Preparing the same old meals every week can sometimes seem boring. Why not learn some new cooking methods to spice up your meals? Cooking is not only there to provide a meal, but it could also be a very enjoyable activity with new things to uncover all the time. The article contains wonderful cooking tips to get you started.
You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Experiment with a few, and be patient; remember, you’re learning new skills.
Spices need to be stored in a dark, cool area. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can retain their freshness for 36-60 months. When stored properly, spice stay fresh for longer periods of time.
As with many other things in life, one of the keys to making great meals for your family is preparation. Gather all of your ingredients well in advance. Along with the ingredients, you need to make sure you have the correct utensils for cooking the next day. With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.
Cut your meat very thin and with the bias when you are stirfrying. Cutting meat thinly can be difficult and time-consuming. Then take the meat of out the freezer when it has firmed up a little, but has not frozen yet, and cut the meat at 45 degrees with the grain.
Long cooking processes, like boiling, can “zap” nutrients from foods, like vegetables. To preserve their vitamins and minerals, cook vegetables quickly by steaming them or frying them. They can also be enjoyed raw.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Their bland flavor blends effortlessly with the potatoes while taking flavor from the other ingredients. 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.
Do you feel like you’re wasting money when you throw away a piece of moldy fruit? Can you save the rest of the fruit if you cut away the moldy, rotten part? If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. Throw them away because mold grows much deeper than you can see and moldy food can make you very sick.
Keep flour, sugar and other items for baking in tins with seals that keep the air out. This is a good way to keep your food fresh and protect it from bacteria and bugs. You can find this type of container easily and at a good price: consider it an investment since you will be able to eat left overs more easily.
They will soak up a ton of water, just like a sponge. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
Using less fats, like extra virgin oil or butter, when you cook will help you to lose weight and keep your heart healthy. Butters and oils contain unnecessary fats. You can use a cooking spray rather than butter or oil to cook your foods just as easily, and the important bonus is that it is healthier for you.
Using chicken broth is something you can try when you’re making vegetables. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth can be bought at almost any grocery store, and is so inexpensive.
Tofu and beans can serve as great sources of protein that can be easily added to any diet. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Likewise, beans cooked with herbs can also be a flavorful dish.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. For instance, you can use broth, stock, juice or a bit of wine to replace the water in a recipe. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. Using a variety of liquids can add a bit of zest to a favorite recipe and even make it more nutritious.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. For instance, you can use broth, stock, juice or a bit of wine to replace the water in a recipe. Try to use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream in place of milk. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. Using a wine that you dislike could ruin the taste of the food. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.
Whenever you are cooking a recipe that calls for garlic, seek out the freshest possible garlic available. A rule of thumb for garlic: Fresher means sweeter. You can identify fresh garlic by its lack of bruising and firm skin.
When preparing a large family dinner, do some prep work the night before to decrease stress and leave time for you to enjoy everyone. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. With this done, you will have a major portion of the meal ready for the next step, which means less stress for you.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Cut Romas tomatoes in lengthwise halves, or slice ripe regular tomatoes into half inch slices for drying. Then put them on a rack that you might use to cool cookies and then lightly cover them with salt. Place the cooling rack on a cookie sheet and dry in a 190 degree oven for up to 10 hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You can dry out your own tomatoes. Start by slicing a ripe tomato one-half inch thick, or you can cut Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Put a cookie sheet underneath the cooling rack and then set the pair in an oven heated to 190 degrees. Leave for as many as ten hours. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. You can pack dried tomatoes in a jar stuffed with organic olive oil and your favorite freshly cut herbs. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.
If spices and herbs are used regularly in your cooking, keep them somewhere dark and cool in order to keep their fresh flavors. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Keep things that are similar in the same place. Try utilizing a spice cabinet to keep all your spices in one spot.
Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. Use a permanent pen to make a mark so you know which side you are using.
Some ingredients can leave a rather strong odor on your cutting board. Use permanent ink to mark one end of the cutting board to identify which is which.
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This chopping method produces lighter, fluffier herbs that are drier than conventionally cut herbs.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. You will have stock on hand for soup and other things. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.
It is important to properly care for your wooden cutting board. Stressors, like heat or extremes in humidity, can warp or split a cutting board made of wood. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. If your board becomes damaged, use an oil consistently that is made for wood boards. Store in a cool dry place until the product has completely dried.
When preparing a pasta dish, you should add salt to the boiling water before adding the noodles. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Salt and seasonings do not necessarily stick very well to cooked pasta, so seasoning it while it boils is your best bet to enhance the flavor.
Make sure you use a thermometer to see if the meat is done. There is a temperature that is recommended for the different types of meat that indicates it is safe to eat. If the meat is not properly cooked, bacteria that exists on meat will not be eliminated, and you can get very sick as a result.
When cooking, be creative. Following every recipe to the letter will give results, but it won’t make you a great cook. A recipe can be greatly improved upon if you add a little of this, or take away a little of that. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.
Learn a little bit about any vegetables or fruits you haven’t cooked with before. After a little research, you may be amazed at the versatility of food. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
When you want to chop herbs, sprinkle some salt on your cutting board. This gives the herbs a little more flavor, but more importantly, it makes the herbs stick to the board better, so that they don’t fly everywhere as you chop them. Do not over-salt by making sure you don’t directly add any extra salt to the foods you’re preparing. Salt is known to boost the flavors of the items you use in your recipe, including herbs.
The are many varieties of potatoes, and some cannot be used as substitutes for other varieties. For boiling and for use in potato salad, the waxy varieties will work best. This kind of potato does not work as well for mashing, baked potatoes or french fries. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.
It important to neither overcook or undercook a cake. If you are just beginning baking, you may have a hard time understanding how to adjust recommended oven temperatures to take variables such as elevation and humidity into account. This can cause your cake to bake strangely. Instead, take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If it is covered in batter, your cake is not done yet. Wait until the toothpick comes out clean.
Don’t tr out new recipes when you are cooking for someone you want to impress. You don’t want to put off a date, a coworker, or even the dodgy in-laws with substandard food. Spend additional time preparing the dish to make it extraordinary for this special person.
Cooking can provide both healthy meals for your family, and a fascinating hobby for you to discover. Cooking is a great way to find out more about nutrition. You can be even more self aware, as you discover what things you enjoy making. Plus, as you learn more about cooking and learn to love the art of it, you’ll have a blast playing with new recipes and feel extremely satisfied as the taste of your dishes improves.
Using brine in your food preparation is a culinary secret that can make your dishes go from bland to bursting with flavor. Soak any poultry in brine water for about an hour before cooking it.