Although many people relish the idea of a culinary career, few are willing to endure the entire training and placement process. Cooking is so accessible because you can go at your own pace, and if you try applying these tips, you can be a master chef faster than the blink of an eye.
Give pie and tart crust a little longer baking time than you normally would for the best results. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. This indicates the sugar has turned to caramel. Your crust will have a sweeter and crispier flavor.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Exposure to heat, light, and humidity can cause them to lose their flavor. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If they are stored properly, they will stay fresh longer.
Keep all spices stored out of the sunlight. By storing them in excessive light and heat, their shelf life will decrease. Keeping your spices in a cooler space with little light will enhance their flavor and shelf life. You can prepare tastier meals if you use fresher spices.
Slice meat on the bias very thin when you are making stir fry. This process may take a very long time, and it takes practice. Remove the meat from the freezer before it is frozen, but when it is solid to touch. Next, position the meat at 45 degrees to the chopping board and slice across the grain with a sharp knife.
When adding oil to cooking food, pour it on the sides of the pan. This way, it will already be heated by the time it reaches the food. This will enhance the flavors of the food when you’re done cooking.
There’s a neat trick you can use to save your sauce. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Stir the mixture into a warm thin sauce to thicken it. Stir the sauce constantly as you slowly add the starch mixture until it reaches the desired thickness.
Do not throw away the product of your hard work. Combine 1 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoons water, and stir together in a separate bowl. Stir this mixture into the sauce while it’s simmering and this will make it more thick. For a sauce that’s too thick, add more liquid.
Place meat in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing easier. Asian inspired dishes such as Chinese and Thai will particularly benefit from this technique. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. Once you have cut your meat to preference, place them to the side to finish thawing. This allows your meat strips to cook evenly.
Whenever you are spicing up your meat, consider starting off with a small portion before you cook the whole piece. Many meaty foods require careful seasoning. Do not cook the entire thing right after you season it. Instead, make a small patty out of a little piece and cook that first. Once you see how it tastes, you can determine to either cook the remaining meat or adjust the amount of seasoning.
Always taste a cooked sample of you dish before cooking the rest of the meat. Certain foods like meatballs, hamburgers and meatloaf could require very careful seasoning. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Try making a little patty and cooking it first. After you have tested this piece, you can adjust the level of seasoning as necessary or cook the rest as is.
If you are making a meal for someone that you want to make a good impression on, be sure to make something you know how to make well. That would be a bad time to experiment with the unknown, whether it is an untried recipe or ingredient. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
Apples are a popular ingredient for cooking during the cool autumn and winter months. However, if they are not stored correctly, apples can spoil very quickly. Apples will spoil in warm, dry air, so put them in a loosely tied bag in a cool basement or refrigerator. Make sure to check on them regularly, as one rotten apple means the rest are soon to follow.
Whenever you season your food, try seasoning it slowly rather than all at once. Seasoning in this manner offers several advantages. First, you are maximizing the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Second, you are utilizing ingredients in the best way possible.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. Using slow cooking methods can rob vegetable of their taste and nutritional value. Using these techniques will mean putting healthier food on the table. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.
If your meals include fresh herbs like dill or parsley, clump them together and use kitchen shears to cut them. This will prevent them from clumping together and they will be drier than when you chop them.
If you want to try a more advanced recipe, make it more manageable by prepping the day before. Locate the ingredients, cut up and measure herbs and spices and look through your cupboards to make sure you have what you need. The next day when you have to cook your meal, all you need to think about is assembling and cooking the dish.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.
Know the right care for wood cutting boards. Wooden cutting boards can warp and split if they are exposed to heat and moisture or if they are stored in an excessively dry area. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. When a cutting board shows signs of wear and tear, there are special oils that can rejuvenate them. After oiling, allow the oil to soak in and the board to dry before using it again.
Garlic is delicious; however the pungent aroma will get stuck on your hands. Rub your hands on the inside of a sink made of stainless steel after using garlic. It helps stop the transfer of the garlic to other foods since it cleans your hands.
