Cooking is a wonderful skill that can be used in many different ways. Most would agree that they love to eat, especially food that is prepared by a loved one! Not everyone knows as much as they would want to know. With the information here, though, you can give your culinary skills a boost.
When you are making stir-fry dishes, make certain the meat is thinly sliced on the bias. This is rather difficult to do, and can take a lot of time. When the meat feels firm, pull it from the freezer and cut across the grain at a 45 degree angle.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Humidity, heat and light can all cause flavors to weaken thus making your foods not able to obtain their potential. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Spices in their whole forms have longer useful lifespans, lasting up to five years. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.
If you’ve made a big pot of sauce, freeze the leftovers by pouring the extra sauce into ice cube trays. 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. No worries, because the sauce is still quite edible after being frozen in ice cube trays.
If you are looking for new ideas for meals to prepare for yourself or your family two great places to look are the library and the internet, where you can find a vast array of options. Try making three or four of the recipes that appeal to you the most, and give yourself plenty of time to perfect your newly acquired skill.
Use airtight containers to store baking mixes, sugar and flour. Airtight containers are best because they prevent bugs from getting into your food and also allow it to stay fresh for a longer time. These containers are affordable and are available at most grocery stores.
Cut your meat as thin as you can if you are using it in a stir-fry. This can sometimes be a tricky undertaking and very time-consuming. Remove the meat when it is firm (but not frozen) and slice at a 45 degree angle across the grain of the meat.
If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. Both can be purchased at just about any grocery store. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
A good piece of advice you can observe when cooking with oil is to pour it down the sides of the hot pan. When the oil reaches the food in the middle, it will already be hot. Your food will taste better, and you will not have a lull in the cooking process waiting for the oil to heat up.
By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. Furthermore, you can enjoy seasonal fruits without paying outrageous prices during the off season.
Sharp knives are imperative when being used in the kitchen. Dull knives are not only difficult to cut things with, but they are also very dangerous to use. You have a much higher chance of cutting yourself because you will probably have to force the knife through your food, instead of having to gently cut it.
If you love using herbs and spices, make sure to keep them stored someplace that is dark and cool to maintain their freshness and flavor. Keeping your spices and herbs stored above your stove or in high cabinets where warm air collects will dry them out and destroy their flavor.
For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.
It is necessary for all cooks to organize their cooking supplies. An unorganized kitchen is an unhappy kitchen. You will have difficulty finding what you want to make your delicious recipes. Consider storing similar things together. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
If you purchase unripened fruits, place them in a perforated plastic bag. Fruits produce ethylene gas when they become riper. The holes in the bag allow the gas to escape, which will make the fruit last longer and taste better.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
Always check to see if your utensils are clean if you are about to cook. You could contaminate what you’re going to cook if the utensils aren’t completely clean from previous cooking sessions. Bacteria will develop and spread on unclean utensils.
Garlic is a tasty ingredient that has a flavor that can, unfortunately, transfer to your hands. Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel, such as your sink, can help to get rid of these odors. This will clean your hands, while preventing any odors from being transferred to the next food item you touch.
An organized cooking area is where you should focus to avoid costly mistakes while cooking your meals. When your station is organized, you will be more productive. Unorganized cooks can easily make mistakes, lose or overlook buying important ingredients, and waste good money and food that could be used.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. When you need sauce for another meal, you already have individual portions, ready to grab and reheat in a pan. Don’t worry, your sauce will taste great even after having been frozen.
Follow the instructions carefully whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. This ensures your macaroni comes out perfect and that the velvety cheese is deliciously melted over your noodles. When serving the macaroni with cheese, a good faced spoon works best. Adding a little pepper will give the macaroni a little zing!
Try to read all the labels of the ingredients that you buy. A lot of ingredients that are common to cook with have hidden, unhealthy ingredients. By reading the labels, you can check to see if the product contains sugars or sodium in high amounts. Sugars and sodium can be detrimental to your health if over consumed.
Use a paper towel to blot moisture off of any ground meat before you put it in the pan to cook. Always fully drain your ground meats and blot them dry. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when the meat is cooked. The water will then cook in the pain. As a result, your meat may steam instead of searing.
If it seems overwhelming to cook the family dinner, prepare some of the ingredients the evening before. Cut up veggies and make the sauce the night before so you can save time. With this done, you will have a major portion of the meal ready for the next step, which means less stress for you.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Save about one quarter cup of this water. Then, mix a little of this water in with your pasta sauce. Amalgamation will take place in your sauce when you add the pasta water. The starch will give it the “creaminess” you desire.
It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
When making salsa to be eaten later, rinse the onions after you dice them, and use a paper towel to blot them dry. The reason for this is that there is sulfurous gas in an onion. Sulfurous gas is not good for salsa. Rinsing and drying the chopped onions removes this gas.
Do not forget to replace your spices twice a year. Spices lose their flavor if kept too long. When you know you’re not going to be using a spice for a long time, give it away to someone in your family or to a friend before it loses its flavor.
There are a few ways to properly warm up tortillas. One ways is to cook them in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until they are crisp, to your liking. You can also heat the tortillas by placing them on the grill of a gas stove. These techniques will result in a more authentic and flavorful tortilla.
Make sure that prior to cooking, your utensils are sparkling clean. If there is leftover food on your utensils from the last meal you cooked, it could contaminate the food you are making now. This could allow bacteria to easily spread.
Save some time on the preparation step of cooking. It’s often possible to do some preparations even a couple days before you need to cook. Sometimes, the longer window of preparation time can enhance the flavor of your final dish. After you experience the benefits of preparing in advance, you may well make it your standard practice.
You can reduce the cleanup required from meal preparation by washing dishes as you use them. Have one side of the sink filled with fresh soapy water that’s warm and put a clear water rinse in the other. Since the easiest time to clean bowls and other implements is right after you have finished with them, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort since you won’t have to scrub them so much.
Be open-minded about how you cook and serve your oysters. Oysters can be prepared in multiple ways even though they are typically eaten on the half shell with a smidge of lemon juice. Open the oyster shells, stick them on a pan, and then put cream on top. Sprinkle Parmesan and grated pepper over the top and broil until it bubbles. You can also saute your oysters. Mix some seasonings with flour and coat the oysters. Fry them in very hot butter for about two minutes or until they are golden brown. Keep the oysters in the shells while baking. Put them in a dish in the oven with a bit of butter and breadcrumbs on top and bake them for around 5 minutes at 425. They are done when the juices on top of each oyster are bubbling. They go great with toasted baguettes.
As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!
Utilize other types of timers in separate sections of the house. If you use a watch or a cellphone as a timer, you will be sure to hear the alarm go off even if you are out of the kitchen.