After eating a delicious meal at a restaurant, have you ever wondered how the cook made this tasty dish? Have you actually gone ahead and tried to duplicate it yourself? You can use these suggestions to cook your favorite meals, or make new ones. People from all different backgrounds and walks of life love to cook.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Exposure to heat, light, and humidity can cause them to lose their flavor. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Whole spices keep their robust flavors for up to five years. Store your spices correctly to make them last.
Cooking with skewers can provide very beneficial if you use them properly. If you are using metal skewers, the square or twisted kind are much better than round ones for holding food in place.
When you are baking pastry crusts, try increasing the cooking time a bit. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. Herbs and spices can quickly lose their flavor if exposed to continuous light or heat. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Spices that are not ground can keep their flavors for 3 to 5 years. When stored in the correct place, they will keep their freshness for longer.
A must when cooking is the availability of sharp knives. It is difficult to cut ingredients using dull knives and they are also dangerous to use as well. 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.
If you would like to start cooking more food on your own, take a trip to a local library or bookstore where you can find many cookbooks with recipes you can enjoy making at home. Work your way through a few different recipes, but do not allow yourself to become discouraged during the learning process.
When preparing a meal for someone who is important such as a new date or your boss, you should cook something that you are really good at making. Avoid trying out new recipes or new ingredients in such a situation. Cooking will be less stressful.
One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
Are you using basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. Fill the glass with water till the stems are covered. Set the glass on the kitchen counter or windowsill to maintain its freshness for weeks. If you change the water occasionally, the basil will even grow roots in the water. Picking the leaves from time to time will cause the basil to put out new growth, so you will have a constant supply!
Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. The shelf life of spices is greatly reduced if they are exposed to heat, humidity, or light. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.
When you are cooking, it is important to remember that a fresh ingredient is always better than a frozen or dried ingredient. Fresh ingredients will give your dish extra flavor, and can turn out to be less expensive over time.
Freeze your meat slightly and you will find that it slices with ease. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. If you freeze the meat, it will make it easier to cut into strips as the meat fibers will not stretch or tear as easily. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.
You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Look at your recipe ahead of time and draft up a list of what you can do to get ready, but don’t risk spoiling any ingredients. Many of the preparatory steps can be taken a day before cooking. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.
When adding seasonings to meat, test a small amount before seasoning the whole batch. You have to use caution when seasoning certain meats, such as meatballs, meatloaf and hamburgers. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Instead, form a small patty and cook that first. You can then cook the entire piece, or change the seasoning as needed.
Garlic is a delight to cook with, but its odor transfers very easily onto the hands. An easy way to remove the smell is to rub your hands on a stainless steel surface like your sink. Not only does this clean your hands, but it also stops the unwanted smells from getting into other foods you are about to handle.
During autumn, apples are an important ingredient in many recipes; however, they do turn bad if they are not carefully stored. Store apples in a plastic bag in a cool, dry location to keep them fresher longer. Make sure you watch them, though, because if even one is rotting, it can cause the whole lot to spoil.
If you want to lose weight or adopt a healthier diet, use less oil when cooking. There is a lot of unnecessary fat in butter and oil. A great alternative to oils is a nonstick cooking spray. Not only does it provide the same results as cooking with oils, it also contains less unhealthy ingredients.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Most grocery stores sell both items. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. Likewise, beans cooked with herbs can also be a flavorful dish.
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 tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. 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.
Cooking pumpkins requires a few steps that are necessary. First, you must make sure it is standing upright. Second, you must cut it evenly in half by cutting down the middle. Put the halves down on the baking sheets. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and roast the pumpkin for one hour in a 350 degree oven.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. Take them out to use on another night when you’d like a no hassle home cooked meal. Simply reheat the sauce cubes slowly in a medium pan on your stove top. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
Dry your own tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. You can pack dried tomatoes in a jar stuffed with organic olive oil and your favorite freshly cut herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
Have you ever struggled with grilling 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 the meat is greater than 1.5 inches in thickness, you should close the lid of the grill in order to decrease your grilling time.
Get your cooking utensils squeaky clean before starting a new dish. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. This could allow bacteria to easily spread.
Sauteing vegetables in a little chicken broth is a healthful way to cook them. Broth will flavor the vegetables, and less oil will be needed to saute them. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. Making a large amount allows you to store some in the freezer for future meals. You will have stock on hand for soup and other things. Creating your own stock allows you to avoid preservatives.
After eating turkey, such as for Thanksgiving, never throw away leftovers. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. This will help the turkey to stay fresh over the next few weeks so that you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. With a little resourcefulness in adding extra ingredients, reducing or altering the amount of spices, or substituting one type of meat or vegetable for another, you can often create a meal that tastes far superior to the original. That type of cooking finesse make a genuine cook!
You may have heard master chefs on TV say, “Let the meat rest before serving it.” A lot of people don’t understand the importance of letting a meal sit for a while. You may think it is better to serve the food immediately. You are not serving your food at its finest if you do this. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
The best thing you can do to a sandwich is to make sure your spread covers every millimeter of the bread. A haphazard chef might just rush through and slop a dollop of mayonnaise in the middle of the bread and call it done. However, if the mayonnaise is evenly spread across the bread, every bite of the sandwich will be flavorful and delicious.
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. After a little research, you may be amazed at the versatility of food. By educating yourself prior to beginning anything in the kitchen, it will make your experience in the kitchen more fun and exciting.
Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting fresh herbs. It will not only add flavor to the herbs but it will also keep them in place while they are being chopped. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. Some of the salt will adhere to the herbs and add flavor to your dish.
Do your prep work to save cooking time. Often times, you can prepare food prior to cooking by at least a couple days in advance. There are certain instances in which using this method can help you create a wonderful meal. Getting your meals ready ahead may be a habit that lasts for a lifetime.
Complete your prep work before you start cooking a meal. If you do so, you’ll save on electricity by not running an oven that you aren’t yet using. You are also adding a measure of safety by not getting distracted with another task and forgetting about a hot pan on the stove.
Wok-fried rice is a delicious meal and a simple way to use up some of the leftover meats and veggies that are still sitting around in your fridge. Using rice that has cooled for a full day is best. If you do not have any rice already cooked and cooled, you can make it fresh and just cut back on the amount of water you add to the pot. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, then throw in your rice an season with some soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other spices of your choice.
You are one step closer to becoming an excellent home-chef. Instead of preparing the same old meals you will be able to expand your knowledge of places around the world by preparing recipes for foods from different cultures. The world is your oyster in regards to what you can cook from now on!
If you’ve been assigned kitchen duty at the upcoming family reunion, you’re probably feeling more than just a little stress right now. Cut vegetables and fruit, measure ingredients, and marinate meat up to 24 hours before cooking. Completing all the prep work will decrease your stress and give you time to enjoy the day with your family.