Food is one of the basic requirements humans must have to survive. But there’s more to life than merely surviving. As fulfilling as eating can be, cooking a great meal is equally as fulfilling. Here are some suggestions to make you a better cook!
There are some things you should be aware of if you plan to cook with skewers. Squared or twisted metal skewers secure the food better than rounded ones.
It is important to add oil to the side of the pan when you are cooking so that it is already warmed when it finally gets to the delicious food you are preparing. This will give your food the highest level of flavor.
To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Additionally, cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so it makes it an easy, healthy addition to your dish.
Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture into the thin sauce and it will get thicker. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.
Is it difficult for you to know how long your meat should stay on the grill? A meat thermometer, digital if possible, is always a great idea. This way you can ensure that the inside of the meat is also cooking well. Thicker cuts of meat should be cooked with the grill lid shut, in order to reduce the amount of time cooking and maximize juiciness.
To make it easier for you to slice meat into thin strips, you should partially freeze it. If you are cooking an exotic dish that requires thinly sliced meat, this is the best way to do it. When the meat is partially frozen, it is much easier to slice and doesn’t tear or stretch. To keep your meat cooking evenly, make sure you let the slices thaw completely before you cook them.
This way, you have fruits that stay fresh throughout the year. In addition, you will then be able to indulge in fruits that aren’t in season.
This seasoning not only goes well with meat, but it can also work with other foods. Try using the seasoning on pumpkin seeds, or get creative by adding it to your favorite egg dish. It will be hard for people to guess where the flavor is coming from!
Substitute water for other more flavorful liquids, in order to spice up your meals. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. Instead of using milk, you can substitute yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
If you have little time to cook each day, you can partially prepare certain foods to break up the cooking process into several steps. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Make sure you have a selection to choose from.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
When roasting a joint of meat, make sure you leave it boned if you are struggling for time. The meat cooks faster because the bone will carry the heat through the inside of the roast, helping it cook from the inside out. It is easy enough to cut the meat off the bone once the roast is cooked.
When you need to store dry ingredients such as flour, or sugar in your kitchen, use airtight containers. These containers keep your food safe from pests and help your items stay fresh by sealing out the unwanted air. Almost every store has some form of them, and they are usually inexpensive.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Next, the tomatoes need to spend about 10 hours in an oven set to 190 degrees. Put a cookie sheet under the rack before it goes in. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.
Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. Being soaked in the water prevents them from getting burned when exposed to the cooking heat. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
Your favorite herbs should always be stored in a dark, cool area. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.
Now you may have fresh fruit at anytime during the year. It will also allow you to eat seasonal fruits at any time you wish.
You should always organize your cooking supplies. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. You may find it beneficial to group similar items together. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.
If you want to cook a roast quicker, leave the bone inside of it. The roast will need less time to cook because the bone transmits heat inside it. Once the meat has finished cooking, remove the bone prior to serving.
Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Use permanent ink to mark one end of the cutting board to identify which is which.
Never throw away turkey leftovers. Instead, cut them up and put them in an airtight package and place it in your freezer. The turkey meat will keep its freshness and can later be used for making sandwiches or as a salad ingredient.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. The flavors of spices fade just a few months after opening the container. If you purchase a new spice but doubt you can use it before the flavor dries up, share some of it with a fellow cook.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. If you put them in a perforated plastic bag, the air can circulate and assure that the gas is retained, keeping the fruit fresh and tasty.
Organization while cooking is necessary in order to avoid disasters, like under done or burnt food. This will increase your productivity, generating tasty foods and saving a lot of money. You can lose track of your things and waste your food and money if you’re unorganized.
You may have heard master chefs on TV say, “Let the meat rest before serving it.” Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. Making it in huge quantities can allow you to store the leftover in some resealable bags in the freezer. This way you will always have flavorful homemade stock on hand when you want to make soups or other dishes. If you prepare your own, homemade stock, you will be cutting out all of the preservatives of canned versions.
There are many ways to prepare fresh oysters. Oysters are typically eaten raw with a some lemon juice, but they can be prepared in a number of other ways. Place opened oysters in shells on broiler pan, then cover with a small amount of cream. Sprinkle parmesan and pepper on top, and broil the oysters until they start bubbling. You can also saute oysters for a different technique. Rub the oysters in flour and then saute in a bed of hot butter. After a few minutes, you’ll see the oysters turn gold. You can bake oysters while they are still in their shells. Add breadcrumbs and butter to the top of each oyster, put them in a sizable casserole dish, and bake for about five minutes at 425 degrees. Once the butter begins to bubble, enjoy them hot alongside some crusty bread.
Put a little bit of salt on your cutting board before chopping fresh herbs. Doing this not only adds some flavor, but it also ensures that the herbs are right where they need to be, which is on the board. Do not add too much salt to your dish. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
A dish that has a lot of oil can be baked instead of microwaved to avoid creating a greasy mess. When you cook foods in the microwave, there is a huge surge of heat, which will cause the oil (that heats the quickest) to start to separate from all of the other ingredients. Baking will keep the ingredients more cohesive.
Before engaging in cooking, be sure to prepare everything ahead of time. This way, you will not waste gas when you are cooking, or save yourself danger when cooking.
If you desire to enhance the flavor in your soup or mashed potatoes, replace the water you are using with beef or chicken stock. You can use bouillon cubes if you do not have any stock handy as a substitute. This will give your food a good flavor, while providing the needed amount of moisture.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. Make sure that the heat of the coals is medium and that they are covered with ash. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
You need butter that is soft, but still solid, when you want to cream it with sugar to make cookies. Should your butter already be melted, simply place it in your freezer for a short time or use it anyway and chill the resulting dough prior to baking. Dough that has cooled a bit will spread less in the oven.
In addition to the oven timer, set the timer on your wristwatch or stopwatch. By using your watch timer, you will always have it with you and will hear the alarm regardless of where you are.
Add spices after your dish is ready. Salt and pepper are everyday seasonings, but a little garlic, ginger, or cayenne can add an interesting zest to a prepared meal. Everyone has different preferences of spices and other seasonings. Don’t add them while cooking; offer spices after you’ve made the meal so everyone can customize the taste for themselves. This way, everyone can make the dish truly theirs.
If you want to reheat a greasy dish, bake it again instead of making a mess in your microwave. The intense heat of a microwave tends to cause the oil, which heats fastest, to separate from the other ingredients. Baking, though, provides an even, consistent heat, even if it is a little slower. This way, the ingredients and flavors of the food stick together.
To take the stress out of cooking time, pull out all of your ingredients beforehand. This method will prevent you from not having something ready when you need it. It won’t take you any extra time to get the ingredients ready beforehand, but will save you time and ruined food in the end.
Learning how to cook, as well as having fun cooking, can be as wonderful as eating. Utilize the advice above in you cooking, and always make sure to tweak and experiment to add a personal touch to any dish you prepare. Improving your culinary prowess will cause others to beg for your home-cooked snacks at every get-together.
Put your ketchup right in the batter for more flavorful fried foods. Just dunk everything from vegetables to meat into the ketchup before dredging them in breadcrumbs. Adding ketchup or another sauce will add more flavor to your recipe.