Having to cook everyday can become boring. To get your enthusiasm for cooking back, you need to learn new cooking techniques. Cooking can not only give you a delicious meal. It can also provide you with a fun activity to do if you are wanting to attempt something new. To get started here is some great cooking advice.
You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Usually, a freshly ground spice or herb will keep its flavor for around a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. The length of time that they stay fresh depends on how they are stored.
If you have not yet cooked with skewers you should definitely consider this fact. If you are choosing to use a metal skewer you can choose from round or flattened skewers. Skewers that are not round will better hold food in place on the skewer.
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Go past the usual pale tan color and take them to a caramel gold. This indicates the sugar has turned to caramel. Your crust will have a sweeter and crispier flavor.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.
There is a great trick to thicken up your sauce so it isn’t wasted. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. Add the mixture into sauce and set to simmer in order to thicken it. Be sure to gradually stir in the solution, and frequently stir the sauce so that it does not become too thick.
Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. It can be difficult to slice the meat, and it takes some time. When it has firmed (not frozen), take it out of the freezer and then cut it against the meat grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
When cooking for someone that you want to impress, it is a good idea to cook foods that you are comfortable with cooking. You can avoid stress by sticking to familiar recipes and food you enjoy. This will allow you to cook with less stress.
Use vegetable or chicken stock to saute vegetables. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing. This makes for a delicious way to prepare veggies.
Fresh apples can be a delicious ingredient for a wide variety of recipes. Apples keep best when they are stored in a cool location where there is plenty of air circulation. Sort your apples carefully before storing them, as one bad apple will end up spoiling the rest.
Doing so will give you fresh fruit year round. Plus, you will be able to have fruits that are not available at certain times of the year.
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’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. 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.
Cater to your guests by serving salads with dressing on the side. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Make sure you have a selection to choose from.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. This makes it easy to prepare a quick meal by reheating the sauce using a saute pan. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
Don’t use a type of wine in your meal that is a kind you wouldn’t drink regularly. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.
If your burgers tend to stick to your grill, it might be hard to cook them while preserving their shape. To prevent your burgers from sticking, brush the grill with oil prior to cooking.
If you’re cooking mac and cheese, always follow the instructions on the box exactly as they’re written. This way, your macaroni will turn out perfectly every time and will taste great with the cheese melted over the top. You can just use a big solid spoon to serve your mac and cheese. Shake a little pepper on your macaroni to add some spice.
You can make stock ahead of time to add to other dishes. It is possible to utilize resealable bags to store any excess in the freezer if you prepare large quantities. If you do this, you will never be short of stock for soups, stews, and other such dishes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. By using chicken broth instead of water, you will add extra flavor to your vegetables. You can make your own chicken broth or you can buy it at most any supermarket at a very low price.
When cooking, make it a habit to wash up dishes as you are using them. Keep soapy water on one side of the sink and use the other side to rinse your dishes. If you wash while you are cooking, the dishes and pots will be easier to scrub and you will save time on cleaning up after dinner. Plus, they will be immediately available to use again.
If you are looking to lose weight, then you need to decrease the quantity of oil that you use when you cook. Oil and butter provide a lot of un-needed fat. A nonstick spray for cooking provides many of the same results as oil; however, it does not add extra calories.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Use recipes as guidelines rather than step-by-step instructions. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. That is the definition of a true cook!
For a high-protein diet, meat isn’t the only source available. Tofu, lentils and beans are great protein substitutes. The vast majority of grocery stores stock both of these products. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.
Don’t completely drain the water after cooking pasta, save some to add to the pasta sauce. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. The pasta water contains starch, which will infuse your concoction with the thickness and body you are looking for.
Always measure your cooking oils! To lower the fat you use when cooking, make sure to measure the oil you use as opposed to just pouring it straight into the pan. That way, you will know precisely how much oil is going into the dish you are preparing.
The night before you cook, try to prepare as much as possible. Otherwise, you might use the stove longer than you need to, and waiting can also make it safer and harder to burn food.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Drying them is easy – simply cut Roma tomatoes in half, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Next, the tomatoes need to spend about 10 hours in an oven set to 190 degrees. Put a cookie sheet under the rack before it goes in. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. This jar should be used within 2 weeks and kept refrigerated.
Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. You can get many of the ingredients for future meals ready ahead of time. Sometimes, the longer window of preparation time can enhance the flavor of your final dish. Once you develop this habit, you may never go back.
If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. When you do this, you will have delicious, healthy stock ready-to-use whenever you make soups and stews. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.
There are a wide variety of potatoes, and they are not always adequate substitutes for each other when cooking. Waxy potatoes are best for potato salad and should be avoided when making mashed potatoes or french fries. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. Then you can consider yourself a real cook!
Even though you might want to really impress guests with a fancy dish, never try out a recipe for the first time when cooking a meal for an important event. You no doubt would want to impress a date, boss or everyone at your employer’s pot luck. Make sure you please them by cooking something you know you can cook well.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. The water from the pasta contains starch that, when mixed with your sauce, will create a creamy texture.
A good cooking method when working with poultry is to first brine the bird. Soak goose, turkey, chicken or duck in brine one hour before preparation to bring out the best poultry flavors in your dish.
If you cook with style by using these amazing tips, it could be the start to a great new hobby. Turn cooking into an enjoyable and appetizing way to educate yourself on the fascinating topic of food. As you figure out what you love cooking, you might even learn more about yourself. As you choose the dishes you wish to cook and the kinds of meals you wish to create, you will see a new aspect of your personality.
When cooking potato skins or twice baked potatoes, always use the kind with a thick skin such as a russet. Red potatoes have very thin skin and are unable to support dense fillings.