Many people dread mealtimes as they usually mean another unadventurous trip to the kitchen to place a ready meal in the microwave is required. Make things more interesting by acquiring new skills and trying new recipes. Doing so will allow you to not only cook healthy meals for yourself and your family, but also discover new and exciting dishes. Below are some helpful tips and hints to get you started on your exciting new venture with cooking.
For stir-fry dishes, meat should be sliced very thinly and on the bias. This technique is somewhat tricky and can take a little time. Take out the meat before it is frozen, but very firm, and cut into it at an angle of 45 degrees perpendicular to the grain.
Cooking with skewers can provide very beneficial if you use them properly. Twisted or square shaped metal skewers hold the food better than round ones will.
Make sure that all of your spices are stored away from heat and light. If you leave them out somewhere, you will expose them to light, wetness, and heat, and it could ruin them. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Using fresher spices can make tastier meals.
When making a stir-fry dish, the meat needs to be cut into very thin slices, always on the bias. Perfectly sliced meat takes time and patience, though. When the meat feels firm, pull it from the freezer and cut across the grain at a 45 degree angle.
Apples tend to be a big ingredient during fall and winter, but they tend to spoil quickly if not stored properly. Keep your apples in a cool and humid place and avoid dry hot areas. However, if even one apple becomes rotten, it will quickly spoil all apples in the same bag.
Always keep a set of sharp knives in your kitchen. Dull knives are dangerous and difficult to use. When you use a dull knife, you often have to force the blade through whatever you are cutting. Using a sharp knife is much easier and safer.
For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.
The longer the cooking process, the more nutrients that you lose from most vegetables. Keep them healthy by choosing fast methods of cooking such as steaming or sauteing, or better yet, learn to love them raw.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. Many different prep tasks can be finished a day or so before cooking the meal. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. You can sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or on roasted nuts and seeds for a snack. People will wonder on what the secret ingredient is!
Much like a sponge, the mushrooms will absorb the water. So, in order to clean them, wipe off each mushroom with a clean, wet cloth.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. The right way to clean the mushrooms would be by hand, using a clean, wet cloth.
One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. Don’t worry; the sauce will taste delicious after being frozen in an ice cube tray!
Is it hard for you to know how long to grill your meat? When grilling, use a good quality meat thermometer. A digital thermometer is best and will ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly and safely. A good rule of thumb to reduce the total cooking time is to always close the grill lid whenever the thickness of the meat exceeds 1.5 inches.
Do you have a difficult time deciding how long you should grill your meat? It is recommended that you use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking inside the meat; a digital thermometer would give you very accurate readings. If you’re working with a particularly thick slice of meat, you can cut back on grilling time by closing the lid of the grill.
Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. If, however, you brush the grill with oil, this will help prevent sticking.
Saute vegetables in some chicken broth for a healthier option. This way you’ll use less oil while still giving the veggies a nice flavor. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.
If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. Both can be found at any grocery store. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
Always measure cooking oil! It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. This will allow you to closely monitor the exact amount of oil that you are using.
Always make certain you are checking out the ingredient labels when getting items for a recipe. Lots of common supplies used for cooking contain unhealthy ingredients that you didn’t even know were there. You want to make sure that the product is not too high in sugars or in sodium as both can cause extreme health problems if over consumed.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. You should place them on cooling rack, and salt them lightly with the cut side up. 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. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
To cook a pumpkin, you need to slice it properly. Take a large knife and slice it in half. Lay the cut halves on individual baking pans. Toss a little water on the pans, and bake for roughly an hour at 350 degrees.
You can make remarkably flavorful dishes by making your stock yourself. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. Doing so will give you the best stock for any dish that calls for it. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
When adding seasoning to any dish, it is important to add the seasoning throughout the cooking process rather than all at once. Depending on the type of food, this can be an excellent way to improve the flavor and extend the seasoning.
Allow your cooked food to sit a bit before it is served. It is a new idea to many, but allowing your food to rest can be quite beneficial. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. Let your meal sit and cool off for a couple minutes before serving.
Find a convenient cool dark place for storing herbs and spices. A lot of people store herbs and spice in cabinets which can collect heat, make sure you avoid this as this can result in flavor loss (as well as money loss).
Care for your wood cutting board properly. Excess moisture, heat and dryness may cause a wooden chopping board to split and warp. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. If your board is damaged you, can restore it by applying oil regularly, using an oil specially formulated for use on wood cutting boards. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
A good cook will have their utensils and ingredients well organized. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Put all the things that are the same in one place. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
There are a couple of ways to heat up tortillas properly. You can use your oven at 350 degrees for a crisp tortilla. Try placing the tortilla on the gas stove’s grill over the flame too. These methods make delicious and fresh tortillas.
Prepare your own stock to enjoy dishes that are more flavorful. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.
Buy a high-quality meat thermometer to check the cooking temperature of your meats prior to removing from the stove. 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.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. You might be surprised of the possibilities you will learn about for food. By taking the time to educate yourself, you will have fun, and also prevent any disasters in the kitchen!
You should blot ground meat before you cook it. It’s always a good plan to blot away wetness that is on ground meat. If you leave the moisture on the ground meat, the moisture will release as the meat cooks. If excess moisture is present during the cooking process, the end product of your meat will be altered. This will cause the ground beef to steam, instead of searing.
Be sure that the butter you use when creaming it for cookies and sugar is softened, not melted. If your butter has melted put it in the freezer for some time to make it a bit harder or put your dough in the refrigerator for a little while. Dough that has cooled a bit will spread less in the oven.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. You can double-check the availability of everything required, get your ingredients together, chop herbs and vegetables, and measure out quantities in advance. When you are ready to start cooking, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and cook them.
If you want to use up your leftover meats and veggies, put together some fried rice. For drier rice, make it the night before you plan to use it or decrease the amount of water you use to cook it. Fry your vegetables and meat in oil, then toss them with your prepared rice and season the whole dish with garlic, ginger and soy sauce.
Make all necessary preparations for whatever you are planning on cooking before you start cooking. This will keep you from being distracted while the food is cooking. It can be dangerous preparing ingredients while hot oil is cooking on the stove, for instance. Having everything ready beforehand is safer and less stressful.
Don’t overspice the food when you cook it; give people the option of choosing their own spice levels. Spices, such as garlic powder, salt, cayenne and pepper, are all wonderful seasonings. Spice is a matter of individual taste, so what works for one person may not work for another. You could let everyone add the spices they like best on their plate rather than seasoning the whole dish. This way, everyone can season his meal to taste.
Learning to cook in new ways can be the beginning of a fantastic adventure in the kitchen. The tips in this article will help to get you started. If you are seeking to learn about food, cooking is an enjoyable and tasty way to do it. In addition, as you discover what you like to do in the kitchen, you will figure out more about yourself. When you have fun and enjoy cooking, your enthusiasm itself will enhance your dishes.
To make your cooking as stress-free as possible, get all the ingredients together before beginning. Doing this will keep you from getting into cooking a recipe and then having to look for what you need. Laying out all the necessary tools and ingredients ahead of time takes little effort and can potentially save you from some big headaches.