There are as many different ways to cook as there are people doing the cooking. Cooking is a personal thing. Some methods are very complicated and some are very easy to execute. Read along to gain access to great tips, regardless of your skills at the moment.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. It is essential that the prep work is completed before cooking commences. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. You can spare yourself a great deal of hassle by doing prep work in advance.
Always keep your spices away from light in a cool place. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Your spices will have a longer shelf life and retain their good taste if stored in a dark, cool spot. Your culinary preparations will taste better if your spices are fresh.
If you are just starting out with cooking, consider doing your research at your local library. There are plenty of cookbooks with simple recipes available. Try a few recipes, and be patient with yourself as you are mastering this new skill.
Do not add food to the oil until it is hot. This will enhance the flavors of the food.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. Take the meat out of the freezer when it’s firm to the touch, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Sharp knives are an essential tool. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. You’re less likely to cut yourself chopping up a vegetable with the clean, fast strokes of a sharp knife, than when you are forcing and wiggling a dull knife.
Many use a good number of apples for baking and cooking throughout fall and winter, but if improperly stored, they will spoil quickly. Apples are extremely perishable. In a warm, dry environment, they will quickly go bad. Store your apples in an airtight container in a cool, preferably humid place. If there is one apple that is rotten, it can make the rest of the apples go bad.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.
You can even put it on things besides meat. You can sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or on roasted nuts and seeds for a snack. It is up to you whether or not you want to share your secret ingredient!
When you store things like flour, baking mixes and sugar, you should use containers that are airtight. Airtight containers will keep your foods safe from bugs, and allow them to stay fresh longer because they are not exposed to air. You can purchase them at many places, and they are well worth the money.
If you’re using wooden skewers to cook, try soaking them in water for half an hour first. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. You can prevent food from sliding off skewers by using parallel skewers for twice the support of the food.
If you are looking to lose weight, then you need to decrease the quantity of oil that you use when you cook. Many oils and butters have a high concentration of fat. Use nonstick cooking spray instead to get the same results as you do with oil but with fewer unhealthy ingredients.
When you are cooking pumpkins, first stand the pumpkin upright and then cut it in half directly down the middle. Take both halves with the cut sides down and place on different baking sheets to bake. Sprinkle some water on the sheets and bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.
Replace the standby liquids of milk and water in recipes to mix things up. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.
It is necessary for all cooks to organize their cooking supplies. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Try to keep similar things in one place. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. Let people add what they want to their salad. Offer many different types of salad dressing as well.
Make sure you thoroughly clean your utensils before starting to cook. Any leftover food post-washing can ruin whatever you plan on cooking next. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
If you tend to cook with a lot of herbs and spices, make sure that you are storing them somewhere that’s cool and dark in order to keep them fresh. Excessive warmth or light can leech the flavor from your spices and herbs.
An organized cooking area is where you should focus to avoid costly mistakes while cooking your meals. When your station is organized, you will be more productive. A cluttered, unorganized cooking area will leave you scrambling to find things while your food gets more and more “well done”. You will end up burning things and throwing them away when simple organization would have allowed you to cook a wonderful dish!
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing 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.
Think about making your own stock for more flavor. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
When planning to barbecue, don’t forget the lead time necessary to get the grill hot when you are ready to use it. Start prepping your grill roughly 30 minutes or more before you decide to start cooking. You should keep the coals at a medium heat and covered with ashes. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. The perforations in the bag allow the air to circulate while the plastic retains enough of the ethylene gas to increase the ripening process and keep the fruit tasting sweet and delicious.
When sauteing food, avoid over-filling the pan. Too much food adds extra moisture and will lead to a steaming effect that will defeat the purpose of sauteing, which is to create a little crispness in the food. Remember, sauteing is always done at low temperatures.
Fresh herbs in a meal are delicious. Bunch them together and then use a pair of scissors to snip them. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
Keep your wood cutting board in tip-top shape. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. You can do some restoration to a damaged board by regularly oiling it with a product specifically for this purpose. Make sure that your board is completely dry before you use it.
For more flavorful dishes, make your own stock. If you make it in large quantities, you can store the excess in resealable bags in your freezer. By doing this, you’ll always have great tasting homemade stock when you desire to create soups or other types of dishes. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
A meat thermometer should be used to ensure that meat is being cooked properly. Different types of meat have a certain internal temperature that is considered safe to eat. Cooking meat thoroughly is the only way to kill the bacteria that naturally exist on meat. Unchecked, these bacteria can cause illnesses if consumed.
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Save about one-fourth of a cup of water after draining the pasta. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. The pasta water contains starch, which will give your sauce a thick creaminess.
Ensure that herbs and spices are stored in an area that is dark, dry and cool. Exposure to light, humidity, and heat can make your spices lose their flavors quickly. This will keep them exposed to heat and other unfavorable conditions that zap all of their flavor.
If you plan on cooking food using the barbecue, the grill should be readied prior to the event so it is good to go 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 optimal temperature for grilling.
Always use fresh seasonings and herbs whenever you cook something simple. If you cannot get your hands on fresh herbs, then herbs of a dried variety can still work. Using fresh herbs can really help to enhance the flavor of an otherwise tasteless meal. You can plant an herb garden to make sure you always have your favorite fresh herbs available.
There are several types of potatoes, and they are not all the same. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salad but do not work as well for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or french fries. Russet potatoes will produce the fluffiest results.
Be open-minded about how you cook and serve your oysters. There are many ways to prepare oysters besides eating them raw. Place oysters that have been opened on a pan and cover them with a bit of cream. Sprinkle pepper and freshly grated Parmesan over them. Broil them until they begin to bubble. You can also saute oysters for a different technique. Cover them with seasoned flour and use hot butter to fry them for about two minutes or until golden. Don’t remove the oysters from their shells when you bake them. Put them into a casserole dish, and place a small amount of butter and breadcrumbs across each oyster. You can then bake them for around five minutes at 425 degrees. Once the juices are sizzling away, serve hot with crunchy, toasted baguette bread.
Oysters can be prepared in fresh and new ways. The most common way to eat oysters is to pop them into your mouth raw with a dash of lemon juice. However, there are many other ways to prepare and enjoy these seafood delicacies. Place oysters that have been opened in a broiler pan. You place a dollop of cream on top to cover them. After, top them with some parmesan cheese, and finally broil them. Not a fan of that method? Try sauteing the oysters instead. The oysters can be dredged in a seasoned flour, then fried in butter for two minutes until they become golden brown. Prepare oysters then bake inside their shells. Put them in a casserole-style dish, add a little butter and breadcrumbs to the top of each oyster, and cook them in an oven heated to 425 degrees for approximately five minutes. Whenever the juices and butter are bubbling hot, you can then serve it alongside a toasted baguette.
While creaming butter for cookies, it has to be soft but not to the point of being melted. If the butter is totally melted, freeze it for a short while to harden it again, or, put the dough in the refrigerator once you are done mixing everything. Chilled dough will keep the cookies from spreading excessively as they bake.
People often ruin their dishes by making them overly complicated. Stick with simple recipes and you can have a delicious and healthy meal. Using the tips here, you can go forward with a better understanding of cooking and make every meal a little better.
You can use the last of your vegetables and meat by making them into a stir-fry or adding them to fried rice. If you use fresh rice, prepare it with less water than usual so that it comes out dry. Day-old rice from the refrigerator is ideal. Chop your meat and a variety of vegetables and saute in a small amount of oil to warm them through. Toss in the rice and add some soy sauce, ginger and garlic.