Food is a necessity for all humans to survive. But why stop at survival? Cooking a fabulous meal can be just as exciting, if not more, than the pleasure of eating the meal. You can make a big difference in your kitchen savvy by checking out these tips.
If you have not yet cooked with skewers you should definitely consider this fact. For metal skewers, twisted or square types will better hold the food than round ones.
When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. It is essential that the prep work is completed before cooking commences. Of course, cooking under a strict deadline can really increase stress levels. Prep work helps take the stress out of meal planning and preparing.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. This color means that the sugar has caramelized within the pie crust and will have a crunchy and sweet flavor.
A little-known tip for cooking with oil is to introduce it into the pan from the side; this will allow the oil to heat on its way down. Doing this will give you maximum flavor when your meal is finished cooking.
Slice your meat very thinly for stir-fry dishes. This is rather difficult to do, and can take a lot of time. Before the meat is frozen (but when it is firm), pull the meat from the freezer, and slice the meat at a forty-five degree angle.
Sharp knives are essential in any kitchen. Dull knives make it very difficult to cut with and also extremely dangerous to use. You can cut yourself because you are forcing the knife through the food, use a sharp knife.
Did you ever feel bad for throwing old, moldy fruit away? Be sure to check apples occasionally because one bad apple will ruin all of them. Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. It is important to throw moldy fruit in the trash because eating moldy food can cause you to become very ill. There is often more mold on the fruit than can be seen by the naked eye.
Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflowers look very similar to potatoes in texture and color when they are mashed. It will allow you to have a delicious side dish that is healthier and still flavorful.
In order to have plenty of fresh fall apples for cooking, store them properly to keep them from spoiling. Dry warm air rots apples, so keep them cool in a basement or loosely wrapped in the fridge. Be sure to remove any spoiled apples as soon as you spot them, or the entire batch will end up rotten.
To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.
if fresh basil what you’re cooking with? Take a bunch of the basil and set it in a glass. Then cover the stems of the basil with water. This will help to keep it from going bad for quite a few days. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. Occasional pruning of the basil might instigate even more growth, which means you can have a steady supply of fresh basil even longer.
It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
You can use it on other foods besides meat. Sprinkle the seasoning on top of roasted pumpkin seeds and make a tasty snack, or sprinkle it on scrambled eggs. People will wonder on what the secret ingredient is!
After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. The sauce will be very edible after it comes out of the trays.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. Using a variety of liquids can add a bit of zest to a favorite recipe and even make it more nutritious.
Is it hard for you to know how long to grill your meat? It’s always good to use a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure you correctly cook the inside. A good rule of thumb to reduce the total cooking time is to always close the grill lid whenever the thickness of the meat exceeds 1.5 inches.
If you are preparing pumpkins for a meal, position the pumpkin so it is sitting upright, then cut it into two equal halves. Lay both halves upon separate baking sheets 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.
When making a dish that needs to contain garlic, purchase the best and most fresh garlic you can. Fresh garlic is sweeter, while older cloves of garlic are more pungent. Garlic is fresh when it is firm, unbruised and has not shriveled up.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. The bone helps the heat distribute on the inside of the roast, which helps it cook faster. When you are done cooking the roast cut it off the bone.
After you eat turkey, do not just toss the leftovers in the garbage. Rather, cut up the meat and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. With enough leftover turkey, you can enjoy turkey sandwiches and salads for several weeks after the bird was cooked.
When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This results in light and fluffy herbs, and prevents the wetness that can occur when you chop them.
You should discard your spices biannually and buy new ones. Spices lose their flavor if kept too long. If you purchase a spice that you don’t use very often, give some of it to friends or relatives.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. Make a lot at once, so that you can divide it into batches and store it in the freezer. By freezing stock, you ensure that you have tasty homemade stock ready to add to any dish. Homemade soup stock or bullion is a wonderful way to eliminate high sodium and preservatives that are present in commercially made products from your diet.
