Do you drool enviously over the many attractive and tasty meals other people prepare? Do you wish you had the talent to offer your family these works of art? The following article will give you the ability to improve your cooking skills, regardless of how great a cook you are.
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
If you think you want to try cooking with skewers, there are a couple things you should know. For metal skewers, twisted or square types will better hold the food than round ones.
Always taste a cooked sample of you dish before cooking the rest of the meat. A lot of foods require you to season them carefully; for instance meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. Hold off on cooking the entire dish until you have checked the seasoning. Rather, cook a small portion first. Then, you could either cook it like that or add more seasonings accordingly.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. The chance of accidentally cutting yourself while using a dull knife to cut steak is way higher than using a sharp knife to cut the same steak.
To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and other ingredients. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.
When cooking for someone that you want to impress it is important to make sure that you are preparing a meal that you have prepared before and know you can prepare well. It is great to experiment when cooking but you should not try to do this when you are trying to make a good impression. Avert a stressful experience and enjoy the occasion.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. If you slow cook your vegetables, they will lose their nutritional value. As an added benefit, these techniques tend to produce healthier vegetables in general. It is worth it to take the time to use cooking methods that preserve the most nutrients.
Garlic is delicious; however the pungent aroma will get stuck on your hands. Rub your hands on the stainless steel interior of your sink to get rid of the smell right away. Not only does this remove the smell of the odoriferous food ingredient from your hands, it also keeps this odor from passing to other foods that you are about to handle.
Garlic is a delight to cook with, but its odor transfers very easily onto the hands. After chopping garlic or other pungent foods, briskly rub your palms against the surface of your stainless steel sink. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.
Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. This is a nutritious and delicious method for cooking vegetables.
It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. Use a meat thermometer to tell when it is cooked properly. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you’re cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you are using! If you want to get rid of some of the fat in your recipe make sure to measure how much you’re using instead of just pouring it into the pan. This is the best way to monitor how much oil you use.
When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is great for preventing sticking of vegetables and incorporating some great flavor with them. Chicken broth doesn’t cost much, and is widely available at most grocery stores.
If you are trying to eat smarter to lose weight, it is vital to use less oil when you cook. Most fats are brought into a diet through oil and butter. To achieve the same results without resorting to unhealthy oils, you can use nonstick cooking spray instead.
If you have to prepare any dish that involves garlic, get the freshest possible garlic available. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste. Fresh garlic is firm and lacks bruises.
When cooking pumpkins, first set the pumpkin upright; then slice it down the center, cutting it in half. Put both halves of the pumpkin on different baking sheets with the cut side down. Make sure you sprinkle some water on the sheets. Bake the pumpkin for an hour.
Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. Separate the halves by using indelible ink on the cutting board so you know what belongs on each side.
By doing this, you will find that you will have fresh fruit for a much longer time. You will also have fruit handy that is not normally available during that season.
Organization is key to cooking efficiently and not letting anything burn. Just like with anything you do, the more organized you are, the more productive you will be. Being unorganized can cause you to lose ingredients or tools that you need when you are cooking. This can cause a meal to be ruined which will put the money you spent on ingredients to waste.
If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.
You can chop fresh herbs quickly by bundling them together in bunches and cutting them with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
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.
Do not forget to add salt to water for making pasta. The seasonings in the water will infuse the pasta thoroughly. Salting cooked pasta will not have the same effect.
After having a big Thanksgiving turkey, don’t pass up those leftovers. Place the remains in a container and store in the freezer for preservation. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.
When cooking, be creative. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. That’s how real cooks do it!
Always make sure that the cooking utensils you are about to use are clean before starting any cooking. This is a basic but very important rule for any cook. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. This can also spread harmful bacteria.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. The moisture that the extra food volume adds will cause the food to steam, which means it won’t be as crispy as intended. Pay attention to the temperature and keep it low.
