You will find that cooking can be an exciting venture when you have an accumulated set of skills. Not only will the tips here aid you in becoming the chef that you want to be, but will boost your confidence level as well. Read on, and let your creativity grow!
Always store your spices in a cool and dark place. If they are exposed to light, moisture, or heat, they will lose much of their flavor. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. If stored correctly, they will remain fresher longer.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. If light, humidity and heat are present, these items will begin to lose their flavor. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Whole spices may keep their flavors, possibly, three years or longer. They’ll last longest when stored properly.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. Prepare your food in advance if you want to minimize the stress that you feel.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don’t extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. Allow the meat to thaw prior to cooking though, so that it can cook evenly.
Make sure that you cut your meat extremely thin as well as on the bias for stir-fry. Perfectly sliced meat takes time and patience, though. 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.
Boiling and other lengthy cooking methods strip vegetables of their important nutrients. To get the greatest health benefit from vegetables, cook them quickly with methods like steaming or sauteing, or serve them raw.
If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. This provides ideally thin meat for Thai, Chinese, or other Asian recipes. With meat that is somewhat frozen, the fibers tend not to stretch or tear as much when they are sliced, making for much cleaner cuts. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.
Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest French fries. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
Cook your vegetables quickly to preserve flavor. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious. These speed-cooking techniques usually produce vegetables that are more nutritious overall. Adapting the principle of faster cooking times is a crucial element in serving better quality vegetables to your family and friends.
Do you enjoy the flavor of fresh basil? In a glass put a lot of fresh basil inside. Cover its stems completely with water. Put the basil on your counter and it will remain fresh for up to seven days! The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. Trim your basil plants once in awhile to promote more growth, and enjoy your fresh basil for quite a long time.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. Make sure the basil’s stems are covered in water. Basil will stay fresh in bowl of water for up to four weeks. If you change the water occasionally, the basil will even grow roots in the water. Occasionally trim the basil in order to promote more growth so that you can have fresh basil for a while.
This seasoning not only goes well with meat, but it can also work with other foods. It can add flavor to all manner of foodstuffs, such as scrambled eggs. Everyone will ask what you used for spices.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. When you need sauce for another meal, you already have individual portions, ready to grab and reheat in a pan. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.
Garlic is a wonderful taste, but not such a wonderful smell to have on your hands. To avoid the lingering, strong odor from working with odoriferous cooking ingredients, thoroughly rub you hands on the stainless steel surface of your kitchen sink. This will remove the scent from your hands and stop it from transferring.
Do you ever find it difficult to determine how long you should grill your meat? A meat thermometer can give you a precise temperature, reassuring you that the meat is fully cooked. If you are grilling a thicker piece of meat (over 1.5 inches), close your grill while cooking to save some time.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. This makes it easy to prepare a quick meal by reheating the sauce using a saute pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
Sauteing vegetables in a little chicken broth is a healthful way to cook them. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. Let your stock come to room temperature before you freeze it.
Try to do preparations for tomorrows meal the night before to save time and make cooking a breeze. Cut up vegetables and onions, put the meat in the marinade, or make the sauce before going to bed at night. You’ll be less stressed when cooking the following day.
If you want to eat well and lose weight, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of oil you use in cooking. Most of the time, the oils you cook with have high amounts of unnecessary and unhealthy fats. This is also true of butter. Try cooking sprays that will help your food not to stick and keep it free from fats that contribute little to a healthy lifestyle.
There’s almost always leftovers after serving turkey. Instead, slice up the remaining meat, put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and store it in your freezer. The turkey will stay fresh for several weeks, and you can use it for sandwiches or salads.
When you are going to be cooking pumpkins, the first thing to do is to stand your pumpkin upright. Then you can cut in right down the middle so you have two halves. Put the halves with the sides down on your baking sheets. Sprinkle some water on the sheets and bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Spices should be replaced every six months. The flavors of spices fade just a few months after opening the container. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Use chicken broth, beef stock or vegetable broth instead. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
Follow the recipe exactly when you are making macaroni and cheese. Doing so ensures that the macaroni is cooked perfectly, and is the right consistency once the cheese is added. Use a solid spoon to serve it. Season with pepper to your liking, and you’re ready to go!
There are many herbs that have a strong smell that will stay on your cutting board. You can mark your cutting boards with permanent marker to tell which one or which side is for each type of food.
One great cooking tip is just be flexible and creative; do your own thing. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. In some cases by making little modifications to the recipe here and there will result in a dish that is tastier than if you had used the original recipe. Sometimes that’s the best sort of 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.
Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting fresh herbs. This adds flavor and keeps the herbs on the board. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
Always take good care of your wooden cutting board. Wood is prone to warp or split when used as a cutting board. Food juices, plus the washing and drying process, will cause this damage. A wooden cutting board will be ruined if it is placed into water. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it.
When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. This gives the herbs a little flavor. Mostly, though, a little salt keeps the herbs from flying off the board. Do not add too much salt to your dish. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
Use beef or chicken stock in the place of water in soups, mashed potatoes and more. This will add a great deal of flavor. As a simpler remedy, you could just mix bouillon cubes with water and make the recommended water amount. This keeps your meal from being dried out, while eliminating oil and adding flavor.
High quality cutlery and knives are worth the expense. In addition to the practical benefits, you will also improve your safety when cutting foods with sharp utensils. Dull knives cause more accidents than sharp ones.
If you plan to prepare potato skins or twice baked, loaded potatoes, use baking potatoes. This type of potato has a thicker skin, which stays crunchier during cooking. Red potatoes have thin skins and cannot support a dense filling.
You can warm up tortillas in a few different ways. One way is to preheat the oven temperature to 350, then place the tortillas on the rack. Grill tortillas by putting them on the grill plates right above the flames. These are some ways to prepare a delicious tortilla.
A great way to use random vegetables in your refrigerator is to make some fried rice. Day old rice tastes best in stir fried rice because of its drier taste, but fresh rice will also work. Just add slightly less water than normal. First, fry both the meat and vegetables in oil. Next, put the rice in and add condiments and spices of your choice.
Try not to under or over cook your cake. 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. Insert a toothpick into the cake’s middle. The cake will be done when the toothpick comes out without any batter attached; if it doesn’t, bake it longer.
Add spices to meals after they are cooked. Spices like pepper, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder are all great seasonings. Let people choose their spices so that they do not waste your delicious food. Allow for your food to be complimented with these spices when the meal is served. Each person can then bring the food to their enjoyment level.
This article makes it clear that cooking is a learn-able skill, and that it’s not so tough to improve, either. If you want to master cooking, you need to set aside the time to do so and also have a strong desire for educating yourself on the best practices. Using these tips, you can become proficient and get around the kitchen easily. It doesn’t matter if you see cooking as relaxing or challenging, as long as you see it as enjoyable, it will be never be a chore.
Use nylon, rubber or silicone utensils if you have nonstick cookware. Utensils made from wood or metal can scratch the coating on your pans, which reduces the non-stick properties and may cause the coating to peel or flake while you cook. Not only will this ruin your meal, it could cost you your life!