Your kitchen may seem boring sometimes. The thing is, when treat cooking as a leisurely activity, your perception changes. You will start to look forward to spending time in your kitchen, and friends and family members will look forward to the results. Read the following suggestions for a few handy cooking ideas you can make use of.
Cooking with skewers may seem easy; however, there are some tips that will make your skewer cuisine delicious every time. Metal skewers will work better if they are twisted or squared.
Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. This technique is somewhat tricky and can take a little time. 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.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. If they are stored in an area that they are exposed to light, heat and humidity, their shelf life is shortened. Keeping your spices in a cooler space with little light will enhance their flavor and shelf life. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
They will act like a sponge and just soak up a lot of that water. Instead, get a wet, clean cloth and wipe off the mushroom by hand.
You can always save the sauce that you put so much effort into. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water. Stir the mixture into a warm thin sauce to thicken it. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.
When you cook vegetables for a long time, like boiling them, a lot of essential nutrients will be cooked away. Pick methods that cook the vegetables quickly so they keep their goodness, or eat them raw.
Use airtight containers for flour, sugar and baking mixes in the kitchen. Airtight containers are best because they prevent bugs from getting into your food and also allow it to stay fresh for a longer time. You can purchase them at many places, and they are well worth the money.
Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! The vast majority of grocery stores stock both of these products. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. For a tasty bean dish, simply boil them with your favorite herbs.
Texture and taste don’t have to suffer when you are trying to lighten up your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower makes for a great substitute to help drop the fat and calorie content. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Add the seasonings a little at a time throughout the cooking process. Seasoning in this manner offers several advantages. First, you are maximizing the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Second, you are utilizing ingredients in the best way possible.
You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Complete as many steps in advance as you can without risking spoilage. A lot of the preliminary work can be done a day before you cook the meal. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.
If your dish calls for a bit of garlic, make sure the garlic is as fresh as possible. The general rule is that the fresher garlic is, the sweeter it will taste. Fresh garlic usually has a firm skin and no bruises or soft spots.
They will soak up a ton of water, just like a sponge. Wipe off each mushroom with a clean wet cloth to prepare them for cooking.
Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. The bone will retain the heat and make the meat cook faster from the inside. Simply cut the meat off the bone to serve.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. It will keep veggies from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and add a little flavor. Chicken broth is very inexpensive, and can be purchased at just about any local grocery store.
Many vegetable and herbs give off a smell that tends to remain in your chopping board, even though you scrub it over and over again. You can mark your cutting boards with permanent marker to tell which one or which side is for each type of food.
This allows the fruits to stay fresh throughout the year. It will also allow you to eat seasonal fruits at any time you wish.
If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Using different liquids can add nutritional value, while at the same time punching up bland, old recipes.
Always make sure that the cooking utensils you are about to use are clean before starting any cooking. This is a basic but very important rule for any cook. If items are not completely clean after you put them away, you could ruin everything you cook. This can allow harmful bacteria to spread.
If spices and herbs are used regularly in your cooking, keep them somewhere dark and cool in order to keep their fresh flavors. Warmer areas will cause your spices to lose flavor.
It is essential to remain organized when cooking, so that you do not burn food or make other blunders. A well-organized cooking area is conducive to great results. If you are unorganized, it is easy to lose track of things and waste your money and delicious food that you could have been eating!
After finishing up your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t just discard the leftovers. Try cutting them up, storing them in a container that is airtight, and then place them in the freezer. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.
Many food items leave their odors on cutting boards, which can linger even with vigorous scrubbing. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.
Prior to cooking ground meat, blot it with a paper towel. This will help to minimize the moisture found on your beef. If you leave the moisture on the ground meat, the moisture will release as the meat cooks. This moisture will just sizzle off. This is undesirable, since the meat will technically steam, instead of searing.
If you’re cooking mac and cheese, always follow the instructions on the box exactly as they’re written. This way, the macaroni ends up immaculate and the cheese is melted perfectly of the pasta. To serve the delectable macaroni and cheese, using a spoon with a solid face is just the right choice. Spice up the macaroni with some pepper!
Include some salt in the water when you make pasta. The seasoning will soak into the pasta this way. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.
If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. If you make it in large quantities, you can store the excess in resealable bags in your freezer. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. Add some of it in as you mix the pasta with the sauce. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
It is important to take proper care of wood cutting boards. Your wooden cutting board can be damaged by too much moisture or too much heat. The result can be warping or splitting. The board has to be washed, but just lightly go over it with soapy water. Don’t submerge the board in the dishpan. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. After oiling, allow the oil to soak in and the board to dry before using it again.
The perfect sandwich can make any meal amazing, and spreading the topping evenly can make every bite complete. A lot of times people rush and only put mayonnaise in the center of the bread. A smooth, even spread results in a sandwich in which each bite is as good as the last.
Spices and herbs need to be stored somewhere that is dark, cool and dry. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
Be careful to rinse raw diced onions with cold water and blot dry before putting them in salads, sauces or salsa. There are sulfurous gasses in onions. Salsa will not taste good with the aura of sulfur. If you rinse off the onion and then dry it, it will get rid of the gas.
Although you may want to impress them with something fancy, never try a new recipe when cooking for someone important. It may be a boss, new in-laws, or a new love interest that you want to astonish with your cooking. Sticking to something you know how to make will ensure things go smoothly.
Do some research about fruits or vegetables you have never cooked with before. By reading up on it, you might be surprised at how versatile a new type of food can be. You can have much more fun when cooking if you do some prep work and research ahead of time.
Use a thicker skinned potato for more successful potato skins. Red potatoes are not ideal for a dense filling.
Use a thicker skinned potato for more successful potato skins. Red potatoes are too thin-skinned to hold up to a dense filling.
You can use some spices after food has already finished cooking. There are many great spices, such as salt, cayenne, or garlic powder. Everyone has different preferences of spices and other seasonings. Instead of adding spices and herbs to each dish during preparation, allow your fellow diners to customize their food with a variety of seasonings. Everyone will enjoy your cooking more if you leave options open for them.
Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. This protects you from the possibility of discovering a missing ingredient when you’re halfway through the cooking process. It doesn’t take any longer to prepare before you cook than while you cook, but it does make the experience easier and faster.
Use the ideas from this article to help inspire you to come up with some unique cooking recipes. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your very own special recipes. The benefits of learning how to cook better extend beyond your diet and reach as far as your whole way of life. Make your kitchen the core of your house.
If you are trying to measure a sticky substance, cooking oil can help. Give measuring spoons a light coat of an oil without much flavor (e.g. canola oil) before measuring. Sticky foods and ingredients will come off the spoon like a charm, making clean up easier and waste less likely. Keep this trick in mind for peanut butter and honey too.