Cooking is something you can always get better at. Even a cook with lots of experience can always learn something new in the kitchen to improve their skills and make it more fun. Those new to cooking can really benefit from learning the short cuts that simplify the process of cooking. For handy cooking advice that can apply to cooks of any skill level, read on.
Cut meat thinly across the grain when you are stir-frying. It can be difficult to slice the meat, and it takes some time. Retrieve the meat after it has firmed a bit, and cut thin slices across the grain, holding your knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board.
Apples don’t have to be just for fall or winter cooking. With proper storage they can last for months. Heat and oxygen spoil apples, so place them in plastic bags in a cool spot. Your fridge is ideal. Make sure you take a look at them throughout the season; a simple rotten apple can easily ruin the rest of the bunch.
There’s something you can do to save your effort and your sauce. Combine two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl and mix. Stir it into your sauce as it simmers and it will get thicker. The mixture needs to be added slowly so that it does not make the sauce too thick.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.
Make dishes you already feel confident cooking if you have invited a special guest to dinner. Cooking a new recipe is a bad idea since you have not yet worked out any quirks in the recipe. This will make cooking less stressful.
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
Did you ever feel bad for throwing old, moldy fruit away? Do you wonder if it would be better to just cut off the moldy parts and save the rest? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. Throw this fruit away because of the deep mold growth which you cannot see, and it would make you sick if you ate it.
Garlic is delicious; however the pungent aroma will get stuck on your hands. Rub your hands on the inside of a sink made of stainless steel after using garlic. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
In the fall, apples are often used for cooking, but if the fruit is incorrectly stored, it will spoil very quickly. Warm air is the enemy of apples; store them in a cool area or even the refrigerator. You must still keep an eye out on the apples because one apple that is rotten can spoil the whole bag.
What you want to do when cooking pumpkins is to first stand it upright, then slice it in half right down the middle. Place them upside down on different baking sheets. Place a tiny bit of water on each sheet, then bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Doing this means your fruit will always be fresh. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy out-of-season fruits when no one else can!
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. Cauliflower’s neutral taste means that it blends easily with the flavor of the potatoes, butter and milk. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. For instance, you can use broth, stock, juice or a bit of wine to replace the water in a recipe. To replace milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can make good substitutes. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. Use a clean cloth to wipe them off.
Keep herbs and spices fresh and tasty by storing them in an area that is dark and cold. Storing herbs and spices in a warm location will cause them to lose their flavor.
When you put flour or other baking needs away, put them in a vacuum seal holder. Bugs can creep into your food, and most food items will become stale if exposed to the open air. These are just a couple of solid reasons that you need solid containment. Airtight containers are your best friends in the kitchen. These containers are widely available and are definitely worth the money.
Keep your turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Take the leftovers, cut them up, put in a container and store in the freezer for future use. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Before you begin to cook, you must make sure that your kitchen utensils are clean. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. Another concern is the potential cost to your health, as you could possibly be exposed to bacteria.
If you want to eat well and lose weight, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of oil you use in cooking. There is a lot of unnecessary fat in butter and oil. A great alternative to oils and butters is nonstick cooking sprays. These sprays give you a similar end result without the extra fat.
Fresh herbs in a meal are delicious. Bunch them together and then use a pair of scissors to snip them. This will prevent them from clumping together and they will be drier than when you chop them.
Always measure your oil when you are cooking. By measuring, you will be able to lower the quantity of fat and grease in your foods. This should enable you to carefully watch how much oil you are cooking with.
If you are going to make macaroni and cheese, follow the instructions. By following the instructions closely, you are far less likely to overcook your noodles. Mushy noodles make for an unappealing dish. Stir the cheese sauce into your perfectly cooked noodles. Use pepper to spice up your macaroni and cheese.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. 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. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
If you want to serve a complicated meal, eliminate much of the stress by completing some tasks the day before. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start cooking, and that you shop and measure them so they are ready to go. When the time comes to prepare the meal, you will now only need to assemble the ingredients and cook it.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
The night before you cook, try to prepare as much as possible. This will prevent you from wasting resources or overcooking your food, as well as prevent other dangerous situations resulting from distractions.
A well organized kitchen will simplify cooking. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. Try to keep similar things in one place. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. This ensures that the legs and wings remain near the bird, which results in more even cooking. Otherwise, the meat found in the legs and wings tends to become dry and tough during cooking.
Think about making your own stock for more flavor. Make a large amount and store it in the freezer. Your yummy stock will be ready for you when you’re ready to create your next culinary treat or just make a simple soup. Doing it on your own, prevents any unnecessary preservatives from being added to the stock.
Make preparations for cooking in advance. With certain meals, it is possible to make ingredients the day before you are going to cook. A longer cooking time can yield a more flavorful meal. Getting your meals ready ahead may be a habit that lasts for a lifetime.
The night before you are scheduled to prepare a large, multi-course meal, complete as much prep work as possible. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start cooking, and that you shop and measure them so they are ready to go. When you are ready to cook the meal it will be quick and easy because you will just have to throw the ingredients together and cook.
There are many different kinds of potatoes, and they cannot be equally substituted for each other. You can make potato salad with waxy potatoes, but you should use a different kind for fries or mashed potatoes. When making those foods, potatoes which are fluffy, like Russets, are best.
Creativity in the kitchen can be exciting. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. Sometimes if you add a little extra, or refrain from using an ingredient you do not really enjoy, you can turn an ordinary dish into something extravagant. That is the mark of a real chef!
If dishes have oil in them, reheat them by baking them to avoid greasiness; don’t microwave them. Microwaves heat oils faster than solids which will cause your food to separate. When you bake, however, the entire dish heats at the same rate, so no ingredient heats too quickly or separates from the rest of the dish.
To get some extra bang from your pasta sauce, reserve some of the water you cooked the pasta in. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. Amalgamation will help the starch in the pasta to add a creamy quality, and extra body to your sauce.
Even veteran cooks should always be willing to learn new cooking techniques that will make their experience in the kitchen simpler and more enjoyable. Many new cooks need as much help as they can get as they attempt to master their culinary skills. Cook a nice dish using the preceding tips and notice how your cooking experience has changed now that you have a little more knowledge.
Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. With certain meals, it is possible to make ingredients the day before you are going to cook. There are many occasions where longer prep times actually lend a more flavorful touch to your meal. Advanced preparation of your food can help to improve your overall body of work as a chef.