Don’t deviate from the instructions even a little when making macaroni and cheese. By doing so, your macaroni should come out perfect, and the way the cheese tastes like melted velvet spread on top of the noodles should prove an exquisite sensation. A solid, wooden spoon is the perfect serving utensil. Consider adding some spices to switch up the flavor of the dish.
While you may wish to present them with something elaborate, avoid testing new recipes when you are making a meal that really matters. Depending on whether it’s a boss, date or your new in-laws, you will want to make sure you cook something amazing so they are impressed. You will be better off pleasing them if you cook something that you know you will come out good.
After you cook a meal, immediately wash all dishes used during preparation. For a lot of people, the worst part of cooking is the cleaning up. Washing the dishes as you go along will make the final clean up much easier.
To add a nice twist to any poultry dish, cook it in brine. Soak your turkey, goose, duck or chicken in a brine solution for one hour before you put the poultry in the oven to achieve a more moist, flavorful bird.
Blot ground meat with a paper towel before you start cooking it. Getting rid of the excess moisture will ensure that it cooks properly. If you just let the moisture sit, it will affect how the meat cooks. It will sizzle and dissipate. Therefore, it’s more likely that the meat will steam instead of sear like it should.
If you want to infuse a bit of flavor into your food as you are cooking it, substitute beef or chicken stock for water. You can also simply add bouillon cubes to the suggested amount of water. This will give your food the right amount of liquid and add a complex layer of flavor to the meal.
When boiling water to cook pasta, be sure to add a generous sprinkling of salt. Seasoning will impregnate the pasta more efficiently while it cooks. This is much more effective than trying to add salt to pasta that you have already cooked.
When you blend sugar with butter for cookies, be sure to soften the butter instead of melting it. If the butter is melted, put it in the freezer for several minutes until it hardens, or put the prepared dough in the refrigerator. Cooler dough will prevent your cookies from spreading too much.
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. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.
If you already know that the following day is going to filled with a busy schedule, get some of your meal preparations ready the previous evening. Pre-assembling some lasagna or chopping up some vegetables ahead of time is a great way to quickly create a delicious homemade meal.
Learn a little bit about any vegetables or fruits you haven’t cooked with before. It takes only a short time to dig up some information on a new food, and you may come to learn that it’s versatile enough to use in many of your dishes. Educating yourself before you start doing anything in the kitchen will go far in making your experience more fun.
Fruit works extremely well when grilled. Put sliced nectarines, melon, and peaches on a skewer and grill them. Cook them until you see grill marks. You can then serve them over ice cream or on top of grilled pound cake.
You should instead set the watch timer and the oven timer. Using these timers or a stopwatch can make sure you hear that beep anywhere.
To ensure the freshest fish, go fishing and catch your own. Fishing is a great way to get fresh and cheap meat. Make sure you clean the fish you caught thoroughly before cooking them.
The thought of cooking for a crowd can be intimidating even for experienced cooks. Do not wait until the last minutes. Start preparing your meal the night before. Set out measured ingredients and marinades.
Consider mixing flavored butter for a simple method of adding some additional flavor to your corn or rolls. You can soften the butter either by letting it sit at room temperature, or by using your microwave. Combine the softened butter with a few spices and herbs or maybe even a little sauce. Mixing the butter with these items will give them new flavor. Some great ingredients that are worth adding are honey, chipotles, lemon juice or BBQ sauce.
Certain fruits, including apples, pears, avocados and bananas, quickly turn brown as their cut sides oxidize. Lemon and salt water will stop the process, but the best flavor to use to stop the browning is by dipping the fruit in pineapple juice. There is no reason for soaking the fruit; merely dipping the fruit in the juice will do the job well.
Make sure to put these hints and tips to use. Your guests will begin to inquire where you learned your new secrets.
When purchasing meats or fish, choose bone-in instead of boneless. Place raw or cooked bones in a strong Ziploc bag and freeze them for later use.