We all know that human survival depends on food. However, people shouldn’t settle for simply surviving. It is better to cook something delicious than to eat something delicious. Find some inspiring tips below and get excited about cooking.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool place. Their flavors will be weakened when they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. For most grounded herbs and spices keep a lot of their flavor more than a year. Whole spices keep their robust flavors for up to five years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
If you think you want to try cooking with skewers, there are a couple things you should know. Using metal skewer types will increase your chances of success when compared to wooden options.
Pie crusts and tart crusts should be cook a bit past the point that you think they should be cooked. They need to be a golden caramel color rather than pale blonde. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
Prepare to cook before you actually start cooking. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. Prepare early to avoid later stress.
It is important to have sharp knives when cooking. When you cook using knives that are dull, you create more work for yourself because they make cutting more difficult. It is also a safety hazard to use them. You have a much higher chance of cutting yourself because you will probably have to force the knife through your food, instead of having to gently cut it.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Focus on one recipe at a time and give yourself enough time to improve your cooking.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
If you’re making a recipe with seasoned meat, sample a small piece of the meat before cooking the rest of it. You may have to use caution when you season foods such as meatballs, meatloaf or hamburgers. Do not cook all of the meat immediately after seasoning. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. If it tastes good, then cook it, if it needs some additional seasoning, then you can adjust your recipe before making the entire meal.
You can use it on other foods besides meat. Seasoned salt on pumpkin seeds you roast in the oven makes a tasty snack, and it’s quite good on scrambled eggs. It is a simple addition, but the burst of flavor it gives will have everyone raving.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. Add these types of seasonings to roasted pumpkin seeds when you need a pick-me-up, or spice up your breakfast by putting it on scrambled eggs. All your guests will be left wondering where the delightful flavor came from.
Be careful when using garlic because the flavor and aroma can be transferred to a variety of surfaces, including your hands. An easy way to prevent such scents from adhering to your skin is to rub exposed areas on the stainless steel of your sink. This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. An easy way to prevent such scents from adhering to your skin is to rub exposed areas on the stainless steel of your sink. You will clean your hands and stop smells from rubbing off on other foods.
You will have fresh fruits all year long. Since many fruits are not in season during certain parts of the year, doing this will allow you to enjoy them anytime.
Measure your cooking oil! To lower the quantity of fat you use when cooking, see to it that you measure the oil you are using, as opposed to just pouring it into the pan from the bottle. This is the best way to monitor how much oil you use.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
When serving salad to guests, leave the dressing on the side. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Offer your guests a variety of dressings.
When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables while keeping them from sticking to your pan. Chicken broth can be found at any grocery store, and is very low priced.
Don’t cook with wines that you don’t enjoy drinking. Using cheap or unfamiliar wine puts the flavor of your food in danger. Look for wines that are specifically used for cooking.
When trying to add protein to a diet, you need to remember that beans and tofu are great sources. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. Pan fried tofu, lightly sprinkled with your favorite seasonings, is a delicious substitute to meat. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
Try drying your own tomatoes. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Place on a cooling rack, cut-side up and lightly salt them. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
If you are serving a salad with a meal where you have guests, do not pour the salad dressing on the salad, keep it on the side. Some people like more dressing on their salad than others do, so it is better to let them add the dressing themselves. Offer a variety of dressings, so there will be something to everyone’s taste.
Organize your materials as best as possible, if you desire to prevent the hazards of burns in the kitchen. Keep your kitchen in order. Being unorganized when you are cooking can lead to you wasting a lot of money and food.
Make your stressful family or holiday dinner more relaxing by completing most of the prep work up to 24 hours in advance. Try preparing any required sauces, prepping vegetables, or marinating meats the evening before the meal will be cooked. You will be much less stressed and more ready to cook the next day.
Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can leave it sitting for a few minutes. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. You may think it is better to serve the food immediately. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. Let your meal sit and cool off for a couple minutes before serving.
Spices should be stored in a cool, dark area so that they stay as fresh as they can for as long as possible. Heat will cause flavor loss in your herbs and spices; therefore, they should be kept away from heat sources such as stoves.
One great cooking tip is just be flexible and creative; do your own thing. The instructions for a recipe aren’t set in stone. 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. That makes a person a great cook!
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. More injuries, cuts and serious accidents happen as a result of blunt utensils than freshly sharpened ones.
When making salsa to be eaten later, rinse the onions after you dice them, and use a paper towel to blot them dry. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas. Your freshly made salsa can be ruined by this gas. Rinsing and drying the onions gets rid of the gas.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. Too much liquid in the pan will result in steamed, soggy food and not the crispy texture you were trying to achieve by sauteing. This should be done at a lower temperature, too.
If you plan on cooking food using the barbecue, the grill should be readied prior to the event so it is good to go when you are. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. The coals should have a coating of ash and be at a medium heat. This is the right temperature to begin grilling your food.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. This helps keep the bird’s legs and wings close to his body, helping it cook more consistently. If the legs and wings aren’t tied together, the tips could burn, cooking much more quickly than the main part of the turkey.
Proper care for a wood cutting board. A cutting board made from wood can crack and warp if it is exposed to excessive moisture, heat and dryness. The board has to be washed, but just lightly go over it with soapy water. Don’t submerge the board in the dishpan. If your board is damaged you, can restore it by applying oil regularly, using an oil specially formulated for use on wood cutting boards. Allow it to dry completely before using.
Make sure that you take care with the cooking time for a perfectly baked cake. There are recommended cooking times, which are guidelines only. These times can be a bit misleading because there are factors, such as your elevation, that help to determine the cake’s cooking time. Sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake is a time proven test for doneness. If it is covered in batter, your cake is not done yet. Wait until the toothpick comes out clean.
Keep your spices and herbs stored in a dark, dry, and cool area. Exposure to light, humidity, and heat can make your spices lose their flavors quickly. Being so close to the heat will only cause the flavors of your spices to fade.
You need to use herbs that are fresh when you are cooking. Dried herbs, such as thyme, basil or oregano, are fine for dishes with complex flavors. The flavor of dried herbs is more subtle and slightly different than the flavor of fresh ones. To make sure that you always have some fresh herbs, plant an herb garden that you have easy access to.
When you prepare a simple dish, be sure to use herbs and seasoning that are fresh. In a more complex dish with many flavors, dried herbs can be acceptable. Fresh herbs though, are optimal to use if you want a more natural taste when consuming. A successful method in ensuring a constant supply of fresh herbs available is to have a tiny herb garden.
If you want a shell for double-baked potatoes or skins with additional firmness, try using a thick potato designed for baking. Thin skinned potatoes such as red potatoes are unable to hold most fillings.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. Many ingredients can be prepared a few days before you actually cook the meal for which they’re needed. There are many cases when the meal will have more flavor if the ingredients are prepped a few days in advance. Once you start advanced preparation, you might not ever return.
Always use soft, not melted butter when you are making cookies. It the butter is already melted, put it in a freezer for a couple minutes to let it get harder. You can also put the dough in the fridge once it has been mixed. You can prevent cookies from spreading out too much by using cooler dough.
Learn some cooking skills and have fun at it! Take these tips and make them part of your repertoire, adding little touches as you go along. You’ll become a more accomplished chef and your food will be in high demand!
When your next day appears busy, prepare some of the dish the night prior. You can chop up any vegetables for a stir-fry, assemble a lasagna and put it in the fridge, or marinate the meat that you will be using. By doing these steps ahead of time, you will save time the next day, and also reduce stress and still serve your family a wonderful meal.