Learning to cook is an essential skill and it benefits everyone. Home cooked food is healthy, delicious and is even easy on your wallet.
Keep all dried spices in a dark space that stays room temperature. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. You can plan on ground herbs and spices retaining their potency for a year. It is possible for whole spices to remain flavorful for up to five years. When spices are stored in the correct manner, they will stay fresh for much longer.
If you want to slice meat into thin strips, freeze it partially before bringing it to the cutting board. This technique is suited for meats used in many Asian dishes. When the meat is partially frozen, cutting becomes cleaner as the meat fibers are less likely to tear or stretch. However, you must allow the sliced meat time to thaw out before the cooking process, so it cooks evenly.
If you are making stir-fry meals, you should slice the meat as thin as possible and cut it on the bias. This can take time and be tricky. Take the cut of meat out when it is a bit firm but has not become frozen and begin to slice it across the grain diagonally.
Fresh apples can be a delicious ingredient for a wide variety of recipes. To keep apples at the peak of perfection, store them in your refrigerator or basement. Keep an eye on them though, because one rotten apple in the bag will spoil the rest of them in no time.
Do not add food to the oil until it is hot. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. When they’re mashed, cauliflowers have the same appearance and consistency as potatoes, too. Adding a little cauliflower can take calories out of your favorite mashed potato recipes and add in a little vegetable goodness, too.
There is a way to save this sauce, and you will be able to utilize it right away. Use a bowl to combine 1 Tbsp of corn starch with 2 Tbsp of water. Slowly add to the sauce while on simmer and your sauce will gradually thicken. Add the starch solution slowly, and stir constantly so that the sauce does not become too thick.
This seasoning can be used with various foods other than meat. It can be put on pumpkin seeds for a yummy snack, or even in scrambled eggs for a zesty breakfast. Everyone will ask what you used for spices.
When serving salad to guests, you should never put salad dressing directly on it. You should have it to the side so that each person can use as much or as little as they want. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Offering a variety of dressing for their salad is the best way to make sure that all guests are happy.
Sometimes, your burgers can stick onto the grill. This makes removing them extremely difficult or impossible without compromising their shape. You can use a brush to apply some vegetable oil to the grill and make it to where nothing will stick to it.
Save the delicious taste of summer by drying tomatoes yourself. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.
Create your own stock for tastier dishes. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. By making the stock in bulk, there will always be some available for your soups and other dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. Allow your stock to cool, then put portions in heavy-duty Ziploc bags made for freezing.
If you want to cook a complex meal, try doing prep work the night before so you are less stressed. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. The next day when you have to cook your meal, all you need to think about is assembling and cooking the dish.
If you desire to keep your spices fresh, preserve them in a chilled, comfortable area until your next meal. Storing these items in warm locations will lead them to lose their flavor quicker.
To get some extra bang from your pasta sauce, reserve some of the water you cooked the pasta in. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. When you mix your pasta and sauce, also add the water you reserved. The water contains starch from the pasta, and will make your sauce nice and creamy.
Stop! Don’t throw away those turkey leftovers! Cut it up and freeze it in an airtight container. The turkey will stay fresh for several weeks, and you can use it for sandwiches or salads.
Impress everyone in your home with an easy task like a sandwich by placing the mayonnaise evenly across the bread. Oftentimes when people are rushing, they simply drop a dollop of mayonnaise in the center of the bread. An even spread will ensure that every single bite tastes as it should.
You’ll find that cooking a big, complicated meal is less stressful if you handle some of the preparation ahead of time. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. Then all you have to do is put everything together when you get ready to cook the meal.
There are a few ways to heat a tortilla in the right way. One way is to preheat the oven temperature to 350, then place the tortillas on the rack. Place a tortilla on the grill directly above the flame on the gas stove top as an alternative. These preparations will allow for fresher, better tasting tortillas.
It’s important to be creative while cooking. Following every recipe to the letter will give results, but it won’t make you a great cook. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. That type of cooking finesse make a genuine cook!