Wrapping the turkey together with string is trussing. By holding the legs and wings close to the body, this allows for more evenly cooked meat. Otherwise, the meat found in the legs and wings tends to become dry and tough during cooking.
When making simple dishes, favor fresh herbs over dried ones. Dried herbs like oregano and basil are generally more appropriate for highly complicated dishes with varied flavors. For a simpler dish, fresh herbs are more efficient because their flavor is much stronger. Growing your own herb garden is one way to make sure that fresh herbs are always available.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. 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.
By using beef or chicken broth or stock in the place of water, you can really boost the flavor of many foods. Bouillon cubes can be added to the water to give dishes the delicious stock flavor as well. Doing this will provide the food you’re making with the required amount of moisture and will also enhance the flavor.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! Both are easily available to buy at almost every grocery store. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. For a tasty bean dish, simply boil them with your favorite herbs.
If you have odors from the food that you are cooking with, stuck on your hands, use stainless steal and rub them for about one minute, and then wash with soap. You can use the sink itself, or even a special steel “soap” in order to remove these smells.
Then you can have fresh fruit anytime you wish. In addition, you will then be able to indulge in fruits that aren’t in season.
Do not start cooking until you are certain you have all the necessary ingredients. This will help you go through the preparation easily and not have to run to the store for additional ingredients. Collecting all items needed before cooking doesn’t require any additional time, and it can save time and needless effort later on.
After you have eaten a turkey dinner, keep any leftovers of the meat. The meat can be cut up, stored in separate bags, and kept in the freezer. Leftover turkey can be used for enchiladas, pot pie, sandwiches and salads.
Grilled fruit is a particularly savory treat. Slice peaches, melon or nectarines and place them on skewers. Cook them on a cleaned grill until you see the grill marks. Use the cooked fruit to top off a serving of grilled pound cake or a dish of ice cream.
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
To easily measure sticky foods, use cooking oil! 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. This works great for foods such as peanut butter and margarine.
Layer salads so that juicier ingredients are on the bottom and crisp ingredients are on the top. Items like tomatoes, which are juicy, should be on the bottom, while other ingredients that may be more delicate and prone to wilting should go on top.
Put any of the unripened fruits you buy in a plastic bag with small holes on the bag. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. Placing fruit in a perforated bag allows air circulation in the bag, retaining ethylene gas and keeping the fruit tasting good.
To get better results when juicing a citrus fruit, stick it in the microwave first. Heat your fruits in the microwave for just ten seconds or so. After microwaving, you will want to roll it back and forth on the counter before you cut and start juicing.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. Make a lot at once, so that you can divide it into batches and store it in the freezer. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. If you make your own stock, it will be much healthier and not loaded with preservatives.
You can cut cinnamon rolls with ease. You may have your dough ready, but it can still be difficult to cut slices that aren’t messy. To cut the dough easily, use a string thread underneath it where you desire the cut to be made. Take the thread on either side, cross it over the top and pull the ends toward opposite ways. This will result in magnificent looking cinnamon rolls.
Leave your meal to sit for a short while before serving. Many do not realize the importance of letting their cooked food rest. It can be tempting to serve a meal straight off the grill. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
If you want to make fat free stew or soup, begin by using a soup stock or broth that is fat free. Sticking with the low-fat goal, use lean meat and vegetables in the soup. When your soup finishes cooking, chill it in the refrigerator for a bit. Any fat will rise to the top of the soup and congeal. Remove the solidified fats using a spoon. You will save approximately 100 calories for each tablespoon removed.
Knowing how to cook will always come in handy when you want to prepare a meal that impresses. Eating with family and friends is a custom that transcends place and culture. If you use the above tips, you will become an awesome cook and everyone will ask you to cook for the next big family event.
Air tends to turn fresh fruits like avocados, apples and pears brown. The process can be stopped with salt water and lemon. For a better flavor, pineapple juice can do the same job. All that is required is a quick dip in the juice.