A lot of people only consider cooking a chore. Actually, cooking can be really enjoyable. It’s also a good step toward a more healthy lifestyle. People who are interested in cooking are always looking for tips to improve their skills, and the information that follows will help you on your quest for knowledge.
Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. When exposed to light and heat, spices will lose their sharpness and flavor. Ground herbs and spices will retain their flavor for about a year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. 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.
To make your sauce thicker, stir cornstarch into the simmering sauce. Put a small amount of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly with two tablespoons of water to add to your sauce. Slowly add to the sauce while on simmer and your sauce will gradually thicken. Be sure to gradually stir in the solution, and frequently stir the sauce so that it does not become too thick.
When you are seasoning meat, try a small piece prior to adding seasoning to the entire thing. Meats like meatballs, hamburgers or meatloaf can be easily under or over seasoned. After seasoning the meat, do not cook all of it. Try cooking a small sample before making all of it. If it tastes good, then cook it, if it needs some additional seasoning, then you can adjust your recipe before making the entire meal.
A good cook takes pride in keeping a set of well-sharpened knives. Knives that have not been sharpened in a while can not only pose a threat to your health, but also a threat to smashing your food. It’s easier to hurt yourself with a dull knife by forcing it to cut through something than by using a sharp knife to easily slice through it.
You may have felt regret when you threw away a moldy orange or lemon. Is it alright to cut out the rotten part and save them? A half rotten fruit cannot be saved. Mold grows deep into the fruit, and by eating it you will risk illness.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. When potatoes are allowed to absorb cold water, the texture is able to withstand the extreme heat of cooking without breaking down and becoming mushy.
People mainly use plenty of apples in cooking during the winter and fall months, but if not stored properly they quickly go bad. Heat and oxygen spoil apples, so place them in plastic bags in a cool spot. Your fridge is ideal. Be sure to remove any spoiled apples as soon as you spot them, or the entire batch will end up rotten.
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. Cauliflower is also the same texture and color of potatoes when mashed so it’s a great way to add more veggies, while lowering calories from classic mashed potatoes.
Have you ever experienced difficulty in determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Using a meat thermometer, especially one with a precise digital readout, is a good idea for checking whether the meat is cooked or not. If you are grilling meat that exceeds a thickness of 1.5 inches, closing your grill’s lid can make better use of the heat and cook through the meat faster.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. You’ll still be able to enjoy mashed potatoes, but with less fat and calories!
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. To prevent your burgers from sticking, brush the grill with oil prior to cooking.
If you have little time to cook each day, you can partially prepare certain foods to break up the cooking process into several steps. Complete as many steps in advance as you can without risking spoilage. There is a lot you can do the day before to prepare for the next day’s meal. Completing half the work ahead of time makes cooking time quicker and more enjoyable.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
Garlic’s only disadvantage is that it transfers smell onto your hands. An easy way to remove the smell is to rub your hands on a stainless steel surface like your sink. Not only does this remove the smell of the odoriferous food ingredient from your hands, it also keeps this odor from passing to other foods that you are about to handle.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. Both are readily available in grocery stores. Frying the tofu in a low-sodium soy sauce is a tasty alternative to eating meat for dinner! For a tasty bean dish, simply boil them with your favorite herbs.
Cook your veggies in chicken broth! Try cooking your veggies in chicken broth. It adds a nice flavor, and the veggies will not stick to the pan. Chicken broth can be found at any grocery store, and is very low priced.
Always make certain to measure any cooking oil you use. If you measure the amount of cooking oil you use instead of just dumping some into a pan, you are far less likely to overdo it. You’ll be able to carefully account for all of the oil that you use.
If you want to begin losing weight and improving your diet, you should reduce or eliminate the amounts of cooking oils that you use. Butter and oils are often unnecessary fats. If you want to prepare your food in essentially the same fashion, substitute a non-fat cooking spray for the oil. These sprays are non-stick, and many have the flavors of your favorite oils infused.
When you have a big meal to prepare, get a head start by doing the prep work the night before. Chop veggies, prepare a sauce, or marinate meat before heading to bed. With far less work left, you’ll be eager to pick up where you left off at dinner time.
A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
Make sure you thoroughly clean your utensils before starting to cook. If food is left behind on the utensils after washing, this may spoil what you are planning to cook. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.
When serving salads to guests, it is a good idea to leave the dressing on the side of the salad rather than on it. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Also, try and include different types of dressings.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. 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.
Unripened fruits should be placed into a plastic bag with holes in it. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.
Stay creative and have fun when cooking. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. With a little resourcefulness in adding extra ingredients, reducing or altering the amount of spices, or substituting one type of meat or vegetable for another, you can often create a meal that tastes far superior to the original. That type of cooking finesse make a genuine cook!
It is essential to remain organized when cooking, so that you do not burn food or make other blunders. Just like with anything you do, the more organized you are, the more productive you will be. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.
When you are preparing salsa that will be stored rather than used immediately, dice your onions, rinse them in cold water and blot them with paper towels to get them completely dry. Onions that are fresh have a great deal of sulfurous gas. Sulfurous gas can detract from fresh salsa and ruin the flavor. Rinsing the onions allows the gas to be removed.
When working in the kitchen, make a conscious effort to clean dishes as soon as you have finished with them. When you are cooking, keep one side of the sink full of water with soap and a clean rinse in the other side. Utensils and mixing bowls are easiest to cleaned directly after their use, and can be used again during the same meal preparation.
You can get nice, crispy tortillas in a few different ways. One option is to turn the oven to 350, and place the tortilla right on the rack, allowing it to get crispy. You might also wish to put your tortilla shell right on the grill if you have a gas stove top. Be sure that you have the heat on extremely low and you only leave it on there for a few seconds. Cooking the tortillas in these manners will help to make it tastier and fresher.
Once your meat is finished cooking, let it sit before serving it. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. Many people are tempted to rush food to the table when serving a meal. Though if you do this, your food will not be as enjoyable. Always allow your meal to rest and cool down a little.
Keep your seasonings in a cool, dark, moisture-free place. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
When you have a large or complicated meal to prepare, you can eliminate a lot of the stress by doing any prep work the day before. Get everything together beforehand; ensure you have all the ingredients, and chop or measure anything you can in advance. When it’s time to cook, you won’t have to think about anything else.
Instead of using water, you should consider using beef or chicken stock. This helps add flavor to all types of foods including mashed potatoes. You can also dissolve cubes of bouillon into the required amounts of water. This is a good way to moisten your food while adding more flavor.
In conclusion, a great cook is constantly learning. The enjoyment from cooking doesn’t just come from eating the finished dish, it comes from experimenting with different foods and cooking methods. It is also important to teach others what you know. Cooking is a skill which should be be developed and sharpened, as well as shared with other people.
Use a potato with thick skin to obtain a suitable shell for dishes such as twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes are not ideal for a dense filling.