Learning the basics of cooking is the first step you, as a new cook, need to take. Cooking does not come naturally to everyone. However, the ability to learn how to cook is inherent in most people. As with anything, there are techniques and tricks that you must learn to excel at cooking. There are tips below that can help you start.
Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Putting them in a warm, lighted area can reduce their useful life, due to light and heat exposure. Spices stored in a cool, dark location will taste better and last longer. This will help every meal that you prepare taste better.
If you want to use skewers when cooking, remember these helpful hints. Squared or twisted metal skewers secure the food better than rounded ones.
Did you ever feel badly for throwing moldy fruit in the garbage? Could you instead just cut off the mold and eat the rest like you can with cheese? Sadly half rotten fruit is something you can never really save. After a certain point, the fruit may become moldy, though you may not be able to tell by looking at it. Consuming the fruit could make you very ill.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. By leaving the potatoes to soak up cold water, the fibers are reinforced. This makes it so when you fry them, they’ll withstand the heat better and won’t break down completely.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.
Garlic is a popular ingredient that has one notable downside; its trademark scent transfers easily to your skin. After you are done working with garlic and any other odoriferous ingredients, try rubbing your hands firmly on the inside of your stainless steel sink. Doing this cleanses your hands and won’t allow the aroma to transfer to whatever you handle next.
It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. You need to have the ingredients readily available. Assemble utensils and other needed equipment before you start to cook. Doing so allows you to focus on the cooking itself.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. You can use that delicious chicken stock in stews, casseroles, and soups. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
First, freeze the meat partially. Then you can easily slice it into neat strips. This is best for Asian meals such as Thai or Chinese dishes. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice as the cold temperature prevents the meat fibers from stretching and tearing. For even cooking, let the strips of meat thaw completely before you start to cook.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. 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. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
Cooking processes that take quite a bit of time, like boiling, may allow nutrients to leach from the vegetables. You can keep all those healthy nutrients by using a quick method of cooking like steaming or by eating the vegetables raw.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Instead, cut them up and put them in an airtight package and place it in your freezer. The turkey can stay fresh for weeks this way.
Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. To get rid of this odor, or any other strong cooking smell, rub your hands on the inside of your stainless steal sink. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you know you will not use the whole spice bottle, give some of it to someone you know.
The simplest way to prepare a pumpkin for cooking is to half it by cutting the pumpkin in half. Place each half on a baking sheet. Spray some water on both baking sheets and then cook at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Before you begin to cook, you must make sure that your kitchen utensils are clean. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
Substitute water for other more flavorful liquids, in order to spice up your meals. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This should add flavor to the herb as well as keep them in place. Make sure to avoid over-salting by not adding additional salt directly to what you are preparing. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
When your life is hectic and making dinner is difficult, try preparing some things in advance. You can marinate the meat, make a sauce and cut up some vegetables and onions before going to bed. This will help reduce your stress and lower your cooking time the next day.
Prepare for your outdoor cooking by starting your barbeque grill so that it’s at optimum temperature when you are ready to cook. Begin preparations around a half hour before you intend to start grilling. Make sure that the heat of the coals is medium and that they are covered with ash. This is the best temperature for grilling.
If you are big on using spices and herbs, store them in a cool and dark place to preserve their flavor and freshness. Warmer areas will cause your spices to lose flavor.
A meat thermometer should be used to check that the meats have been properly cooked. Meat must reach a minimum temperature to be safe. This temperature varies for each kind of meat. Meat usually contains bacteria. Make sure you cook your meat thoroughly so that eating meat remains healthy.
It is necessary for all cooks to organize their cooking supplies. If you are not well organized, you’ll be a disaster in the kitchen. Store similar items together in the same place. As an example, parsley and basil are spices, so they should be stored in a cabinet together with all of the other spices.
You need to make sure that you cook a cake until it is thoroughly cooked. The cooking times suggested in recipes are good guidelines for an inexperienced baker, but these suggestions can be misleading; other factors, like elevation, can have an effect on how long it actually takes a cake to cook. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If you stick a toothpick in your cake, and when you pull it out, it does not have any batter on it, the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven.
Use brine in your cooking. You soak your poultry in a this seasoned salt water bath for at least an hour before cooking in order to enhance the natural flavors of the bird.
Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. You should mark your cutting board on the side you will be cutting herbs on.
Baking dishes with oil in place of microwaving them prevents a greasy mess while reheating. The intense microwave heat usually causes the oil, which warms up the fastest, to separate itself from other ingredients. Baking will keep the ingredients more cohesive.
To get some extra bang from your pasta sauce, reserve some of the water you cooked the pasta in. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you combine the sauce and the pasta, add this little amount of water to the mix. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
To use up odds and ends of veggies and meats lingering in your fridge before shopping day, throw together a tasty wok of fried rice. For drier rice, make it the night before you plan to use it or decrease the amount of water you use to cook it. Fry your veggies and meat in a little oil and then put rice, ginger, soy sauce, garlic in with it.
It is important to properly care for your wood cutting board if you want it to last a long time. Heat, dryness, and excess moisture can cause a wooden cutting board to warp and split. You should never put the board fully underwater, instead just use a sponge with some soap for spot cleaning. Bring a damaged wood board back to life with regular oiling, using only oil made for cutting boards. Let the board dry thoroughly before you use it.
You can use some spices after food has already finished cooking. Some great seasonings to use are pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Taste in spice is as varied as the people tasting them. Do not spice the meal until after its cooked so that your guests can customize the taste of the meal. Everyone will enjoy your cooking more if you leave options open for them.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. This prevents the legs and wings from moving too far away from the main body, which can cause it to cook unevenly. If not tied down, the tips of the wings and legs tend to burn easily while the rest of the bird is still cooking.
To make your cooking as stress-free as possible, get all the ingredients together before beginning. When you do this, you will have all of your tools and ingredients at your fingertips. Take a few minutes to set out your ingredients and make sure you have enough of everything.
Try not to under or over cook your cake. The times on the recipe are great as a guide for cooking, but factors like elevation and various oven temperatures can effect the actual cooking time of cakes. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. It needs to come out clean to know the cake is baked all the way through, but if batter sticks to it, the cake will need to bake longer.
Fruit works especially well on the grill. Thread sliced melon, peaches or nectarines on a skewer. Grill on a clean grill until grill marks appear. Use the grilled fruit as a topping for ice cream or a grilled pound cake.
Use the freshest spices and herbs when you cook a simple dish. Sometimes dried prepacked herbs like oregano and parsley are acceptable because the complexity of a dish allows for the lack of freshness to not be as distinguishable. Don’t forget though, the best tasting herbs are always the freshest. If your situation allows, plant an herb garden, so that you are never at a loss for fresh herbs.
Frozen corn is a healthy and economical staple food, but serving it too often can inspire family rebellion. Give it a twist to quell mutinous rumblings at the dinner table. Consider mixing some coconut flakes with your corn for an tasty flavor with roots in Thai cooking.
Cooking doesn’t come naturally to most people, but improving your skills in the kitchen can be as simple as following directions. It really isn’t as hard as people tend to think. If you incorporate the tips in the article, you should be well on your way to being the best cook you can be.
If you enjoy fish, try catching your own to save money. When you catch fish on your own, it can provide a fresh meal and give you that feeling of gratification that comes along with providing for yourself.