Anyone can cook food. Can you shop and follow directions? Do you own basic cooking equipment? If you said yes to the two previous questions, than you are well on your way to learning how to cook! Use the following advice to learn how to cook meals your whole family will enjoy.
When baking pie or tart crusts, bake them longer than you think you should. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
If you have every considered cooking with skewers, you should keep a few things in mind. When using metal skewers, square or twisted skewers hold food better than the round skewers.
If you partially freeze meat before slicing it, you will find that it is much easier to cut it into thin strips. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. Partially freezing the meat will help the fibers to stay together when it is being sliced. However, be sure to allow the meat strips to thaw before cooking them, for even cooking.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. It is essential that the prep work is completed before cooking commences. Sometimes even when the prep work is done, the deadline for when the meal must be completed can still loom large and become stressful. Try to complete your preparations, so you can avoid scrambling later on.
A lot of people cook with apples during fall and winter, but they will spoil rather quickly if you don’t store them correctly. Warm, dry air can cause apples to rot, so keep your excess stock for cooking and eating in plastic bags, and place them where they will stay cool and moist, such as the basement or refrigerator. Make sure you watch them, though, because if even one is rotting, it can cause the whole lot to spoil.
Preparation is one of the most important things that you will have to do before you cook a meal for your friends or family. Double-check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. It is not too much to get your meals ready the day before. Make sure you have the necessary utensils. Did you think of everything? This will allow you to cook without having to worry.
Are you aiming to reduce the amount of fat and calories you consume in your mashed potatoes without having to give up taste or texture? If so, consider replacing a certain amount of the potatoes with cauliflower. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as potatoes, offering you a perfect way to add another vegetable to your dish while cutting calories.
To make your sauce thicker, stir cornstarch into the simmering sauce. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. Take this mixture and slowly stir it into the thin sauce, and this will make it thicker. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Apples are a popular ingredient during fall and winter, but unless they are stored properly, they spoil quickly. Warm dry air causes apples to rot, so put them in plastic bags with loose ties in a fridge or cool basement. If one of the apples in a bag begins spoiling, the rest will soon follow.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Place the cooling rack on a cookie sheet and dry in a 190 degree oven for up to 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
Whenever you have cooked a whole turkey, never throw away your leftovers. Divide the leftovers into meal sized portions and freeze them for the future. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed 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.
When you are cooking, a good habit to get into is to wash the dishes as soon as you are done with them. Try keeping one side of the sink full of hot water with soap ready to wash dishes. The other should contain rinse water. Utensils and mixing bowls can wash up quickly, and you will have them ready to use again as you prepare additional courses of the meal.
You can use this on a variety of foods, not just meat. Seasoned salt on pumpkin seeds you roast in the oven makes a tasty snack, and it’s quite good on scrambled eggs. Everyone will ask what you used to make it so good.
If you’re going to be barbecuing, it’s a good idea to prepare your grill beforehand so that it’s already ready for you when you need it. The charcoal will need to burn about 30 minutes before your coals are hot enough to start grilling. Your coals should be covered in ash and of a medium temperature. Once the coals have reached this point, they have reached the prime grilling temperature.
Garlic can easily stay on your hands. Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel, such as your sink, can help to get rid of these odors. This trick removes the offending scent from your hands, which prevents them from migrating to the foods you touch next.
When food is being sauteed, make the pan is not overloaded. The moisture from the extra food will cause it to steam. This way the food will be too moist, not crisp like sauteed food should be. Remember, sauteing is always done at low temperatures.
There are two fast, easy ways to get warm, crisp tortillas. One of the easiest methods is to simply place the tortilla in your oven at a temperature of 350 degrees and watch it closely until it is heated to perfection. One way to do this is by placing a tortilla on the grill directly. These methods make delicious and fresh tortillas.
Cook your veggies in chicken broth! Using chicken broth will prevent the vegetables from sticking in the pan as well as add some tasty flavor at the same time. You can make your own chicken broth or you can buy it at most any supermarket at a very low price.
Tying a turkey with a string is called trussing the turkey. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If you do not do this, the wings or legs will burn easier.
Sauteing vegetables in a small amount of chicken broth is a healthy and delicious way to cook. Doing so will add a great deal of flavor to your vegetables, and help them maintain their nutritional content. This is a delicious, simple way to cook fresh vegetables.
Do some research about fruits or vegetables you have never cooked with before. It can be a wonderful surprise to see all that you can do with a new food item. Becoming knowledgeable should precede any work you do in the kitchen, and it will also help in giving you a more enjoyable cooking experience.
