To be a great chef, there are some things you need to know. This article will let you know the ins and outs, along with the secrets of what it takes to be a good cook. Read on and take note of these tips so that you can cultivate your cooking prowess.
You should keep your spices and herbs in a space that is cool and away from light. Elements such as light and heat can cause your herbs to lose flavor quickly, resulting in less taste being added to your favorite dishes. Ground spices, when stored correctly, can retain flavor for up to a year. Though if you have whole spices, you will notice the flavors are strong for 3-5 years. The length of time that they stay fresh depends on how they are stored.
Store your spices in a cool, dark place. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Spices last longer and taste better when stored in cool, dark locations. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.
Before preparing a nice meal for friends and relations, be sure to make a good plan. Review your recipes, and be certain the ingredients are readily available in your kitchen. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before so there will be no rushing. This process will reduce your stress level and help manifest a more positive outcome.
Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious. As an added benefit, these techniques tend to produce healthier vegetables in general. When you know how to cook vegetables in the least amount of time possible, you will enjoy better tasting and nutritious vegetables.
If you are going to make a stir-fry dish, slice the meat on the bias, as thinly as possible. This can be a very time consuming and somewhat difficult procedure. Before the meat is frozen (but when it is firm), pull the meat from the freezer, and slice the meat at a forty-five degree angle.
They will soak up a ton of water, just like a sponge. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
There is a secret to thicken up your weak sauce. Combine 2 tbsp. of water with 1 tbsp. of corn starch in a bowl. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. The mixture should be added slowly and constantly stirred so that it doesn’t get too thick.
When trying to add protein to a diet, you need to remember that beans and tofu are great sources. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. You can fry tofu or add it to soups, seasoned well, for a yummy protein alternative. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
Freeze meat partially to facilitate slicing meat into thin strips. This is an especially strong technique for the meats called for in Asian meals. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. Before you cook the sliced meat, however, you must first allow the strips to thaw.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Another option is to place the tomatoes in a jar and cover them with fresh herbs and olive oil. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.
If you are making a meal for someone that you want to make a good impression on, be sure to make something you know how to make well. You don’t ever want to try new ingredients or recipes that you don’t have experience with. This will ensure that your cooking experience is stress-free.
Do you cook with fresh basil? Take a large bunch of this fresh herb and place it in a glass. Fill the container with enough water to cover the stems. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. If you are sure to add fresh water, your basil will even form roots and become a plant. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. This chopping method produces lighter, fluffier herbs that are drier than conventionally cut herbs.
These spices are able to be used on many things in the kitchen, not just meats. Sprinkle on popcorn for a tasty movie-night snack, or add a bit to fried rice to spice it up nicely. Everyone will wonder what you’re doing to make things taste so delicious!
Directions should be followed closely when you are making macaroni and cheese. This ensures that the macaroni is cooked to perfection and that the cheese is the right consistency to blend well with the pasta. When it comes time to serve the dish, you can use a basic slotted or solid spoon. Spice up the macaroni with some pepper!
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. Instead of cooking food on a single skewer, opt for two parallel skewers. This prevents the ingredients from sliding off into the fire.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. It’s a good idea to prepare the grill about half an hour before you’re going to use it. They will be perfect when they are ash covered and giving off medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.
For a high-protein diet, meat isn’t the only source available. Tofu, lentils and beans are great protein substitutes. Most grocery stores stock these items. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Likewise, beans cooked with herbs can also be a flavorful dish.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. Different types of meat have a certain internal temperature that is considered safe to eat. Since bacteria is all around us, especially on meat, it is important that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill off this bacteria and therefore prevent you from getting sick.
Take a look at the nutrition facts when you buy ingredients to cook with. You will often find unhealthy ingredients in one of your cooking essentials. Make sure anything you buy does not have too much sugar or salt or it can hurt you.
Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. You can put them in meal-size containers and keep them in the freezer. Turkey can be used later for many delicious casseroles and salads, since it can last in a freezer for long periods of time.
If you are cooking a simple meal, add some seasonings and fresh herbs to add some flavor. Using dried herbs, like basil or oregano, is acceptable if a dish is complex and has many flavors. However, fresh herbs will brighten any dish and improve its flavor. Grow an indoor or outdoor herb garden to always have access to fresh herbs.
If you purchase unripened fruits, place them in a perforated plastic bag. As the fruits get ripe, they’ll give off ethylene gas. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
When cooking with fruits and vegetables that you have never used before, gather as much knowledge about them beforehand as you can. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. If you take the time to learn about the item before heading into the kitchen, the experience will be that much more enjoyable.
Allow your cooked food to sit a bit before it is served. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. Eating it so quickly after cooking doesn’t give the juices or flavors enough time to sink down into the meats, or whatever you may be preparing. Always wait a awhile before eating your meal; allow it to cool slightly before digging in.
Buy a rack that you can stack. This will save you space, especially if you are planning on baking a lot of cookies. Make use of these stackable cooling racks to have more space. Stacking cooling goodies up instead of out makes sure you have plenty of room.
An exciting cooking tip is to be creative. You need not follow a recipe exactly. A recipe can be greatly improved upon if you add a little of this, or take away a little of that. That’s the true indication of a skilled chef!
If you want to avoid the greasy mess that you can get when you warm up leftover food that is oily, try baking it rather than microwaving it. Microwave radiation congeals oil in dishes being reheated. However, if you bake the dish, it will be heated evenly, keeping its ingredients and taste intact.
When chopping fresh herbs, try shaking a small amount of salt on your cutting board first. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
When you are preparing cookie batter and a recipe calls for softened butter, try not to melt the butter. If you do end up having melted butter, place it in the freezer to help it harden. You can also put the dough in the refrigerator once you are done kneading it. Dough that has been chilled first will help your cookies retain their shape better instead of spreading out.
When preparing a salsa that won’t be used immediately, rinse any raw onions you are using in cold water and dry them well. Onions from the store have gas that smells like sulfur. It can affect the taste of your home made salsa. By rinsing and drying your raw onions, the gas is released.
Be considerate to those who will be consuming your meals by reserving many spices for later addition. Spices like pepper, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder are all great seasonings. Spice is a matter of individual taste, so what works for one person may not work for another. Instead of adding spices while you are cooking, let people season their own food after you have served it. This way, everyone can adjust the flavor of their meals as they please.
Keep butter or oil used to a minimum when sauteing. The excess moisture can steam the food versus sauteing, minimizing the chances that you will get that crispness you want. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.
When you know you have a busy day coming up, prepare your meals ahead of time, preferably the night before. You can chop up any vegetables for a stir-fry, assemble a lasagna and put it in the fridge, or marinate the meat that you will be using. By doing these steps ahead of time, you will save time the next day, and also reduce stress and still serve your family a wonderful meal.
The act of using string to tie the turkey is called trussing. Trussing will cook your bird more evenly when you tie the legs and wings to the bird closely. If you don’t truss your bird, the smaller pieces could dry out and burn.
As previously mentioned, all good cooks have a few secret tips and tricks up their sleeves. Some people are naturally good at cooking, while others need more advice. This article should provide you with the information necessary to become a better cook.
If you don’t know much about the vegetable or fruit that you are handling, familiarize yourself with it. You might be surprised of the possibilities you will learn about for food. If you do your homework before you start cooking, it will be more fun.