To some, cooking is nothing but a burden. These tips will help you figure out how to make your cooking experience just as enjoyable as the food you’ll be whipping up in the kitchen.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. There’s a trick to this, and it can take a little time. 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.
If you are cooking for an important event, it is a good idea to make a meal that you have made before. Don’t experiment with recipes or ingredients that you’ve never used before. This can lessen the stress of your cooking.
Always taste a cooked sample of you dish before cooking the rest of the meat. You may have to use caution when you season foods such as meatballs, meatloaf or hamburgers. Don’t cook the entire meat directly after seasoning it. It is a good idea to cook a small portion of the meat first. After that, you can either cook the rest or adjust the seasoning accordingly.
People often use more apples in fall and winter, but they will spoil if not stored properly. Apples spoil in warm, dry air, so keep them in a refrigerator or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.
Complete many steps when cooking something ahead of time. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. 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.
Cooking vegetables quickly improves their overall quality. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. These cooking techniques will yield vegetables that are healthier and taste great as well. The key to improving your vegetables is learning how you can cook them in the minimum amount of time.
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Instead of this, you should use a clean, wet cloth, and proceed to wipe the mushroom off by using your hands.
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Wipe off each mushroom with a clean wet cloth to prepare them for cooking.
Grilling is not an exact science, but you may have encountered some confusion the last time you hit the barbecue. Try using a good quality meat thermometer, to see whether the inside of the meat has reached the right temperature for proper cooking and good taste. For a steak, or any other meat, that is more than one and a half inches thick, you can speed up the cooking time by covering it with the grill lid.
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. You can find decorative airtight canisters for staples, like flour and sugar.
Store your dry goods, like sugar, flour, baking mix, and so forth, in airtight containers. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. You can easily find affordable containers and you will save money by eating leftovers.
When preparing chicken stock, make a large amount. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. You can boil the beans with a bit of herbs to give the protein more flavor.
Replace your spices twice a year. Spices do not last forever. They will eventually lose their flavor. If you have spices that you don’t intend to use any time soon, give it as a gift to someone who will use it.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. Broth will flavor the vegetables, and less oil will be needed to saute them. You will love this cooking style if you just give it a try!
Use your own stock for more flavorful food. You can cook it in large batches, pour the extra batches into plastic freezer bags, and then simply store them in the freezer. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. When you prepare your stock from scratch, you will be certain that it is 100% natural, not loaded with preservatives.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. This will allow you to make your meal more flavorful, and will prevent you from adding too much seasoning.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Get all of the ingredients that you will need, measure and chop all spices or herbs and make sure that you have what the recipe requires. Then all you have to do is put everything together when you get ready to cook the meal.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Simply cut them into 1/2 half inch slices, or cut lengthwise for Romas. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Set aside approximately one-fourth cup. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. The water from the pasta contains starch that, when mixed with your sauce, will create a creamy texture.
Spices should be stored in a cool, dark area so that they stay as fresh as they can for as long as possible. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your 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.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. Consider storing similar things together. As an example, you may want to keep all of your spices together.
Homemade stock can add flavor to many dishes. You can make stock in large quantities if you wish, then store it in bags and put it in the freezer. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking 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.
Keep your wood cutting board in tip-top shape. Your cutting board can split or warp if it is exposed to excessive moisture, heat, or extreme dryness. You should not ever leave your board submerged in water, rather apply a wet sponge to clean it. You can do some restoration to a damaged board by regularly oiling it with a product specifically for this purpose. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
Make a habit of washing your dishes as you use them when you cook. Have your sink full of soapy, hot water one side, and use the other side to rinse. Utensils and mixing bowls are easy to rinse off right after being used and will be nice and clean for the next ingredient in your meal.
There are a few ways in which you can reheat tortillas. You can use your oven at 350 degrees for a crisp tortilla. You can also use the top of your gas stove. Simply hold a tortilla on a grill directly above the gas flame. These methods will have your tortillas tasting fresh.
Having the prep work done a day in advance will make the cooking process less stressful. Start by getting all of your ingredients in one place to make sure you have whatever you need. Have all ingredients chopped and measured. This way, you won’t have to do the tedious tasks when you are ready to cook.
Set 2 different timers, like the one on your oven and one on a watch or phone. For the ultimate in notification capability, wear a stopwatch or other alarming device around your neck.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.
A dish that has a lot of oil can be baked instead of microwaved to avoid creating a greasy mess. Because a microwave produces such intense heat, the oil separates from the rest of the ingredients because it heats fastest. If you bake the dish instead you are cooking it all at the same rate, which will result in better tasting food and less mess.
Be careful to rinse raw diced onions with cold water and blot dry before putting them in salads, sauces or salsa. Onions that are raw have sulfurous gas in them. Your freshly made salsa can be ruined by this gas. If you following the rinsing and drying procedure above, the gas becomes inert.
When you are barbecuing, make sure that you prepare your grill beforehand so it is ready when you are. You should try to have everything ready 30 minutes prior to your cook time. The charcoal should have a light coating of ash at medium heat when they are ready to use. This is the best temperature for grilling.
A great way to add zip to some of your staple foods, like potatoes, use beef or chicken stock instead of water. Alternatively, you can use the water the recipe calls for, but add in bouillon cubes as well. Bouillon cubes will provide an added level of moisture and flavor to your dish.
Good cutting utensils are imperative to own for maximizing functionality in the kitchen. Dull knives waste time and can mash food instead of cleanly slicing. Sharp knives are safer to use, too. Dull knives actually cause more cut fingers and accidents than sharper ones.
Save spicy or unusual spices for after you cook the meal. Salt and pepper are everyday seasonings, but a little garlic, ginger, or cayenne can add an interesting zest to a prepared meal. People differ in their preferences for the amount and types of spice they like on their food. Try not to add too many spices while you are cooking, and instead make them available for the diners to customize each dish to their liking. This way, everyone can make the dish truly theirs.
Use ketchup in batters for fried foods. You can not only dip foods in ketchup, but you can also use it to dip foods in before you coat them with breadcrumbs. Ketchup provides excellent flavor to fried foods, and your friends will love it.
Many people tend to get stressed out when they have to cook for a family gathering, especially if there are going to be a lot of people attending. To relief the pressure and lessen the chances of extreme anxiety on cooking day, try preparing some ingredients of dishes on the day prior. Organize and measure your ingredients, condiments, and seasonings, so you can get started right away when it comes time to cook.
A butter that has been flavored can add a new tasteful dimension to dinner rolls or corn on the cob. Either use room temperature butter to start, or try warming it up in the microwave. Afterwards, mix in your favorite seasonings or sauces for perfect flavor. Use a flavoring that complements other components of your meal; lemon, honey and barbecue are all popular summer flavors.
As you can see from this article, cooking can be fun and interesting. If you follow these tips, you can have fun with an activity that many dislike.
To get better results when juicing a citrus fruit, stick it in the microwave first. Take your lemon, orange, or other fruits and heat it up in the microwave for ten seconds. After removing them, gently roll them on a cutting board before slicing them open to begin juicing.