Cooking is helpful on many levels. Almost everyone has at least one thing they love to eat, especially dishes that you or another family member have prepared with love. Unfortunately, many people are less than successful in the kitchen. This article aims to change that for the better.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. They should not be a pale blond color, they need to be golden brown. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
When you are having an important person over for dinner, prepare a meal that you are experienced with. Stay away from using new ingredients, or a new recipe. This will take the stress out of the cooking.
Do not throw your sauce away. This simple trick can save it. For every tablespoon of water, add half a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix as much as needed to get the right thickness. Slowly add this mixture to your simmering sauce to thicken it up. The mixture should be added slowly and constantly stirred so that it doesn’t get too thick.
Many people love the taste of garlic, but cooks are more ambivalent about it because its scent sticks to the hands. To remove the lingering odor after working with these ingredients, thoroughly rub your hands on something made from stainless steel, such as the inside of your sink or the handle of a butter knife. It both cleans your hands and helps to avoid transfer the odor to other foods.
Place meat in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing easier. This method is great for oriental meals that require small strips. When meat is slightly frozen, it becomes simpler to slice because the fibers won’t stretch and tear that easy. But, if you use this technique make sure that the meat strips thaw out again before you cook them.
If you need to season your meat, prepare a small portion and taste it prior to cooking the entire amount. You have to use caution when seasoning certain meats, such as meatballs, meatloaf and hamburgers. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Instead, make a small piece in the shape of a patty and initially cook that first. If the flavor of the sample is to your liking, you can procede with seasoning and cooking the entire quantity of meat.
Use airtight containers for storing flour, sugar, and baking mixes in the kitchen. Avoid exposure to moisture and insects by sealing food in airtight containers. These containers can be purchased at almost any store and definitely make for a good investment.
Boiling takes time and removes the nutrients from veggies. To keep them nutritious, try quickly cooking them, like sauteing or steaming. You can also enjoy them raw.
If you choose the wooden versions of cooking skewers, it is a good idea to immerse them in water, and leave them there for about half an hour before using them. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
When creating a meal for someone you are friends with or fond of, try making what you already are good at making. Avoid the temptation to try a new dish or ingredient. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.
Always measure your oil when you are cooking. By measuring, you will be able to lower the quantity of fat and grease in your foods. This is the best way to monitor how much oil you use.
Did you ever feel bad for throwing old, moldy fruit away? Is it alright to cut out the rotten part and save them? Sadly half rotten fruit is something you can never really save. Discard the fruit, because the mold penetrated deeper than can be seen with the naked eye, and moldy foods can cause some people to experience health problems.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. People vary in the amount of dressing they like on their salad, so it is helpful to let them do this on their own. For an even more considerate touch, provide different kinds of dressings.
Many use a good number of apples for baking and cooking throughout fall and winter, but if improperly stored, they will spoil quickly. Air that is dry and warm tends to make apples rot, and you can slow down this process by loosely placing them in plastic bags that are tied shut. Store them in a cool area, such as a refrigerator, garage or basement. Make sure you check them periodically, however, because even one spoiled apple can cause the others in the bag to rot very rapidly.
New spices should be purchased every six months. If a spice is kept for a long time, it could lose some of its flavor. If you know you will not use the whole spice bottle, give some of it to someone you know.
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. This will remove the scent from your hands and stop it from transferring.
Instead of chopping them on a cutting board, a better way to cut herbs is to hold them in a bunch and cut them with sharp scissors. This works especially well for dill and parsley. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
If you plan to use wooden skewers when cooking, soak them in water for about thirty minutes prior to use. This way, they won’t burn while cooking. To prevent food from falling from the skewers, use two parallel skewers rather than just one.
Prior to barbecuing food, be sure that the grill is properly prepared. At least half an hour before you plan to cook, prepare the grill in readiness. Your coals should all have a coat of ash at this point and be medium hot. That is the ideal grilling temperature.
Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing. This is a delicious and healthy way to easily cook vegetables.
When you tie the turkey using string, you are trussing it. The advantage of trussing is that the legs and wings are held closer to the body, resulting in even cooking throughout the bird. If the legs and wings aren’t tied down, they tend to easily burn while the body of the bird continues to cook.
Disperse spices and seasoning to your favorite food in small, equal increments over time. Your food will taste as flavorful as ever if you season it this way.
