You can get bored easily in your kitchen. The thing is, when treat cooking as a leisurely activity, your perception changes. By striving to achieve excellence in cooking, the kitchen becomes a place where you enjoy working, and your family enjoys the wonderful food you serve. Keep reading for some new and exciting cooking ideas.
Keep a few pointers in mind if you plan to attempt cooking with skewers. Not all metal skewers are created equal; traditional round metal skewers are not the best option to keep food in place when grilling. Choosing skewers with a different shape can be the secret to keeping your food from the bottom of your grill.
There are a few things you need to know if you are considering cooking with skewers. Using metal skewer types will increase your chances of success when compared to wooden options.
Prepare in advance as much as possible. Try to have the prep work completed before cooking; this is important. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Pastry crust should be baked to a golden caramel color rather than a pale blond shade. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing. Pick out a few recipes to try and decide after it has been eaten if it is a recipe you want to add to your permanent collection. Be sure to be patient as you try these new recipes.
If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. This can require some time and some effort. Take the cut of meat out when it is a bit firm but has not become frozen and begin to slice it across the grain diagonally.
Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Combine a tablespoon of starch with two tablespoons of water. Stir the sauce constantly to avoid letting it get too thick. To prevent the sauce from getting overly thick, pour the corn starch and water mixture into the sauce very slowly and be sure that you are stirring it constantly.
Meat can easily be sliced into thin strips if it is partially frozen. This is a good way to cut strips for Asian dishes, such as Chinese and Thai. When meat is slightly frozen, it becomes simpler to slice because the fibers won’t stretch and tear that easy. Before you cook the sliced meat, however, you must first allow the strips to thaw.
Partially freeze meat to make slicing into thin strips easier. Thin strips of meat are ideal for meals that are originally ethnically Asian. When you freeze the meat, fibers stretch less making it cut easier. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.
It can also be used on other foods, rather than just on meat. Put in on pumpkin seeds or in scrambled eggs to add a new flavor. Everyone will wonder what you’re doing to make things taste so delicious!
A sharp knife is imperative when preparing food. Dull knives make cutting difficult, but in addition, they are dangerous. It’s easier to hurt yourself with a dull knife by forcing it to cut through something than by using a sharp knife to easily slice through it.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.
Many individuals enjoy cooking with apples when it is cooler outside, but if stored improperly, they will no longer be usable. To avoid rotting, store apples in open-mesh bags or baskets in a cool basement or in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. You must still keep an eye out on the apples because one apple that is rotten can spoil the whole bag.
Garlic is one of the best-loved of all the spices. However, that wonderful aroma can really stick to your hands. Rub your hands on the stainless steel interior of your sink to get rid of the smell right away. This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
Burgers cooked on the grill are delicious; however, many times they stick to your grill. Try brushing vegetable oil on the cooking surface prior to cooking so that food does not stick.
Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.
When cooking pumpkins, first set the pumpkin upright; then slice it down the center, cutting it in half. Take each half cut side down and place on different baking sheets. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
This keeps fruits fresh for months. This also gives you access to seasonal fruits that might otherwise not be available at the time you want them.
Pumpkin preparation involves slicing it in half, from top to bottom. On different baking sheets, place a half face down on each one. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the baking sheets, and then bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around an hour.
Always make sure you measure the cooking oil! This will help you reduce how much fat is present in your cooking. Doing this lets you be very mindful of just how much oil you are actually using in your cooking.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. For instance, you can use broth, stock, juice or a bit of wine to replace the water in a recipe. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.
If you’re overwhelmed with dinner prep for the family, try to do some food prep the night prior. Make your sauces, cut your ingredients or marinate meat the day before. Preparing your meal the next night will be a snap, and much more relaxing.
When you make food that contains seasoning, only put a little bit on at a time instead of putting it on all at once. When this is done, the flavors of the food will be enhanced, and you will be bringing out the best in all of your ingredients.
It’s necessary for a cook to organize all cooking supplies. Poorly organized supplies cause confusion and mess. Group similar items together, and keep them in the same area. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.
Cooking doesn’t have to be an exact science; that’s baking. But you should still measure the amount of oil you cook with. By measuring how much oil you use when cooking, you can lower fat levels in your meals better than if you just pour the oil straight from bottle to pan. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.
Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. Spices do not last forever. They will eventually lose their flavor. If you purchase a spice that you don’t use very often, give some of it to friends or relatives.
When serving salad to guests, always offer the dressing on the side rather than pouring it directly on the salad. Some people prefer more dressing than others; let guests pour their own dressing. You should also provide a large variety of dressings to serve your guests.
To add more flavor to your dishes, try adding some stock that you have prepared. Make as much of it as you want and keep the excess in your freezer. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.
When you finish a turkey meal, always make sure you save what remains. What you want to do with them is slice the meat, put it in a freezer friendly tupperware, and stick it into the freezer. This will allow your turkey to stay fresh for weeks. You can use the leftovers in sandwiches, salads, soups and your other favorite meals.
Allow meals to rest before serving. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. If you are hungry or in a hurry, you will be tempted to eat the very moment your meal is ready. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.
When chopping fresh herbs, try shaking a small amount of salt on your cutting board first. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Don’t add any additional salt to the food while you’re preparing it, or it may become too salty. The herbs gain more flavor when the salt sticks to them.
Some ingredients can leave a rather strong odor on your cutting board. Mark your ends on the cutting board using indelible ink so that you can remember one side from the other.
When food is being sauteed, make the pan is not overloaded. The extra moisture creates steaming which will prevent the food from attaining the crispy texture that sauteing is known for. Do not raise the temperature too much.
Organization while cooking is necessary in order to avoid disasters, like under done or burnt food. A cooking station that is well-organized is more productive. 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.
Proper preparation can save you a lot of time when you are cooking. You can often prepare ingredients for upcoming meals a day or two in advance. In some cases, you will find the longer preparation window will make your end result a flavorful masterpiece. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. Make a large batch, and then store it in your freezer. If you do this, you will never be short of stock for soups, stews, and other such dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
Prepare everything you need before starting to cook. By doing this, you won’t be in the middle of a recipe and realize you’re missing a vital ingredient. Collecting all items needed before cooking doesn’t require any additional time, and it can save time and needless effort later on.
When it’s time to mash the potatoes for that good ole home-cooked taste, try using hot milk. Using hot milk instead of cold milk will make your potatoes mash up light, fluffy and smooth. This will turn your mashed potatoes from dull to delightful with virtually no effort.
When chopping fresh herbs, try sprinkling a bit of salt over the cutting board before you begin. The salt helps to keep the herbs on the cutting board during chopping and also adds some extra flavor. Don’t over-salt your foods. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.
Using fat-free broth in your stew can really help to reduce calories, and make a healthier soup. Use a lot of vegetables and lean meat to help to keep the soup low in fat. Let your soup chill in the refrigerator when it is done cooking. This will cause the fat to congeal and rise to the top. Remove the solidified fats using a spoon. You will save approximately 100 calories for each tablespoon removed.
Mold these ideas into your own methods and meals and feel free to experiment whenever possible. Create food that your whole family can enjoy together. Cooking is a hobby that can enrich both your diet and your life. Make your kitchen somewhere you love to be.
Skim the extra fat from soups and stews for healthier dishes. To eliminate any extra fat in your stew or soup, allow the dish to cool completely so that the fat will rise to the top. All you need to do to remove it is to place an ice cube directly on a spoon then gently rub it on the top of the soup. The ice in the spoon will collect the excess fat. You can also try blotting the fat with a paper towel.