A lot of people view having to cook as a nuisance. This article gives you suggestions on how to do that.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. Of course, cooking under a strict deadline can really increase stress levels. Having as much prep work done as possible will save you both time and frustration!
The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. Gather all the ingredients beforehand. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before so there will be no rushing. If you have everything ready, you won’t be as worried about preparing the meal, and it’s more likely to turn out well.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.
Boiling and other long preparation methods tend to eliminate key nutrients in vegetables. If you are not serving the vegetables in their raw state, consider steaming, sautÃ©ing or even roasting your vegetables to protect their vitamin and nutrient content.
Apples are a popular ingredient for cooking during the cool autumn and winter months. However, if they are not stored correctly, apples can spoil very quickly. Warm, dry air will make apples rot, so keep them in the fridge or cellar in plastic bags. Make sure you check them periodically, however, because even one spoiled apple can cause the others in the bag to rot very rapidly.
Have you felt sorry for tossing moldy fruit away? Be sure to check apples occasionally because one bad apple will ruin all of them. Sadly, there is really no safe method for using fruit that is partially rotten. Throw this fruit away because of the deep mold growth which you cannot see, and it would make you sick if you ate it.
For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. Soaking the potatoes helps to make the fibers within them stronger, which makes them better able to handle the heat during frying.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Place your basil into a large glass. Add water to cover the stems. You can put it on the kitchen counter and keep it for weeks. If you keep the water as fresh as you can, roots will start growing. You should also trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more.
When preparing chicken stock, make a large amount. Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Allow your stock to cool, then put portions in heavy-duty Ziploc bags made for freezing.
You can use it on other foods besides meat. Sprinkle it on top of roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a snack, or use the seasoning to top scrambled eggs. Everyone will be wondering what your secret ingredient is!
Using chicken broth is something you can try when you’re making vegetables. Chicken broth is great for preventing sticking of vegetables and incorporating some great flavor with them. Chicken broth doesn’t cost much, and is widely available at most grocery stores.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Use whatever seasonal ingredients are available to create tasty dishes, which are also less expensive.
Seasoning should be applied in small amounts throughout the cooking process rather than all at once. Doing this gives your food more flavor and you can get the most from your ingredients.
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. You should wet a cloth and wipe the mushrooms off, rather than soaking them.
Measure your cooking oil! Measure how much oil you use to make your dish less rich in fat. Do not simply pour the oil directly in the pan. This is the best way to know the amount of oil being added to your food.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. You can substitute buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in place of the milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. If you use a wine that you are not familiar with or do not enjoy, you are risking culinary disaster when it comes to the flavor of your food. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.
If you find it too much to prepare the nighttime meal, then take care of some of the work the day prior. Try preparing any required sauces, prepping vegetables, or marinating meats the evening before the meal will be cooked. You will save a lot of time, and feel much less stressed when you have to cook.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Place on a cooling rack, cut-side up and lightly salt them. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
If you are going to use fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley in your meal, put them together to form bunches and use scissors to cut them. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. Lay your tomato slices across a cooling rack with the cut-side facing up, and salt them lightly. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.
You should always organize your cooking supplies. Disorganization will have you rushing around the kitchen in a frenzy looking for your equipment, ingredients and utensils. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. For instance, put all your spices together in one cabinet.
When you have a large or complicated meal to prepare, you can eliminate a lot of the stress by doing any prep work the day before. Start by getting all of your ingredients in one place to make sure you have whatever you need. Have all ingredients chopped and measured. Now all that is left is to assemble the dish and toss it in the oven!
If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. When they are placed in a perforated bag, the air can circulate, which ensures the ethylene gas is absorbed, so the fruit retains its great taste.
When preparing pasta, it is important to add salt to the pot of water. This is the most effective time to season pasta. If you try to salt the pasta after it is already cooked it will not hold the seasoning as well.
Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. You could contaminate what you’re going to cook if the utensils aren’t completely clean from previous cooking sessions. This could cause a lot of very serious problems due to the spread of bacteria.
It’s important to be creative while cooking. Sometimes its okay to deviate from following a recipe step-by-step. Add things to flavor and shake up the recipe to make it your own. Then you can consider yourself a real cook!
For dishes such as macaroni and cheese, follow the instructions carefully. This ensures that the macaroni is cooked to perfection and that the cheese is the right consistency to blend well with the pasta. For serving, a solid spoon works best. Add some extra flavor with pepper.
The first thing you should do when barbecuing it to prepare the grill. You should start preparing your grill around 30 minutes before you put the food on. The coals should have an ash covering and should emit medium heat. This is the optimal temperature for grilling.
Use your creativity as much as you can. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, add a few steps of your own. You can add a little something, or replace an ingredient you don’t like. It may end up tasting better than the original! That type of cooking finesse make a genuine cook!
When you are sauteing a food, make sure you do not add too much to the pan. You may end up steaming your meal because of the water content of your vegetables. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
Prepare all of your ingredient before you begin cooking. That way, you are able to prevent using a lot of gas or heat while cooking, and you provide safety when using hot oil or other dangerous things while distracted.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry, cool, dark place. Spices will rapidly lose flavor if exposed to heat, light or humidity. Such close proximity to these three factors will cause your spices to lose their flavors.
When sauteing food, don’t put too much oil in the pan. The moisture that the extra food volume adds will cause the food to steam, which means it won’t be as crispy as intended. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. You can make potato salad with waxy potatoes, but you should use a different kind for fries or mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes will produce the fluffiest results.
Try to make sure you cook your cake to the proper temperature and do not over or under cook it. The time recommended on the box or in a recipe is a guide to be used with caution, because many factors, such as high altitudes, can have an effect on the actual time needed. A better way is to test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If your toothpick is wet or sticky, give your cake a little longer to cook. If it’s clean and dry, your cake is ready to cool and frost.
Do you enjoy oysters? Oysters do not have to be eaten raw with a little lemon juice, there are many other ways you can make them. You can lay out opened oysters on a broiling pan and top them with some heavy cream. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper, place under broiler until bubbling. You could try to saute them. You can dredge them with a small amount of flour and fry them in hot butter until they turn golden in color. You can also make a baked oyster dish, keeping them in the shells. Put them into a casserole dish, and place a small amount of butter and breadcrumbs across each oyster. You can then bake them for around five minutes at 425 degrees. When you see the juices and butter bubbling, serve immediately with toasted baguettes.
Hopefully this article has demonstrated to you that cooking doesn’t have to be a thankless chore. Follow the easy tips laid out in this article to turn cooking from a bore into something you’ll look forward to.
Make use of stacking racks for cooling things straight out of the oven. If you bake large batches, the cooling baked goods often take up every spare inch of space in your kitchen. Stacking cooling racks keep all of your finished batches confined to one small space. Using vertical spaces lets cookies cool down while still giving you other space to use for other activities.