Much is said about great food. Take this advice and send your cooking skills up a notch.
You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. If they are exposed to light, heat or humidity, they will lose much of their flavor. For most grounded herbs and spices keep a lot of their flavor more than a year. Spices that are not ground can keep their flavors for 3 to 5 years. Keep spices fresh for the longest time possible by storing them correctly.
Don’t throw away that runny sauce, as there is an easy fix available. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. You can then stir this solution into your sauce to instantly thicken it. Add the starch slowly and stir the sauce constantly to avoid making it too thick.
It is important to have sharp knives when cooking. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. When your knife is dull, it can be easier for it to slip off the vegetable and end up cutting you instead. Keep your knives sharp for safety as well as convenience.
Do not season all the meat immediately: try a small piece first. You may have to use caution when you season foods such as meatballs, meatloaf or hamburgers. Avoid cooking all of it after it’s been seasoned. Cook a small, seasoned patty and taste the result. If you are satisfied with the flavor you can move on to the rest of the batch, or, if the flavor is off, you can add more seasonings to get the flavor right.
Do you feel like you’re wasting money when you throw away a piece of moldy fruit? Is it alright to cut out the rotten part and save them? You can’t save a piece of fruit that has begun to rot. Discard them, as mold goes deeper than the eye can see and can make you quite ill.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. The potatoes need to soak because the fibers will be reinforced through the cold fluids which in turn makes them fry better. They can handle the heat and not break apart completely.
Whatever you may be cooking, using fresh foods is always better than canned, dried, or frozen. Whenever possible, incorporate fresh ingredients; they enhance the flavor of other ingredients and may even be less expensive.
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. When they’re mashed, cauliflowers have the same appearance and consistency as potatoes, too. Adding a little cauliflower can take calories out of your favorite mashed potato recipes and add in a little vegetable goodness, too.
There are many things you can do ahead of time to save time during your meal preparation. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
Are you preparing a dish with fresh basil? Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Submerge the stems in water. The basil can remain fresh for several days if it is placed in indirect sunlight. The basil may even start growing roots if you change out the water regularly. Trim or cut the basil periodically to provide for added growth so you can partake in some fresh basil for a while!
If you want to eat healthier and lose weight, it’s really important to use fewer oils in your cooking. Oil or butter add more fat than necessary to your dishes. Try cooking with a cooking spray so that you will use less oil but the same effect.
This seasoning can be used with various foods other than meat. Try roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled with the seasoning for a tasty snack or mix it in your scrambled eggs. It will be hard for people to guess where the flavor is coming from!
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. This will prevent them from burning while you are cooking. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. To prevent this in the future, brush a bit of vegetable oil onto the grates before adding the food.
Soy products and beans are a wonderful place to get protein if you need to add some to your diet. You can buy these in almost any grocery store. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.
If you are trying to eat smarter to lose weight, it is vital to use less oil when you cook. Oils and butters generally contain needless fats. Nonstick cooking sprays are a great substitute which ends up giving you the same result except in a healthy way, as opposed to the oil which is unhealthy.
Always make sure to read labels on any ingredients you are purchasing for a recipe. Many common ingredients contain items that are considered unhealthy. Be sure that the ingredients you are buying do not contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, as these both can cause health problems if overdone.
To cook a whole pumpkin, cut an upright pumpkin in half vertically. The halves should be placed face-down on two baking pans. Sprinkle some water on each baking sheet to add moisture, then bake each pumpkin half in a 350-degrees fahrenheit oven for about 60 minutes.
If you have a recipe that requires water or milk, you can change out the liquids to create a whole new flavor. Use chicken broth, beef stock or vegetable broth instead. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
Always measure the amount of cooking oil you use. To lower the fat you use when cooking, make sure to measure the oil you use as opposed to just pouring it straight into the pan. You’ll want to make sure to only use the amount of cooking oil that you need.
When you need to season your food, add your seasoning a little bit at a time instead of all at once. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.
You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. Before going to bed, cut up the onions and veggies or make your marinating sauce. You will feel much relief the next day, and cooking will be more of a pleasure.
Many veggies and herbs have a scent that remains on cutting boards even after they are washed. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.
When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This will keep them drier and less heavy than if they are chopped.
You can make your own dried tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. The next step is to put the rack on an old cookie sheet and then place in an oven set at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. This jar should be used within 2 weeks and kept refrigerated.
Before cooking ground beef, pat it gently to remove moisture. It’s always a good plan to blot away wetness that is on ground meat. If there is too much liquid left on the meat, the cooking process will boil it off. Sizzling will occur. Instead of being properly seared, the meat will get steamed, altering its taste and texture.
When planning to prepare complicated dishes, do the prep work the evening before the actual cooking is to take place to minimize stress. Use this time to gather all needed ingredients, chop veggies and measure seasonings. Make sure you have everything you need. This way, you won’t have to do the tedious tasks when you are ready to cook.
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. Get all of the ingredients that you will need, measure and chop all spices or herbs and make sure that you have what the recipe requires. When cooking time arrives, you’ll need only to be concerned with assembling and cooking the meal.
When you are using your cutting board to chop herbs, sprinkle a little salt on the board. Doing this not only adds some flavor, but it also ensures that the herbs are right where they need to be, which is on the board. Don’t over-salt your foods. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. Sometimes making minor changes can make the dish taste even better than it did when following the original recipe. Now that is a real cook!
When preparing a salsa that won’t be used immediately, rinse any raw onions you are using in cold water and dry them well. Sulfurous gas is a property of fresh onions. This gas can leak out and make the salsa inedible. You can remove this gas by rinsing and drying the onions when they are raw.
Get your grill ready to go before you start to barbecue. You should start preparing your grill around 30 minutes before you put the food on. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the most effective temperature for grilling.
The first thing you should do when barbecuing it to prepare the grill. A half hour is the lead time usually needed in order to have the grill properly fired up before you cook. Your coals should be kept at a medium heat range and covered with a layer of ash. That is the ideal grilling temperature.
Do some research about fruits or vegetables you have never cooked with before. After a little research, you may be amazed at the versatility of food. Teaching yourself prior to beginning any kitchen task will get you more fun out of your experience.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you are cooking your meats properly. There is a recommended minimum temperature for every type of meat; this ensures that meat is cooked well enough to be safe to eat. Cooking meat thoroughly is the only way to kill the bacteria that naturally exist on meat. Unchecked, these bacteria can cause illnesses if consumed.
To make sure you know when the food is done, set the timer on the oven, but set a watch timer as well. Then you will know when the time is up even if you are not in the kitchen.
Make sure that you store your herbs and spices in a cool, dry, dark area. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. This only exposes the spices to the elements which make them lose their flavors.
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 melts completely, then put it back in the fridge to let it solidify again. You can also refrigerate the resulting dough. Dough that has cooled a bit will spread less in the oven.
Enjoy your meals knowing you have provided healthy food for your family. The people you share your dishes with will truly enjoy your efforts and you will benefit yourself from following these tips.
You can make a nice wok full of stir fried rice and bits and pieces of veggies and whatnot from your fridge. It is best to use cooled off day-old rice, though if you need to make fresh rice, put in less water so that your rice will be on the drier side. Just add your meat of choice to a large pan or wok, then throw in the veggies followed by the rice and some seasonings. In no time you’ll have a meal.