One of the great things about cooking is that there is always a little room for improvement. Not even the most experienced chef is so educated that a few new tricks would not be of use to her. People with little cooking experience will need to find some tips that make it easier. This article is full of tips you will find helpful in getting you started as a cook.
If you are looking for new ideas for meals to prepare for yourself or your family two great places to look are the library and the internet, where you can find a vast array of options. Try making three or four of the recipes that appeal to you the most, and give yourself plenty of time to perfect your newly acquired skill.
Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. Cooking can get stressful when you’re working to deadline. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try your hand at some of the recipes, remembering that patience is key during the learning process.
If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, cut back on the amout of oil that you cook with. Unnecessary fats are contained in butters and oils. A nonstick spray for cooking provides many of the same results as oil; however, it does not add extra calories.
Partially freeze meat to make slicing into thin strips easier. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice as the cold temperature prevents the meat fibers from stretching and tearing. However, to make sure that the meat cooks evenly, take the time to let it thaw out prior to cooking.
Properly frozen fresh fruit can stay good for up to a year. Plus, you will have fruits which are not available during certain periods of the year.
Many people like to cook with apples towards the end of the year, but if they aren’t stored properly they can spoil. Store apples in a plastic bag in a cool, dry location to keep them fresher longer. You must still keep an eye out on the apples because one apple that is rotten can spoil the whole bag.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. Using a variety of liquids can add a bit of zest to a favorite recipe and even make it more nutritious.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. Much of the preparation can be done the day before it is needed. This can make harder recipes easy, and complicated ones a fun, fast experience.
Consider drying your very own tomatoes. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. You can also store them in jars packed with herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Ice Cube Trays
If your a fan of cooking with spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a dark and cool area in order to keep their flavors. Keeping herbs and spices in cabinets above the stove or other warm locations will cause them to lose their flavor.
One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. You will then have it readily available for when you need to make a quick and easy meal. All that needs to be done is to warm it up in a pan. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!
Never trash the leftovers after cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving or another meal. Simply chop and seal in a freezer safe container to store in the freezer. The turkey meat will keep its freshness and can later be used for making sandwiches or as a salad ingredient.
Many times your burgers can stick to your grill and it could be nearly impossible to free them without destroying them. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.
If you purchase unripened fruits, place them in a perforated plastic bag. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
If you are looking to lose weight, then you need to decrease the quantity of oil that you use when you cook. These include fatty substances like oils and butter. Consider giving non-stick cooking spray a shot. The end result is virtually the same, but these sprays are often fat-free and have ingredients that are more friendly to your diet.
Stay organized in the kitchen to avoid easy mistakes, like overcooking or burning your food. Organizing your kitchen cooking area creates a more productive kitchen. If you just cook without a plan, you will waste lots of food, which is the same as wasting lots of money.
Be sure to spread the application of seasoning throughout your cooking time instead of only applying when you start to cook. This will allow your food to really take on the flavor of the seasonings and make the food as flavorful as it can be.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. The leaves will be fuller and more crisp than they would have been if they were wet.
Cooking with garlic, buy for the freshest garlic head possible. A rule of thumb for garlic: Fresher means sweeter. If your garlic is not shriveled up or soft and has a nice and firm skin, your garlic is fresh.
When cooking, get into the habit of washing your dishes as soon as you finish using them. When you are cooking, keep one side of the sink full of water with soap and a clean rinse in the other side. Since the easiest time to clean bowls and other implements is right after you have finished with them, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort since you won’t have to scrub them so much.
Keep your turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Cut up the remaining meat, place it in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, and store it in your freezer. The turkey will stay fresh for quite a few weeks if you follow these tips. It is a great way to ensure you can have sandwiches for weeks to come.
Adding fresh herbs to season your food is a great way to add some flavor to an ordinary dish. Many dried herbs, such as oregano or basil, will help make your complex dish pop, as well. However, using fresh herbs in your dish is a lot better if you can because it provides a fresher, stronger, and yummier taste. Having a small herb garden is a great way to ensure you always have fresh herbs on hand.
If you decide on using fresh herbs, gather them in bunches and snip the stems with scissors. This is perfect for flavorful herbs like dill and parsley. When cut in this way, these herbs will have a lighter, fresher appearance.
If you are preparing a recipe with an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, enhance your skills as a chef by taking a moment to educate yourself about it. By performing some research, you could be surprised at how versatile a new food can be. Learning about the foods you’re cooking with will make the cooking experience more enjoyable.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. A lot of people do not wait long enough before serving food. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. If you do this, you will really be missing out. Always let the meal cool and sit for a little while.
Always ensure that butter is soft and not melted when you are making cookies. If your butter has been melted, simply put your sugar-butter mixture into your freezer for a couple of minutes so that it become more firm. Afterwards, place the bowl of your finished dough into the refrigerator. A dough that has been cooled will keep the cookies from spreading more than you want.
When chopping fresh herbs, try sprinkling a bit of salt over the cutting board before you begin. It will not only add flavor to the herbs but it will also keep them in place while they are being chopped. Just make sure you don’t add salt to your dish afterwards as the herbs already contain it. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
Cooking dinner for a party or large get-together can be stressful and overwhelming. Instead of succumbing to panic, do as much of the prep work as possible on the preceding night. Such things as measuring out the needed ingredients and marinating are things that may be done in advance.
Impress your family and friends with a simple sandwich just by carefully preparing it and presenting it in a great way. Oftentimes when people are rushing, they simply drop a dollop of mayonnaise in the center of the bread. Properly spreading the mayo will guarantee a flavorful sandwich with every bite.
Use ketchup as an ingredient in your fried food batter. Ketchup is not only for dipping cooked foods into, but it can also be used to dip chicken or vegetables into before dipping in breadcrumbs. The ketchup makes your fried foods tangier, which will make your friends and family wonder how you achieved such a flavor infusion.
Use a thicker skinned potato for more successful potato skins. A red potato’s skin is too thin to hold together if you are using a dense filling.
If your family enjoys corn, but you find it grows boring as a side dish night after night, change things up a bit. You could mix coconut flakes in with the corn for an enjoyable flavor inspired by Thai cooking.
To make use of those ends of vegetables and bits of leftover meat sitting in your refrigerator, create a satisfying wok filled with homemade fried rice. For drier rice, make it the night before you plan to use it or decrease the amount of water you use to cook it. Fry your vegetables and meat in oil, then toss them with your prepared rice and season the whole dish with garlic, ginger and soy sauce.
Layer salads so that juicier ingredients are on the bottom and crisp ingredients are on the top. Put the ingredients with the most juice, including tomatoes, near the bowl’s bottom. Place leafy greens and other ingredients that lose freshness quickly near the top of the bowl.
Even seasoned cooks can use new tips to ease their cooking process. New cooks have a lot of learning to do, and can benefit from the many tips and pointers available. Give these tips a try and see how much you can improve your cooking and how much more you enjoy spending time in the kitchen.
Try to use things that are colorful when you are cooking. Eating meals that have some extra color is not only better for you, but they also attract your eyes. Accentuate your dishes with cherry tomatoes, carrot slices, or parsley for a pop of color. The more beautiful the plate, the faster the food will disappear.