What Do You Need To Know To Be A Great Cook?

If you get into the habit of preparing meals all the time, it could become a very boring experience. To make things more interesting, try to learn about cooking as an art. After all, cooking does not only entail preparing delicious meals, but it could also be an enjoyable activity as well. Follow the advice below to spice up your love affair with food.

Cooking with skewers may seem easy; however, there are some tips that will make your skewer cuisine delicious every time. When using metal skewers, square or twisted skewers hold food better than the round skewers.

Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. Heat, humidity, and light will all weaken your spices’ flavor. Spices and herbs that are ground usually retain their flavor for close to a year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. When stored properly, they will stay fresher longer.

Have you found yourself regretting disposing of moldy fruits? Should you save fruits by cutting out moldy parts? A half rotten fruit cannot be saved. Throw half-rotten fruit away, because mold can go much deeper than your eyes can see; you can get very sick from eating food with mold.

This trick can save you a ton of work and it can be used immediately. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Stir this solution into the thin sauce to thicken it. Be sure to slowly add the starch solution to your sauce until you achieve the desired thickness.

Are you a fan of using fresh basil? If so, put lots of fresh basil into a glass. Cover its stems with water. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. Refresh the water quite often, and you will notice that the basil starts to grow roots. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.

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.

These seasonings work equally well on other foods. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. Everyone at the table will be asking for your recipe!

When making food for someone whom you want to impress, stick to a familiar dish that you are confident preparing. Do not try to cook something new for a big day. This will take the stress out of the cooking.

Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.

Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.

If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. When you’d like to make a quick and easy meal later on, you just have to pop out a few cubes of sauce and reheat them in a pan. Have no fear, for the sauce will taste great even after being frozen in the trays!

You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. 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.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. This is a great and delicious way to cook vegetables.

Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. After you have finished doing your prep work with the garlic, run your hands along the stainless steel interior of your sink. While ridding your hands of the garlic odor, it will also have the added benefit of preventing its transfer to other foods, as you cook.

When purchasing the ingredients to make a recipe, take the time to read the nutritional information on the food packaging. This will help you avoid unhealthy ingredients. Health issues can be avoided if you carefully read labels to assure that the ingredients do not have excess sugar or salt.

Do you know how long your meat should be grilled? A good meat thermometer can pinpoint the cooking status of meat, inside and out. Use a digital thermometer for the most precise results. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you’re cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.

Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. If the recipe calls for water, switch it up by using a broth, juice, or cooking liquids. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.

It’s very frustrating to try to cook a tasty hamburger and see it deformed or ruined, because it gets stuck to your grill. Consider brushing the grill with vegetable oil before cooking to prevent food from sticking to the grill.

Do not use wine for cooking that you have not tasted. You run the risk of ruining the taste of the dish if you use a wine you haven’t tried before. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.

Chicken Stock

Make your own dried tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. That tasty chicken stock is very versatile and can be perfect for your next stew, casserole or soup. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.

It’s necessary for a cook to organize all cooking supplies. You will consistently find it difficult to locate necessary items in a disorganized kitchen. Try keeping similar items in one area. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.

Accurately measure the amounts of cooking oil you use! Measuring amounts into a cup when cooking instead of pouring guess amounts straight from the bottle lowers the fat you put into your dish. This allows you to keep a strict amount of oil, instead of overdoing it.

A lot of herbs and vegetables give off an odor that tends to stay in your cutting board, no matter how much you scrub it. 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.

Leaving the bone in a roast can help shorten the cooking time. If you leave the bone in, the meat will cook quicker. This is due to the fact that once the bone is heated it will help cook your meat from the inside out. After it is finished, simply avoid the bone as you cut the meat.

Make sure you thoroughly clean your utensils before starting to cook. If old, leftover food is stuck on your cooking utensils, it could ruin the meal you are making. This can allow harmful bacteria to spread.

It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Lay your tomato slices across a cooling rack with the cut-side facing up, and salt them lightly. Set the rack on a cookie sheet in an oven at 190 degrees for a 10 hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. You can pack dried tomatoes in a jar stuffed with organic olive oil and your favorite freshly cut herbs. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.

When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This is preferable to chopping the herbs because they will be less moisture laden, making them lighter and fluffier.

After a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or any other occasion, do not discard the leftovers. Instead, cut them into smaller pieces, and put in some airtight containers that will go in the freezer. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.

A sharp knife is the cook’s bosom companion; spend the money for top-quality cutlery. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. This is due to the fact that there is a higher rate of accidents when using dull utensils.

Once your meat is finished cooking, let it sit before serving it. It is a little known fact that foods should rest for a short period after the cooking process. This is especially true of meats. You may think it is better to serve the food immediately. If you do this, you aren’t getting the full experience associated with your food. Let your food rest for a while, and you will enjoy tastier meals.

If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. It can be a wonderful surprise to see all that you can do with a new food item. Learning about the foods you’re cooking with will make the cooking experience more enjoyable.

Educate Yourself

To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. You can get many of the ingredients for future meals ready ahead of time. Sometimes, preparing your ingredients in advance yields a bonus in the form of better flavor. Advanced preparation of your food can help to improve your overall body of work as a chef.

If you are preparing a recipe with an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, enhance your skills as a chef by taking a moment to educate yourself about it. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. By taking the time to educate yourself, you will have fun, and also prevent any disasters in the kitchen!

If you are cooking for an important guest, don’t use that as an opportunity to try out a new recipe. A fancy gourmet meal that you make yourself is one way to try and make a good impression on your boss, in-laws or a new love. You will be better off pleasing them if you cook something that you know you will come out good.

If you enjoy cooking, you should learn more and make it your new hobby. Cooking can be an enjoyable and tasty experience to help you learn about food. Chances are, you’ll discover a thing or two about yourself that you didn’t know before and open new possibilities. As you get better and better, you’ll enjoy it more and more, and your creations will become more delicious.

If you know that time will be limited the following day, try to do some of the prep for that night’s meal the day before. If you chop your vegetables or put together a casserole before hand, you will be saving yourself a lot of time and effort and still make a great meal.

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