If you are including raw onions in a salsa that you aren’t going to be serving right away, use cold water and a paper towel to rinse and blot the onions. Onions that are raw have sulfurous gas in them. The salsa can be ruined by this gas. Take the onions and run water over them and get the moisture off, and you won’t have the smell.
You should have all preparations for your food ready before you start cooking. You will save gas or electricity, and you will be able to focus on one thing at a time.
Before cooking with an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, read up on what you can do with it. You might be surprised how much you can do with that new food. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
The vast varieties of potatoes do not easily substitute for each other in recipes. For example, some are waxy and wonderful for making potato salad or boiled potatoes but would not work well as french fries or baked potatoes. When making those foods, potatoes which are fluffy, like Russets, are best.
Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of variation among different types of potatoes. For example, there are waxy potatoes that are ideal for making potato salad and boiled potatoes but are a poor choice for french fries, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes are often recommended for making mashed, fried or baked potato recipes because they have high starch content.
Buy a rack that you can stack. When you bake a lot of cookies or any other goods, your whole work area can get consumed. Without the stacking cooling racks, you will not have enough room to work. A vertical cooling rack will cool cookies and give you more working space.
You feel the need to wow your guests by cooking something fancy, though if it is a recipe that you have never tried before, now is not the right time. Regardless of who it is, you will want to try and impress them. Cooking them one of your specialties is a safe bet.
Replace the water in a recipe with beef, chicken or vegetable broth to add flavor. Alternatively, you can use the water the recipe calls for, but add in bouillon cubes as well. This is a good way to moisten your food while adding more flavor.
Stacking cooling racks are a baker’s best friend. These stackable racks will free up much needed counter space when baking. Cooking racks that stack provide you the tools to use your space more efficiently. A vertical cooling rack will cool cookies and give you more working space.
Use a thick-skinned baking potato for firmer-shelled twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes are not ideal for a dense filling.
If you cook with chicken stock or beef stock instead of water, you can enhance the flavor of everything you cook, from mashed potatoes and rice, to soups and stews. Alternately, you can use bouillon in the water called for in the recipe. This will ensure that the food you cook is as flavorful and moist as it can possibly be.
Once your dish is finished, break out the spices. Pepper, garlic powder, cayenne seasoning, and salt are excellent spices. Everyone has different preferences of spices and other seasonings. Instead of adding spices while you are cooking, let people season their own food after you have served it. This will make it so everyone can have it their way.
Add spices after your dish is ready. Garlic powder, salt, cayenne and pepper are all great spices that can be added to foods after they have been cooked. Where seasonings are concerned, people have drastically different preferences. Allow for your food to be complimented with these spices when the meal is served. This will make it so everyone can have it their way.
In preparation for a busy day, get some recipe ingredients ready to go to save time. Put together a lasagna that you can refrigerate or freeze, or chop some vegetables for stir frying, and you shave precious time off of a stressful day and still put a tasty warm meal on the table for your family.
Fruit works especially well on the grill. Put sliced nectarines, melon, and peaches on a skewer and grill them. Make sure the grill is clean, and cook the fruit until it shows grill marks. You can then serve them over ice cream or on top of grilled pound cake.
To make cooking less stressful, prep all of your ingredients ahead of time. Doing so will ensure you won’t need to stop during cooking in order to run out to the store to purchase a missing ingredient. It doesn’t take longer to prepare beforehand, but it can certainly save time as you go.
Make some flavored butter to add to your dinner rolls or corn for an exciting experience. Bring the butter to room temperature, or put it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it soft. Then you want to add some sauce, herbs or spices to give the butter that extra kick. Some great things to try are honey, lemon juice, barbecue sauce and chipotles.
You can have as much fun learning to cook as you can have eating the results. You should not only learn basic cooking tips, but make them your own. Experiment. Change the tips you read in this article to make them work for you. Improving your culinary prowess will cause others to beg for your home-cooked snacks at every get-together.
When prepping a salad for a potluck or for serving later in the day, layer it wisely. 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.