There are lots of methods and techniques to learn when cooking. Some are easy to pick up, while others require study and practice. This article is jam-packed with information that will be helpful to even the most experienced of cooks.
When making a stir-fry meal, meat should always be thinly sliced, and cut on the bias. Sometimes, however, this can be a little challenging and tedious. 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.
A good cook takes pride in keeping a set of well-sharpened knives. Only the dull-witted use dull knives, as they are both ineffective and dangerous. Attempting to force a blunt blade through a tough root vegetable is much more likely to lead to an accident, than quickly dicing and slicing the same tough root vegetable with a sharp blade.
If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. This is helpful for Asian dishes you may try that call for thin strips of meat. The meat holds a tighter form when the it is partially frozen making the strips clean cut with out any stretching of the meat. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.
If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. Don’t try to create a new dish when you’re not experienced in cooking it already. You will enjoy cooking more if you have greater peace of mind.
Apples turn ripe in the early fall; therefore, they should be stored in a cool, dry place. Warm, dry air rots apples quickly, so keep them in sealed or tied plastic bags and make sure they are stored in a refrigerator or a chilly basement. Make sure you watch them, though, because if even one is rotting, it can cause the whole lot to spoil.
When you cook vegetables quickly over high heat, their quality is best. Vegetables that are slowly and thoroughly cooked, are less tasty and nutritious than vegetables that are cooked briefly. A plus is that faster cooking methods usually yield vegetables which are, generally, simply better for you health. Cooking vegetables for only a short amount of time is essential.
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
Lots of recipes for fresh basil? You can cut basil by the stems, bunch it together, and put it in a glass. Put enough water into the glass to cover the stems but not the leaves. Next, place the basil and glass on the kitchen counter; the herb will remain fresh for a week or more. If you provide the basil with fresh water, it will eventually root in the water and sprout a new plant. Picking the leaves from time to time will cause the basil to put out new growth, so you will have a constant supply!
Use airtight containers for flour, sugar and baking mixes in the kitchen. Store spices, seasonings and ingredients in airtight containers to avoid exposure to light, heat and humidity. They can be bought in lots of places, and it is an investment worth making.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. You can prepare a lot of food the day prior to actually cooking. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.
Always read labels thoroughly when shopping for a recipe. Ordinary cooking staples can contain polysyllabic artificial ingredients that are bad for you. Look out for excessive levels of sodium or sugar, since over-consumption of either leads to health problems.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. The right way to clean the mushrooms would be by hand, using a clean, wet cloth.
When cooking with pumpkins, you will need to place the pumpkin upright then slice it in half right down the middle. You then want to get two baking sheets and put the halves on their cut side down. 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.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. The taste of the wine will be reflected in your meal. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
Add chicken broth to vegetables when you cook them. By using chicken broth instead of water, you will add extra flavor to your vegetables. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.
Always make sure to read labels on any ingredients you are purchasing for a recipe. Many common cooking ingredients include substances that may not be very healthy. Make sure the ingredients you get don’t contain too much sugar or sodium, because each may account for certain health problems if overused.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. As an example, keep all of your spices stored in one cabinet for ease.
If you are cooking with garlic, you want to use the freshest clove that you can find. Garlic that is fresh is sweeter than garlic that is not. Truly fresh garlic will not be bruised, shriveled or overly soft.
While engaged in cooking, get in the habit of cleaning dishes as you finish using them. Have one side of the sink filled with fresh soapy water that’s warm and put a clear water rinse in the other. This will prevent you from mixing clean dishes with dirty ones. This is the best method to clean up quickly after cooking.
Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. The heat will focus in the bone and cook the meat from the inside. When the meat is fully cooked you should just cut the meat off near the bone and then serve.
Let your food rest a bit before sitting down to eat. A lot of people aren’t aware that flavors will improve if a meal can rest a bit before being served. Many of us prefer to simply serve a dish right out of the oven. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. Always wait a awhile before eating your meal; allow it to cool slightly before digging in.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. Store items of a similar nature together. As an example, parsley and basil are spices, so they should be stored in a cabinet together with all of the other spices.
When cutting herbs, sprinkle a little salt onto your chopping board first. This gives the herbs a little more flavor, but more importantly, it makes the herbs stick to the board better, so that they don’t fly everywhere as you chop them. You don’t need to add extra salt to the food you are preparing. This will over-salt the dish. The salt that has been sprinkled onto the board, will also have the extra benefit of adding a little bit of extra flavor when it adheres to the herbs.
Create your own stock for tastier dishes. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. If you make your own stock, it will be much healthier and not loaded with preservatives.
There are a couple of ways to heat up tortillas properly. One way is to heat them up in a preheated, 350 degree oven. Place the tortillas right on the oven rack, and bake until crispy. Alternatively, eating tortillas directly on the top of your gas stove makes them delicious while leaving gorgeous grill marks. Using these cooking techniques will make for fresher and much tastier tortillas.
Include some salt in the water when you make pasta. This is so that the seasoning will set into the pasta. If you try to salt the pasta after it is already cooked it will not hold the seasoning as well.
Your spices and cooking herbs will last longer if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Spices rapidly lose their flavor and aroma if they are kept in areas that are bright, humid, or warm. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
A charcoal grill should be prepared and the charcoal lit ahead of the time you plan to cook. Prepare the grill approximately half an hour prior to putting the food on. The charcoals are ready to cook over once they are ash covered, and at medium heat. This is optimum grilling temperature.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
Although you might have the urge to impress them by cooking fancy food, do not try new recipes when cooking for important people. New or complex recipes will increase your stress level, and you can’t be sure how they may turn out. Cook a dish you are familiar with in order to really give them your best.
Cooking with brine is a smart cooking idea. Soak any poultry in a brine 1 hour before cooking to get a great taste out of it.
In order to guarantee you hear the timer go off, set the oven and a watch. If you have a watch timer on you, you will hear it anywhere in the house.
Flavoring your meals with beef or chicken stock instead of water is a quick and easy way to spice up any meal. You could also add bouillon cubes in the water that you are using. This process adds another layer of flavor to your food, in addition to giving it the required amount of moisture needed to cook.
Add some zing to your stews, soups, and mashed potatoes by using stock instead of water. If you don’t have prepared stock, you can a bullion cube to the water. This way, the food will have the correct moisture content with an added flavor burst.
Fish is a very healthy food to eat, not to mention that it’s tasty and easy to cook. If someone has the time, they might want to think about catching their own to save money and to take advantage of the freshness. You can prepare the fish the same day you catch them or if necessary they can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
You need butter that is soft, but still solid, when you want to cream it with sugar to make cookies. Try popping your melted butter to freeze in the freezer as you start making your dough. Dough that has been chilled first will help your cookies retain their shape better instead of spreading out.
Use a flavored butter to make your corn and dinner rolls more interesting. Either use room temperature butter to start, or try warming it up in the microwave. Then, for an added kick to the flavor, put in some spices, herbs or sauces. You can always add a little honey, lemon juice, or hot spice.
A lot of fine meals have been ruined due to over-complicated directions in recipes. When you follow simple recipes accurately, however, it is easy to create delicious healthy meals. Use the tips presented here and come up with a few cooking ideas of your own. Happy eating!
Layer salads so that juicier ingredients are on the bottom and crisp ingredients are on the top. Make sure that the ingredients that are the most moist are on the bottom. On the top you should place the ingredients that get too soggy or will wilt.