If you find that making a whole dinner at once is too much work, do parts of your food preparation the night before. Cut up vegetables and make marinades or sauces before going to bed at night. This will result in less stress the next day, and you will be more than ready to begin the cooking process.
Anytime you cook a simpler dish, include fresh seasoning and herbs with it. Many dried herbs, such as oregano or basil, will help make your complex dish pop, as well. However, it is always better to use fresh herbs as their flavor is better. One way to guarantee you will have fresh herbs is to have a herb garden.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Cut Romas tomatoes in lengthwise halves, or slice ripe regular tomatoes into half inch slices for drying. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. The dried tomatoes can be put in plastic bags and frozen. Another way to preserve your dried tomatoes is in olive oil, with herbs for added flavor, in a glass jar. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
If you don’t know much about the vegetable or fruit that you are handling, familiarize yourself with it. A little research can show you a whole new world of different foods. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. This will allow your turkey to stay fresh for weeks. You can use the leftovers in sandwiches, salads, soups and your other favorite meals.
Rather, use both oven and watch timers. If you wear a stopwatch on your neck or use the timer on a watch, you will make sure that the beeps are heard no matter your location.
Place unripe fruits in a plastic bags you have poked small holes into. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. Putting them in a perforated bag will allow circulation of the air and keep the gas retained, thus allowing the fruit to keep it’s delicious taste.
When cooking potato skins or twice baked potatoes, always use the kind with a thick skin such as a russet. Varieties such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes have thin skins that aren’t sturdy enough for heavy fillings.
When cooking, get into the habit of washing your dishes as soon as you finish using them. Keep one section of your kitchen sink filled with hot, sudsy water and use the other side to rinse dishes with clear water. Most bowls, pots, pans and utensils are much easier to clean immediately after they’re done being used, and this will ensure that they’re ready go if you need them again during the preparation of your meal.
You need butter that is soft, but still solid, when you want to cream it with sugar to make cookies. 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. If your dough is on the cooler side, you cookies will not spread too much.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. Too much moisture can cause food to steam rather than saute, affecting the crispness of the meal. Do not raise the temperature too much.
Cook up a wok of rice with vegetables to use any random vegetables or meat in your refrigerator. Day-old rice is prime for making fried rice, but if you have none lying around, try this tip. You can reduce the water to make a slightly drier rice. Fry the veggies and meats in a little oil, add your rice and then season it with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and other spices.
A meat thermometer is a great way to show you are cooking meats properly. All kinds of meat have a minimum internal temperature that is recommended for safe consumption. Meat that has not been cooked sufficiently can have bacteria growing in it, and these can cause illness if eaten.
Cooking for large groups can create a lot of anxiety and stress. Give yourself a head start by doing as much as possible beforehand. This way you won’t be overwhelmed and flustered by all you have to do on the big day. You can do all sorts of prep tasks beforehand, like handling measurements, stocks, bases for sauces, macaroni, any marinated meats and other tasks.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. It pulls the legs and wings close against the bird, which helps the turkey to cook more evenly. If the turkey is not trussed, the turkey’s extremities, including the wingtips and feet, can burn before the whole turkey is cooked.
Brine is a wonderful way to cook. You soak your poultry in a this seasoned salt water bath for at least an hour before cooking in order to enhance the natural flavors of the bird.
If you are working with foods that have strong odors, such as fish, garlic or onions, remove the smell from your hands by rubbing them on something that is stainless steel, prior to washing them. You can purchase a small bar made for this purpose, but you can also use a spoon or rub the basin of your stainless steel sink. Doing this will kill the strong odor on your hands.
Many dessert recipes require copious amounts of butter. Instead of melting the butter, you should ensure that it is only softened; this will make creaming the butter easier. If your butter has melted put it in the freezer for some time to make it a bit harder or put your dough in the refrigerator for a little while. Your dough will spread the right amount if the dough is cooler.
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!
To make use of those ends of vegetables and bits of leftover meat sitting in your refrigerator, create a satisfying wok filled with homemade fried rice. Day old rice tastes best in stir fried rice because of its drier taste, but fresh rice will also work. Just add slightly less water than normal. Chop your meat and a variety of vegetables and saute in a small amount of oil to warm them through. Toss in the rice and add some soy sauce, ginger and garlic.