Begin your cooking career with simple recipes that include your favorite foods. Few people have a natural knack for cooking. That being said, everyone can learn to cook. There are a few things that you should know if you want to learn how to cook great food. The following paragraphs have some good advice that can point you down the right path.
Before attempting to prepare food with skewers, take a few things to heart. If you are using metal skewers, stick to twisted or square designs, as this can grasp food more effectively.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. It is essential that the prep work is completed before cooking commences. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.
There’s something you can do to save your effort and your sauce. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. Stir this mixture into the thin sauce and it will thicken up. However, it is important that the sauce is stirred often while the mixture is being added so as to stop it becoming too thick.
Pie crusts and tart crusts should be cook a bit past the point that you think they should be cooked. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
Sharp knives are an essential tool. Dull knives are dangerous and difficult to use. It is much easier to cut yourself trying to force a dull knife through a vegetable, than cutting it with a sharp knife.
Preparation is key when cooking for family or friends. Save yourself time and trouble by having all your ingredients ready. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This can help relax everything so that you can make something great.
Apples are very popular in cooking in fall and winter, but the spoilage rate is high if they are not stored correctly. Air that is warm or dry will cause apples to spoil, so it is important to place them in a plastic bag, knotted loosely and keep them in a cool place. Cull bad apples from the bag to avoid rotting more of them.
Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. This will help every meal that you prepare taste better.
Try adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes to lower the fat content. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
If using oil in your cooking, pour it in the pan in an area away from the food. By the time the oil reaches the food it has been heated up and is ready to roll. Having the oil at the right temperature when you cook with it will make the flavors pop.
Do you have a difficult time figuring out how long you should grill your meats? It’s always good to use a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure you correctly cook the inside. If you are grilling a thicker piece of meat (over 1.5 inches), close your grill while cooking to save some time.
Do not throw your sauce away. This simple trick can save it. Put a small amount of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly with two tablespoons of water to add to your sauce. You can then stir this solution into your sauce to instantly thicken it. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.
Be sure to read nutrition labels when purchasing ingredients. There are many common supplies in cooking that contain unhealthy ingredients that are hidden. Over-consumption of sugars and salts can cause you health issues so be aware of them in your ingredients.
Have you ever felt sorry for throwing away moldy fruits? Is it possible to save at least a portion by getting rid of only the bad part? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. Mold goes a lot deeper than you see and it can make you ill.
This will help to keep your fruits fresh for much longer. In addition, you will then be able to indulge in fruits that aren’t in season.
Apples turn ripe in the early fall; therefore, they should be stored in a cool, dry place. Dry warm air rots apples, so keep them cool in a basement or loosely wrapped in the fridge. However, if even one apple becomes rotten, it will quickly spoil all apples in the same bag.
Make sure that you do not dispose of any leftovers after your Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, slice up the remaining meat, put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and store it in your freezer. Turkey can be used later for many delicious casseroles and salads, since it can last in a freezer for long periods of time.
The best way to prepare fresh herbs, like parsley or dill, is to bunch them together and cut them up with scissors. This will keep the herbs drier and lighter than chopped with a knife.
When you store some ingredients, like flour, baking mixes, and sugar, use airtight containers. These airtight containers can keep your food fresher for a longer period of time, as well as protecting your food safe from insects and pests. These containers are affordable and are available at most grocery stores.
Use a paper towel to blot moisture off of any ground meat before you put it in the pan to cook. It is always wise to blot any moisture that is present on ground meat. When ground meats are cooked, excess moisture can be released. This can change the way that your favorite steak cooks. While this may not seem like a big deal, it means that the meat will actually steam, instead of sear, which makes a huge difference in the texture.
When serving salad to guests, leave the dressing on the side. The amount dressing that people prefer on their salad varies so allow guests to add their own dressing. Offer several different types of dressing.
Be creative with your approach to cooking. Feel free to adapt a recipe to suit your particular needs. Sometimes adding or taking away a little extra of this or that can alter the taste so much, that it exceeds the original recipe itself. That is how a real cook gets it cooking!
The stress of making dinner can be alleviated by prepping certain ingredients the night before. Marinate your meat or cut up the vegetables ahead of time. Preparing your meal the next night will be a snap, and much more relaxing.
For an improvement to your pasta sauce, save some of the water used to cook the pasta. Set aside a small amount of the water, about one quarter cup. When you’re ready to combine the pasta and sauce, pour in a bit of the water. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Ensure that herbs and spices are stored in an area that is dark, dry and cool. Spices will rapidly lose flavor if exposed to heat, light or humidity. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
Potatoes are divided in different categories, and each category should be used differently. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salad but do not work as well for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or french fries. If you plan on making these types of recipes, you should use Russets potatoes as they are made specifically for these.
A pantry or other cool, dark space will preserve the flavor of herbs and spices the longest. Keeping your spices in warm places, such as above your stove, will really take a lot of the flavor away.
Be considerate to those who will be consuming your meals by reserving many spices for later addition. Pepper, garlic powder, cayenne seasoning, and salt are excellent spices. Be careful though, as people can have very different tastes with regards to spice. Have these available for customizing when cooking, versus using them during the process. This allows each person to make their meal their way.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Store items of a similar nature together. As an example, you may want to keep all of your spices together.
When you are cooking with Teflon coated cookware, you must use silicone, nylon or rubber utensils. If you use a utensil that is hard, such as wood or metal, you will probably scratch the nonstick coating. This will make the cookware less effective, and it can cause the surface to flake off into your food. This can prove to be unhealthy and will also reduce the appeal of your food.
When you are cooking, wash the dishes as you use them to reduce clean-up time later. Put some hot soapy water in a fresh sink on one side and keep clear water you can use as a rinse on the other side. Cooking bowls and tools can be quickly cleaned as needed, and ready for their next use.
One unique grilling option is fruit. Try taking slices of melon, nectarines, and peaches and then putting them on some skewers. Cook them on a cleaned grill until you see the grill marks. You can then serve them over ice cream or on top of grilled pound cake.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Measure out one-fourth of a cup and place it to the side. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. The water from the pasta contains starch, which can thicken your sauce.
Leafy greens have many health benefits, but getting them prepared to eat is not easy. Removing the tough stems can be tedious. To make it easy, fold the leaf lengthwise and remove the stem through the middle. If folding it doesn’t work for you, take the folded leaf and a knife, and remove the stem with the knife. When you unfold the leaves there will be perfect de-stemmed greens.
If your family is finding sweet corn to be a drag, then it’s time to infuse it with some Asian flavor. One easy way to add unexpected flavor to corn is to mix it with coconut flakes for a taste of Thai.
When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Don’t put too much salt on the board, though. Don’t add salt later, either, as there should be enough absorbed when you are chopping. The herbs gain more flavor when the salt sticks to them.
When using a citrus fruit for juicing, it is best to warm it just a little in the microwave first. Microwave any medium sized citrus fruits for about ten seconds. After removing them, gently roll them on a cutting board before slicing them open to begin juicing.
Few people have a knack for cooking, but if you can read and follow a recipe, you can learn to cook simple meals very easily. It’s not as hard as you think. You will be whipping up souffles in no time once you embrace these tips and put your new skills to good use.
Try to use things that are colorful when you are cooking. It is both appealing to the eyes and healthier to your body. Colorful garnishments can be chosen for your meals, such as parsley, carrot curls, and raw cherry tomatoes. If you are creative with the colors of your meals, they will be eaten very quickly.