, place it into the freezer and let sit for a couple of minutes to harden a bit, or you can place the dough in a refrigerator after the ingredients are mixed. Chilled dough prevents the cookies from spreading out too much.
As previously stated, the best cooks are always learning. The joy of cooking is not just about cooking, but learning more about different foods and methods of cooking. You also must know how to share your skills with others. Cooking is not just a skill to learn, but a gift that is meant to be shared with others.
When you will be busy the next day, make some preparations for dinner for the next day. Chopping your vegetables in advance or putting together lasagna the night before will save a lot of time.