The desire to be a great chef is inherent in many of us, but the process you must go through to become a great chef can be entirely overwhelming. You will be able to cook a great meal in little time, if you just go slowly and take it step by step.
If you are first embarking on a quest to prepare more of your own food, head to the nearest library or bookstore and find a cookbook with simple, basic recipes that you will enjoy preparing. Try some recipes and be patient as you develop your skills.
When trying a new seasoning for your meat, season one small piece and sample prior to cooking the entire batch of meat. It is important not to over-season foods such as hamburger, meatballs and other meat-based dishes. Don’t cook it all at once after you have seasoned it. First, make a little patty out of it and cook that first. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. They should not be a pale blond color, they need to be golden brown. This is because the golden color lets you know that the sugar from the crust has caramelized, which give it that sweet, yet crisp taste.
Making a meal for someone important, such as a romantic partner or a boss, is not the time to experiment with new dishes. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. This can help decrease any stress you may feel.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. If the meat is partially frozen, its texture is maintained nicely, even when sliced into thin strips. However, to ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make sure that the meat is thawed before you cook it.
If you are cooking meats that need seasoning, season a small piece first before making the entire meal. Foods like meatloaf, meatballs, and even hamburgers can require careful seasoning. After adding your blend of seasonings, do not cook the entire portion of meat. Start with a small amount of the spiced meat first. Once you like the way this piece comes out, you can cook the rest.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Apples spoil quickly if stored incorrectly. Apples tend to rot in warm dry air, so tie them up loosely in plastic bags and store in a refrigerator or cool basement. Watch out if you are storing a large number of apples, one bad apple ruins the bunch.
If you love using fresh basil, try growing it on your own to always have it on hand. Take a bunch of it and place in a glass. Pour water in the glass until the stems of the fresh basil are completely covered. You can keep basil fresh for weeks on top of your kitchen counter this way. Switching out the water from time to time will cause the basil to grow, as well. Occasionally trim the basil in order to promote more growth so that you can have fresh basil for a while.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Put some fresh basil into a glass. Fill the glass with water till the stems are covered. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. Change the water regularly and roots will grow. Trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more and stays fresh.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. This way, when you want to make an easy meal another night, all you have to do is reheat it in a saute pan. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!
It can also be used on other foods, rather than just on meat. Try roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled with the seasoning for a tasty snack or mix it in your scrambled eggs. Everyone will love the flavor and ask you for your secret ingredient!
A lot of preparatory work can be done ahead of time in order to speed up time spent cooking. Recipes should be examined and items that won’t spoil that can be prepared a day or two ahead should be done first. Do the prep work the day before. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
Make a lot of stock if you are going to make it ahead of time. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth can be found at any grocery store, and is very low priced.
Tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein. Most grocery stores stock these items. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
Leaving the bone in is an easy way to decrease the cook time for a roast. The bone transfers the heat from your oven to the center of the roast, helping it cook far more quickly. Simply cut the meat off the bone to serve.
Whenever you season your food, try seasoning it slowly rather than all at once. This way, you’re giving the food most of the flavoring and are making the best from your ingredients.
By staying organized while cooking you can avoid making mistakes, such as burning your food. This will increase your productivity, generating tasty foods and saving a lot of money. If you aren’t organized, you will start to forget what you buy and that will make you spend too much money that could have been spent on something you would have eaten.
Measure your cooking oil! When it is time to add oil to your cooking pan, measure it instead of pouring directly from the bottle. This can ensure you are aware of the amount of unhealthy fat going into your food. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.
If you are planning a complex meal, reduce your stress by doing the prep the night before. Make sure you have every ingredient you need, and measure out spices or herbs. Cut veggies as necessary. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. 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. There is wine available that was made specifically for cooking.
Do not forget to add salt to water for making pasta. This helps to add flavor to the pasta while it is boiling. Adding salt after the pasta is cooked will cause the flavor to not be absorbed as well.
Store any spices you might use in a dark, cool place to help maintain their flavor and freshness. Do not keep your spices in a warm place or where they would be exposed to the sun because they could lose their flavor.
When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. This gives extra flavor and helps to hold the herbs in place. Do not add any salt to the dish you are making to prevent over-salting. Salt is known to boost the flavors of the items you use in your recipe, including herbs.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As they ripen, they will create ethylene gas. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
You need good cutting utensils for your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
Blotting ground meats prior to preparing them is advisable. It is always wise to blot any moisture that is present on ground meat. If the meat has moisture when cooked, the heat will release it as steam. This moisture will just sizzle off. It will result in beef that is steamed, rather than seared, completely changing the flavor of your final dish.
Whenever you are sauteing something, be sure that you do not put too much food in the pan. The extra moisture will steam the food instead of sauteing it and will not add that little bit of crispness that sauteing is good for. Also, make sure that this is done at a temperature that is low.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Set aside approximately one-fourth cup. When you mix your pasta and sauce, also add the water you reserved. The pasta water contains starch, which will infuse your concoction with the thickness and body you are looking for.
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. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. If you have a damaged cutting board, you should purchase an oil product that is designed for cutting board restoration. It should be completely dry before its next use.
Prepare all of your ingredient before you begin cooking. This will stop you from having your oven or stove on for too long, and will also give you an extra safety level if you are using oil on a hot pan or other dangerous cooking techniques.
There are a few methods you can use to heating up tortillas. One way is to heat them up in a preheated, 350 degree oven. Place the tortillas right on the oven rack, and bake until crispy. Another good way to heat up a tortilla is right on your gas stove on a grill. Either of these methods will result in a more crispy and tasty tortilla.
Prepare for your outdoor cooking by starting your barbeque grill so that it’s at optimum temperature when you are ready to cook. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. This is the right temperature to begin grilling your food.
Check to make sure your meat is cooked thoroughly by using a meat thermometer. Each type of meat has a minimum recommended internal temperature to be considered safe for consumption. Cooking meat thoroughly is the only way to kill the bacteria that naturally exist on meat. Unchecked, these bacteria can cause illnesses if consumed.
Good cooks never go unappreciated, no matter who they are cooking for. Everyone, ranging from all races, genders, and sexes, sits down to eat food. By using the tips here, you can start training to be a great chef. You’ll be the true life of the party!
There are many varieties of potatoes, but they are not created equal. Waxy potatoes are good for boiling or using in potato salads, but they make poor french fries or mashed potatoes. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.