Always begin your cooking with utensils that are spotlessly clean. If there is leftover food on your utensils from the last meal you cooked, it could contaminate the food you are making now. This can also cause bacteria to spread.
When you are cooking for an occasion where you want to impress someone, it is best not to try out a new recipe. Whether it may be a boss, new in-laws or a love interest, you want to make a good impression with them by the way you cook. Spend additional time preparing the dish to make it extraordinary for this special person.
When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. When cut in this way, these herbs will have a lighter, fresher appearance.
Eating oysters when they are fresh is always a good idea. While oysters are generally eaten raw drizzled with a little lemon juice, you can prepare them in other ways. Place oysters that have been opened in a broiler pan. You place a dollop of cream on top to cover them. Add grated Parmesan cheese and shredded fresh peppers to the oysters and bring to the boil. Alternatively, you could saute the oysters. Dredge with a little seasoned flour and fry in hot butter for approximately two minutes until golden. Always bake the oysters while they are still within their shells. Put them in a dish in the oven with a bit of butter and breadcrumbs on top and bake them for around 5 minutes at 425. When the juices and butter both bubble, it is time to serve it. Serve it before it cools down. A toasted baguette should accompany the dish.
It is important to prepare a barbecue before you are actually ready to use it. This should be done about 30 minutes prior to putting any food on it. The charcoal should have a light coating of ash at medium heat when they are ready to use. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
Set a timer that you can easily carry with you as well. Having a timer with you ensures that you hear it go off wherever you are in the house or even outside.
Good cutting utensils are imperative to own for maximizing functionality in the kitchen. Nobody wants to use dull knives, as they can take over twice the time to chop up ingredients, and they are more dangerous than sharp ones. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
Using beef or chicken stock to take the place of water in potatoes and other foods also adds flavor. Adding bouillon cubes is another simple option that can be used with the recommended amount of water. Doing this helps you retain the required level of moisture in the dish while simultaneously injecting an extra layer of flavor.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. Often times, you can prepare food prior to cooking by at least a couple days in advance. Sometimes, preparing ingredients early can make a big difference in flavor. Once you get in the habit of advanced prep, you may never return.
When you blend sugar with butter for cookies, be sure to soften the butter instead of melting it. If the butter has already been melted, place the butter in the freezer to harden for a couple of minutes. You can also use the melted butter in the dough and then place the mixed dough in the refrigerator. If your dough is cooler, it won’t spread too much.
When you are cooking for an occasion where you want to impress someone, it is best not to try out a new recipe. Whether it is for friend, family or employer, you want to present your best effort. Be certain that you will make them happy by preparing a dish that is always a success.
If you want to use the meats and vegetables in your refrigerator before a shopping day, try using it in fried rice. Use cool rice from the day before or cook fresh rice with less water that you would normally use. Stir-fry leftover meat and vegetables in a small amount of oil. Mix in the rice, add flavoring such as soy sauce, ginger, even teriyaki sauce.
There are many fresh new ways to enjoy oysters. Conventionally, oysters are served raw with a small drizzling of lemon juice, however, there are lots of other ways that you can present them. Place open-shell oysters on a baking sheet and put some cream on top of them. Top your broiler pan with freshly ground pepper and a generous dose of grated Parmesan cheese. Broil this mixture until it bubbles. You may want to try sauteing oysters. Lightly coat the oysters in seasoned flour, and then fry them in melted butter for two minutes, or until they are a light golden brown. Prepare oysters then bake inside their shells. Add breadcrumbs and butter to the top of each oyster, put them in a sizable casserole dish, and bake for about five minutes at 425 degrees. When the juices and butter both bubble, it is time to serve it. Serve it before it cools down. A toasted baguette should accompany the dish.
Rub your hands on stainless steel prior to washing them to eliminate odors of onions, garlic, fish and other strong ingredients. You can keep your hands free from odors no matter the source, by using stainless steel rubbed onto your hands. Try the side of the sink or a spoon.
Cooking can be skill, a hobby, and a profession. The best way for you to improve your cooking ability is to learn from the great cooks and follow their advice. Next time you’re the one in charge of cooking the meal, try out a few of these tips.
Grilled fruit is a particularly savory treat. Consider grilling your favorite fruits on a skewer. Cook them on a grill that is clean until you are able to see grill marks. You can then serve them over ice cream or on top of grilled pound cake.