Some people don’t like to cook and see it as nothing but a chore. However, cooking can be an enjoyable activity. This is an easier way to live healthy. Good cooks are continuously learning and trying to improve their craft. Here, we will offer you some great tips to further your knowledge and love of cooking.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. It is easy to cut yourself if you are using a dull knife than slicing it with a very sharp one.
Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Elements such as light and heat can cause your herbs to lose flavor quickly, resulting in less taste being added to your favorite dishes. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Spices in their whole form can be stored for between 3 to 5 years. When spices are stored in the correct manner, they will stay fresh for much longer.
Do you experience a guilty twinge when you pitch out rotten fruit? Do you wonder if you can still use the fruit by simply cutting out the part that seems overripe? Cutting off rotten bits of fruit will not make them safer. The fruit needs to be thrown as away as some of the mold may not be visible and can cause you to become ill.
When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. If all of the prep work is completed well before the actual cooking begins, this will help alleviate some stress later.
If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. Brushing vegetable oil on the grill will help keep your food from sticking.
Keep spices in a dark and cool place. By storing them in excessive light and heat, their shelf life will decrease. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
Lowering your oil amounts when cooking can help you have a healthier diet and lose weight. Oils and butter are a source of fats. Break out the nonstick cooking spray to give your food the boost in taste that cooking oil and butter give.
If you need to slice meat into thin strips, then partially freeze it beforehand. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. The tissues of partially-frozen meat do not tear and stretch as much; this makes cleaner slices possible. Allow the meat strips to completely thaw before you throw them in the cooking pan, so you can be sure that the strips all cook evenly.
For a high-protein diet, meat isn’t the only source available. Tofu, lentils and beans are great protein substitutes. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.
When trying a new seasoning for your meat, season one small piece and sample prior to cooking the entire batch of meat. Many foods such as hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs need careful and specific seasoning. After seasoning the meat, do not cook all of it. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.
In recipes that call for milk or water, try substituting more flavorful liquids. If the recipe calls for water, switch it up by using a broth, juice, or cooking liquids. You can substitute buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in place of the milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
Boiling takes time and removes the nutrients from veggies. To maintain their healthy reputation, prepare them quicker by steaming or sauteing, and you could always enjoy them naturally in their raw state.
If your dish calls for a bit of garlic, make sure the garlic is as fresh as possible. Freshness heightens the possibility that the garlic will be sweeter tasting. You can identify fresh garlic by its lack of bruising and firm skin.
When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. Instead, slice up the remaining meat, put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and store it in your freezer. The turkey will stay fresh for a couple of weeks, and it can be used in open-face sandwiches or as a salad topper.
It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Use fresh ingredients as often as you can; they offer more flavor and tend to be less expensive as well.
Many food items leave their odors on cutting boards, which can linger even with vigorous scrubbing. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
Saute vegetables in some chicken broth for a healthier option. The broths adds some additional flavor, and reduces or eliminates the need to use cooking oil to prepare them. This is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.
To improve the flavor of your dishes, mix your own broth and other stock. You can cook it in large batches, pour the extra batches into plastic freezer bags, and then simply store them in the freezer. By freezing stock, you ensure that you have tasty homemade stock ready to add to any dish. If you prepare your own, homemade stock, you will be cutting out all of the preservatives of canned versions.
Now you may have fresh fruit at anytime during the year. It will also allow you to have the fruits you love even when they are not in season.
Blot any ground meat you eat before you cook it. Blotting the ground meat’s moisture is a good thing to do. If you do not blot it away, the moisture will come out when the meat is cooked. The moisture will start to sizzle and steam away when it hits the heat of the pan. This steams the meat, giving it a different texture than searing.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. Use chicken broth, beef stock or vegetable broth instead. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
You can reduce your stress level by doing your prep work for an important meal the day or night before the event. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. When cooking time arrives, you’ll need only to be concerned with assembling and cooking the meal.
Replace your spices twice a year. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. When you have to buy certain spices for specific dishes, be sure to give some of the spice away to a family or friend, if you do not plan on using all of it, before it will go bad.
Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. Once it’s been cooked, the pasta will be harder to season properly.
It is very important to make sure your cooking utensils are clean before you start cooking. Any leftover food post-washing can ruin whatever you plan on cooking next. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.
To circumvent a greasy mess when reheating a leftover meal that contains oil, place the meal in your oven it and bake it instead of reheating in the microwave. Because microwaves have intense heat, oil separates from other ingredients because it heats faster. When you use the oven to reheat a dish, the heat will come slower and more consistent, which will keep the ingredients cohesive and the dish flavorful.
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. You will only have to get everything put together when it’s time for you to cook.
Always use rubber, nylon or silicone spoons and spatulas when cooking with nonstick cookware. Silicone, nylon, rubber and wood are much less abrasive and work just as well. This is dangerous, as well as unappetizing.
To make an improvement to pasta sauce, save some of the pasta’s cooking water. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. When you are ready to mix your sauce and pasta together, incorporate some of this water. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Some pungent ingredients, like garlic, onions, or fish, can stick to your hands and transfer to foods you don’t want them on. You can stop this process by rubbing your hands on stainless steel before you give them a wash. You can use any stainless steel item: spoon, sink, or specially made “soap bar.” Rubbing them on stainless steel will remove the odor and keep your hands smelling fresh.
To make your cooking experience easier, you should always prepare your ingredients prior to cooking. This way, you will never find yourself halfway through a recipe and without something you need. It doesn’t take longer to prepare beforehand, but it can certainly save time as you go.
If you make salsa with raw onions and you will not be eating it within 20 minutes of preparation, you should rinse the onion pieces first, then blot them dry completely. Fresh onions have a sulfurous gas in them. Your fresh salsa will be ruined by this gas. Rinsing and drying raw onions will remove the gas.
Use ketchup in batters for fried foods. There is no need to only use ketchup as a dip for cooked foods. You can also use it as a supplemental dip for chicken or vegetables. Adding ketchup or another sauce will add more flavor to your recipe.
There are a couple of ways to heat up tortillas properly. One suggestion is to place tortillas on an oven rack that has been preheated to 350 degrees and reach desired cripness. You can also use the burner on your gas stove by placing the tortilla above the flame directly on the metal guard. Your tortillas will taste fresher and be warm when you eat them if you use these techniques.
Cooking oil is a wonderful help if you need to measure out a product that is sticky. Take the measuring spoon, dip it into a lightly flavored oil, like canola, and then pour on the substance to be measured. The foodstuff will easily move from the spoon once measured and cleaning up will be a lot easier. This will work great for peanut butter and honey too.
As was previously noted, a good cook is always learning. Enjoyment of cooking encompasses not only the act of cooking, but also the excitement derived from learning about new foods and cooking techniques. It is also important to pass off your knowledge to others. Sharing everything from your unique recipes to your finished food will give you a sense of well-being.
Add some excitement to that frozen sweet corn if your family is getting tired of having the same old corn all the time. For a Thai-inspired flavor that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, try mixing coconut flakes into your corn.