How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Preparation is key when cooking for family or friends. Be certain that you have every ingredient you will need on hand. Prepare everything the day prior, including the correct utensils and other cooking tools. This will limit the amount of stress you experience when cooking the meal and help to ensure that you are able to cook the masterpiece you want.
Cooking a large meal for friends or family requires a great deal of preparation ahead of time. Gather all of your ingredients well in advance. The day before the big event, get everything ready to go. Make sure you have all the utensils and cookware you will need. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
A good tip when using cooking oil is to put some on the sides of the pan while cooking. This way, it will already be hot when it gets near the food. Doing so will give your cooking the best possible flavor.
If you want to slice meat into thin strips, freeze it partially before bringing it to the cutting board. This is especially helpful if you are preparing an Oriental dish. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice as the cold temperature prevents the meat fibers from stretching and tearing. However, to make sure that the meat cooks evenly, take the time to let it thaw out prior to cooking.
There is a way to save this sauce, and you will be able to utilize it right away. Combine a tablespoon of starch with two tablespoons of water. Add this mix to the sauce little by little until it becomes thicker. Make sure you add the solution slowly while stirring constantly or you risk thickening the sauce too much.
Sharp knives are essential in any kitchen. Dull knives, in addition to being ineffective, are actually very dangerous. Forcing dull knives through foods can result in personal injury, whereas a sharp knife will quickly and easily cut right through.
Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Garlic, like lots of other foods, has the unfortunate characteristics of absorbing into your hands. Try rubbing your hands on stainless steel when they smell from an odoriferous cooking ingredient Not only will this remove the scent from your skin, but it will also prevent the juices from affecting the flavor of the next food you touch.
If you want to reduce the amount of calories and fat in a mashed potato dish, substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.
Do you cook often with fresh basil? Store the basil in a jar. Fill the glass just enough with water so that the stems can absorb it. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. Change the water once in awhile, and before long roots will even form on the basil. You should also cut the basil so that it keeps growing.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.
You should use chicken broth when you are cooking your vegetables. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth is economical and widely available.
Be careful when using garlic because the flavor and aroma can be transferred to a variety of surfaces, including your 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. This cleanses you hands thoroughly to avoid transferring the flavor of garlic to other foods.
Always make sure you measure the cooking oil! To cook with less fat, measure specific amounts of oil instead of pouring oil into the pan straight from the bottle. That way there are no surprises about exactly how much oil is going into your body.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.
If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. People vary in the amount of dressing they like on their salad, so it is helpful to let them do this on their own. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
While cooking or baking, wash the dishes as your sauce simmers or your cookies bake. Have one sink prepared for washing, hot and full of soap. Set the other aside for rinsing, warm and clean. It is much easier to wash cooking utensils right after using them, and in some cases, you’ll need the same utensil again later in the cooking process.
If you use herbs and spices when cooking, be sure to retain the flavor and freshness by keeping them in an area of the kitchen that is cool and dark. Storing these items in warm locations will lead them to lose their flavor quicker.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. A lot of people aren’t aware that flavors will improve if a meal can rest a bit before being served. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.
Never throw away your leftovers whenever you have cooked a turkey. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Save approximately 1/4 cup of water after cooking your pasta. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.
Be sure to keep your dishes clean as you cook to avoid a lengthy clean up. To make it easy, just have one sink filled with soapy water and fill the other side with rinse water. Washing your dishes is easier if you do not wait until the food gets dry and sticky. Make sure you wipe your dishes and put them away for the next meal.
If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn’t allow it to saute or get crispy. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
High quality cutlery and knives are worth the expense. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. You are less likely to harm yourself with a sharp knife than a dull one.
When cooking an easy recipe, you should always use fresh seasonings and herbs. Dried herbs lose flavor as they cook and are fine to use in recipes that are filled with a variety of flavors. Fresh herbs are still preferred, and they will provide a much better taste to your dish. Consider starting your own herb garden, so that you always have access to fresh herbs.
You should utilize a meat thermometer, so that you can be sure that the meats are thoroughly cooked. The temperatures that meat should reach, when being cooked to be eaten, varies between different types of meat. Bacteria loves meat and you could ingest it if you do not cook it properly, it could cause you to become sick.
When you will be busy the next day, make some preparations for dinner for the next day. Save yourself time and energy by doing things ahead of time for meals. You can pre-chop any needed ingredients, make a meal that can be frozen and reheated or just gather and measure the ingredients for a dish a day in advance.
Fruit is especially delicious cooked on a grill. Consider grilling your favorite fruits on a skewer. Grill on a clean grill until grill marks appear. Then, serve them atop grilled pound cake or ice cream.
Always use fresh seasonings and herbs whenever you cook something simple. If you are making a more complex dish, use dried herbs such as oregano or basil. Using fresh herbs can really help to enhance the flavor of an otherwise tasteless meal. Starting an herb garden is an excellent way to make sure that fresh herbs are always on hand.
Use cooking oil to measure sticky foods easily. Prior to measuring, put a little bit of a low-flavor cooking oil on the spoon (canola works well here). This way, the food you are measuring will easily slip off the spoon. This stops you from wasting food and having to clean up afterward. You can use this method with honey, peanut butter, or anything else that is sticky.
Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. You can frequently get your ingredients ready one or two days before you cook your meal. Sometimes, the longer window of preparation time can enhance the flavor of your final dish. After you have cooked with advanced prep a few times, you may find it difficult to cook any other way again.
To get better results when juicing a citrus fruit, stick it in the microwave first. Put the fruit inside the microwave and heat it for about ten seconds, depending on size. Subsequent to microwaving, roll your fruits on your counter to help extract the most juice.
Utilize other types of timers in separate sections of the house. Decrease the chances of missing the oven timer by using your cell phone or watch alarm.
Use color with your cooking. Colorful additions to your meals will add both nutrition and visual appeal. A range of vibrant garnishments exists that you can use, from carrot curls to parsley. Let the inner artist show itself onto the dinner plates, and you’ll have the family lined up begging for more.
When making mashed potatoes, your milk should be hot, but never boiling. This will give your mashed potatoes that light and airy texture that you desire. Why would you want lumpy and dull mashed potatoes?
Cooling racks that stack on top of one another can be a handy thing to have in your kitchen. When you bake a big cookie batch, you might have no room from all of the cooling racks. Space can be better used if you incorporate racks for cooling that have multiple layers. Your cookies can cool on the rack, but you will still have full use of your kitchen surfaces.
Use the proper potatoes for your recipes. Potatoes are grouped into three different textures: mealy, waxy or all-purpose. Mealy potatoes are usually dry and crumbly, which makes them ideal for mashing. The russet is a common type of mealy potato. All-purpose Yukon gold potatoes are suited for any dish. Since they do a good job of holding their shape, waxy potatoes are used in recipes that call for steaming or boiling. Waxy varieties include white and red potatoes.
Use the tips you just learned the next time you prepare a meal. Once you taste them, you’ll be convinced that maybe cooking isn’t so bad after all! You may find that you enjoy cooking and begin experimenting even further. Start cooking now!
For a homemade soup that is very low in fat, use fat-free stock or broth as your base. Use a lot of vegetables and lean meat to help to keep the soup low in fat. When you have cooked your soup to your liking, place it in the fridge to cool off. Any fat will rise to the top of the soup and congeal. The congealed fat can then be removed with a spoon and discarded. For each tablespoon of fat that you remove, you will save about 100 calories.