To make sure you know when the food is done, set the timer on the oven, but set a watch timer as well. For the ultimate in notification capability, wear a stopwatch or other alarming device around your neck.
Impress people with a perfect sandwich by spreading mayonnaise evenly and smoothly all over the bread, from crust to crust. Often, people are hurried and just drop a dollop of it in the middle. An even spread will ensure that every single bite tastes as it should.
If you need to warm up leftovers that are oily but don’t want to contend with the greasy mess, try baking them in the oven instead of popping them in the microwave. Microwave radiation congeals oil in dishes being reheated. When you bake the meal instead, all the ingredients are reheated at the same time, leaving the dish intact.
A sharp knife is the cook’s bosom companion; spend the money for top-quality cutlery. It will help you to save time if you have cutting utensils that are not dull and it also adds safety to your kitchen because dull knives can cause you to cut yourself accidentally. Dull blades are the cause of more accidents than sharp blades.
Try using beef or chicken stock to replace water in any recipe! Alternatively, you can drop bouillon cubes directly into the cooking water. Your food will then have enough moisture and have a good flavor.
If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. The extra moisture will steam the food instead of sauteing it and will not add that little bit of crispness that sauteing is good for. Do not raise the temperature too much.
To ensure that your shells stay firm when making twice baked potatoes or loaded potato skins, use thick-skinned potatoes, such as russets. Red potatoes contain skins that are too thin to hold very much filling.
The idea of cooking for a large gathering may leave you feeling stressed. Don’t get stressed the day of the event, but start preparing beforehand. In the very least, you can gather spices, measure ingredients, and prepare marinades.
There are some ways to properly take care of a cutting board made of wood. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. You should never put the board fully underwater, instead just use a sponge with some soap for spot cleaning. Restore damaged boards by applying oil to it regularly, and be sure to use products specially designed for wood chopping boards. It should be completely dry before its next use.
If you’ve been handling smelly ingredients like garlic, onions, or fish, try rubbing your hands with stainless steel for about one minute before you wash them. You can use your stainless steel sink or a spoon to quickly remove the odor from your hands.
A meat thermometer should be used to check that the meats have been properly cooked. Every meat has a certain internal temperature that needs to be reached in order for it to be safe to eat. Bacteria flourish on the meats, so you need to make sure the meet is cooked properly and thoroughly so the bacteria don’t stay on the meat and cause sickness if you were to consume the meat.
You can add another level of flavor to your fried foods by adding ketchup to your batter. You can dip chicken into ketchup prior to dipping it into breadcrumbs. This will enhance the moisture and flavor of your chicken. The tangy flavor of the ketchup adds a nice, unexpected kick to fried foods, and it will leave your friends begging for the recipe.
Trussing is when you tie your turkey with string. Doing so helps the bird to cook more evenly. If they are not tied down, there is a good chance that they will burn while the remainder of the turkey is cooking.
When measuring sticky substances, try a little cooking oil! Take the measuring spoon, dip it into a lightly flavored oil, like canola, and then pour on the substance to be measured. The foodstuff will easily move from the spoon once measured and cleaning up will be a lot easier. Peanut butter and honey can be measured this way as well.
When making dough for cookies, set your sticks of butter out at room temperature for a while so they are softened and avoid going further than adding sugar if the butter has been melted. It the butter is already melted, put it in a freezer for a couple minutes to let it get harder. You can also put the dough in the fridge once it has been mixed. Your cookies will not spread if you use cool dough.
When you are making a salad to serve at a potluck dinner, layer it to retain maximum freshness. Items like tomatoes, which are juicy, should be on the bottom, while other ingredients that may be more delicate and prone to wilting should go on top.
Use these tips to brush up on your cooking skills and to learn new ways to make homemade meals. When you practice you will know that home cooking is yummy and healthy, and cost effective. Eating good home cooking will create a healthy and happy style of living for yourself and those around you. For great meals, follow these tips!
Try mashing potatoes using hot milk instead of boiling milk. Using hot, rather than cold, milk results in more fluffed-up and lighter mashed potatoes. Why eat lumpy mashed potatoes if you don’t need to.