Most people have to cook on a regular basis, but rather than being a chore, it should be a joy. Everyone can cook, if they’re learning with the right advice and information. The following article will provide some of that learning material to get you started.
Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Always keep your spices in a dark and cool location to extend their longevity. Using fresher spices can make tastier meals.
Keep your herbs in a place that is both dark and cool. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Spices that have not been ground may still be worth using for three years or a little more. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.
You can always save the sauce that you put so much effort into. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Focus on one recipe at a time and give yourself enough time to improve your cooking.
If you need to slice meat into thin strips, then partially freeze it beforehand. This technique is especially useful for the meat slicing styles typically used in Asian cuisine. When meat is slightly frozen, it becomes simpler to slice because the fibers won’t stretch and tear that easy. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.
Your spices should be stored in a cool place that is free of light. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. Fresh spices can greatly enhance your meals, making this effort well worth your time.
Sharp knives are essential to cooking. Blunt knives are frustrating to use and they can also be very hazardous. With a dull knife, you may have to struggle to cut a vegetable, making it more likely that you will get injured in the process. Using a sharp knife will make it easier to cut that vegetable, so you are less likely to get hurt.
When adding seasoning to meats, try some before cooking the whole thing. A lot of foods require you to season them carefully; for instance meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. Don’t cook it all at once after you have seasoned it. Instead of this, you should make a small patty, and cook that first. After doing this, you can either adjust the seasoning to better suit your tastes, or just continue to cook the meat as is.
Do you feel you are being wasteful by discarding molded fruit? You may have wondered if it is okay to cut out the rotten part. Trying to salvage fruit when half of it is bad may save money, but it is not worth the health risks. Throw the fruit away as mold can grow beyond just what the eye can see, which could end up making you sick.
People tend to use a lot of apples for cooking in the fall and winter months, but if they are stored incorrectly they will quickly spoil. Storing apples in warm, dry air will cause them to rot. Instead, store your apples in a cool place. Make sure you watch them, though, because if even one is rotting, it can cause the whole lot to spoil.
Do you regularly cook with freshly grown basil? Place your basil into a large glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. It will remain fresh for a good amount of time just sitting on the kitchen counter! Most often times, basil will actually take root in water. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.
This seasoning can be used with various foods other than meat. Try spreading it on some roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy the savory flavor by itself, or with some eggs. It is a simple addition, but the burst of flavor it gives will have everyone raving.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Fill with water to cover the stems. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.
While garlic is excellent for cooking, it can also be absorbed into your hands. Rub your hands on the stainless steel interior of your sink to get rid of the smell right away. This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
Garlic can add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food. However, when you are cutting and chopping fresh garlic, it can also leave its odor on your hands. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. It both cleans your hands and helps to avoid transfer the odor to other foods.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. You can find these ingredients easily and incorporate them to many different recipes. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. 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.
Whenever you are adding seasoning to a recipe, add it slowly over time rather than dumping it all at once. By cooking in this way, you can help different seasonings “open up” and release their flavor into the dish without overpowering it.
If you use less oil when you are cooking you will cut some fat and lose weight. Butter and oils are often unnecessary fats. Nonstick cooking spray is a great alternative that will give you the same end result as the oils with less unhealthy ingredients.
Try to do preparations for tomorrows meal the night before to save time and make cooking a breeze. Cut up veggies, marinate your meat or make a sauce the night before. You won’t be as stressed when you prepare the meal the next day.
If you are preparing pumpkins for a meal, position the pumpkin so it is sitting upright, then cut it into two equal halves. Set each half cut-side down on its own baking sheet. Place a tiny bit of water on each sheet, then bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Keep herbs and spices fresh and tasty by storing them in an area that is dark and cold. If spices are stored above a stove or other warm area there is a good chance that they will lose their flavor very quickly.
Macaroni and cheese should be cooked with careful attention to the instructions. This allows the macaroni to come out just as delicious as it was intended to with the cheese melted perfectly over the noodles. A solid-faced spoon should be used to serve macaroni and cheese. Use some pepper on your macaroni and cheese!
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. The salt will hold better while cooking because it is absorbed by the pasta along with the water. This is much more effective than trying to add salt to pasta that you have already cooked.
When you are making pasta you need to be sure to add a liberal amount of salt to the water. This will help season the pasta as it cooks. Salting pasta after cooking it results in a less flavorful pasta dish.
One great cooking tip is just be flexible and creative; do your own thing. Don’t always stick to the exact recipe. In some cases by making little modifications to the recipe here and there will result in a dish that is tastier than if you had used the original recipe. That makes a person a great cook!
Herbs and spices need to be kept in a dry, cool area, away from light. Spices can quickly lose their flavors when exposed to heat, light and humidity. This will keep them exposed to heat and other unfavorable conditions that zap all of their flavor.
Prepare everything you need to cook your food in advance. This will prevent you from wasting resources or overcooking your food, as well as prevent other dangerous situations resulting from distractions.
Try using brine to change-up meals. Let poultry soak in brine for one hour before you prepare it for more flavor.
Purchase quality utensils for your kitchen. Besides letting you work faster, a sharp knife is actually less likely to cause injury. More accidental cuts occur when using a dull knife, instead of a good sharp one.
There are many fresh new ways to enjoy oysters. Oysters are commonly served raw with a splash of lemon juice, but there are other ways to prepare them. Put opened oysters on the shell in your broiler pan and cover with some cream. Sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese and pepper, and broil until it bubbles. Sauteing your oysters is another great idea. Coat the oysters in seasoned flour then shallow-fry them in some hot butter until they are golden in color. Bake the oysters while they are still in their shells. Lay the oysters on a cookie sheet and cover with a little butter and breadcrumbs. Use a cooking temperature of 425 degrees for five minutes till the breadcrumbs begin to brown. Once the juices are sizzling away, serve hot with crunchy, toasted baguette bread.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Make sure you do this at a low temperature as well.
Use softened butter instead of melted butter when you are creaming sugar and butter for cookies. If you have melted butter, simply pop the butter in a bowl and place in the freezer to harden for a short time. Another idea is to refrigerate the dough once the ingredients are mixed. Dough that’s cool prevents your cookies from over-spreading.
Your spices and cooking herbs will last longer if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Exposing them to humidity, light or warm environments will dry them out more and dissipate the flavors and aromas. This will overexpose your spices to heat and cause them to lose flavor.
Use some of your spices after you cook. Salt and pepper are everyday seasonings, but a little garlic, ginger, or cayenne can add an interesting zest to a prepared meal. Many people have different tastes when it comes to spice. Make these available for customization after you cook the meal, instead of adding them during cooking. This will make it so everyone can have it their way.
Cooking is not only about feeding your family. It can be a delicious, fun activity. You will have to spend some time learning and practicing, but you will do fine if you apply yourself. Use the information in these tips to improve your culinary accomplishments.
Before washing your hands, try rubbing them on stainless steal to remove strong odors such as garlic or fish. You can do this on the side of a sink or use a stainless steel soap bar and it will lift the odors from your hands, leaving them fresh.