Many people view cooking as a hassle. This article will show you how you can do exactly that.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor of your spices. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Spices that are not ground can keep their flavors for 3 to 5 years. They can remain fresh longer if stored properly.
When you are cooking food on skewers, there are some basic guidelines to know. Try to buy twisted or other shaped skewers when they are metal, the food will stay on.
If you partially freeze meat before slicing it, you will find that it is much easier to cut it into thin strips. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. When the meat is partially frozen, the cuts will be much cleaner as the fibers in the meat are less likely to stretch. To ensure that the meat cooks properly, be sure it is completely thawed before cooking.
Spices and herbs should be stored in a dark and cool area. They will not taste as fresh if they are exposed to light or warmth. Usually, ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months. Whole spices can retain flavor for about three or five years. The length of time that they stay fresh depends on how they are stored.
Do not season all the meat immediately: try a small piece first. It is important not to over-season foods such as hamburger, meatballs and other meat-based dishes. Never prepare the entire amount immediately after seasoning it. Try cooking a small sample before making all of it. Once you have tasted your creation, make any adjustments needed to the seasoning.
You can use this on a variety of foods, not just meat. Spread it on pumpkin seeds that are roasted to make yourself a savory snack. Another way that you can use this is to put it on your scrambled eggs. The interesting flavor will leave everyone wondering what the secret ingredient it.
Do you know that guilty feeling you get when you throw away fruit that has mold? Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. It must be discarded because mold spores that you cannot see may be present on other areas of the fruit. If eaten, you could become ill.
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. Double up on the skewers per kebab to ensure that nothing falls off of them.
Cook your vegetables quickly to preserve flavor. Using a slow cooking method is sometimes suggested, but the results are less nutritious and don’t taste as good. Vegetables cooked in these ways make healthier side dishes and ingredients in recipes. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.
You can use it on other types of food besides meat. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. It is up to you whether or not you want to share your secret ingredient!
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Put a cookie sheet underneath the cooling rack and then set the pair in an oven heated to 190 degrees. Leave for as many as ten hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!
Don’t waste the leftovers when you cook a turkey, whether it is for Thanksgiving or any other meal. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. You can use the turkey later to make into sandwiches or a casserole.
If you use skewers for any of your dishes, be sure to soak skewers made of wood in water for a minimum of a half hour before using them. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. Double up on the skewers per kebab to ensure that nothing falls off of them.
When cooking boxed macaroni and cheese meals, it is best to follow the box’s directions exactly. Wait until the macaroni is done to add the cheese. Let the dish sit for a few minutes so the cheese can melt and blend with the macaroni. For serving, a solid spoon works best. You can use pepper to add some spice to the macaroni, if you choose.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.
Prior to cooking, gather everything you need. This will prevent you from wasting resources or overcooking your food, as well as prevent other dangerous situations resulting from distractions.
When serving a salad at a social gathering, keep the dressing in a dish to 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 your guests a variety of dressings.
If you’re going to be barbecuing, it’s a good idea to prepare your grill beforehand so that it’s already ready for you when you need it. You should try to have everything ready 30 minutes prior to your cook time. The charcoals are ready to cook over once they are ash covered, and at medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.
It is crucial that you buy new spices around every six months. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you buy a certain spice and you know that you are not going to use it all before it goes bad, give half to a friend or family member.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. The moisture from the extra food will cause it to steam. This way the food will be too moist, not crisp like sauteed food should be. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.
Wash your dishes as you go when cooking a meal. For a lot of people, the worst part of cooking is the cleaning up. Washing your dishes is easier if you do not wait until the food gets dry and sticky. Make sure you wipe your dishes and put them away for the next meal.
Spices and herbs need to be stored somewhere that is dark, cool and dry. Light and humidity can diminish the flavor of spices, as can heat. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
For an improvement to your pasta sauce, save some of the water used to cook the pasta. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you combine the sauce and the pasta, add this little amount of water to the mix. The pasta water’s starch adds a “creaminess” to the sauce via amalgamation.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. There are potatoes that are good for mashing, and there are others that are good when used in potato salad; it really does matter what variety they are. When your potatoes will be used for these purposes, choose a fluffy variety, such as a Russet.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. Every meat has a certain internal temperature that needs to be reached in order for it to be safe to eat. If meats are not properly cooked, any bacteria present can grow and could possibly make you very sick if not killed during the cooking process.
Try fresh ideas for cooking with oysters. Most people eat oysters raw with lemon juice, but you can serve them in other ways. Crack open some oysters, leave them in their shells, place them on a broiling pan, and pour a little cream over them. Grate Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper and sprinkle it over the top of the oysters. Broil until bubbling. You could try to saute them. Using a bit of seasoned flour, dredge the oysters and fry them up with hot butter for roughly two minutes, until they turn golden brown. Oysters need to be baked in their shells. Add each one into a casserole dish, add a few bits of butter and breadcrumbs on top of every oyster and set the oven to 425 degrees. Place the dish into the oven and bake for between four and five minutes. Serve hot on toast points or a baguette when your butter is bubbling.
Remember when cooking, even if it is just a simple dish, the fresher the better. Elaborate dishes with multiple flavors can really be enhanced by using dried herbs, oregano and basil are great ones to use. Even for these kinds of dishes, use fresh herbs when you can, as they will add punch to the taste. One way to ensure that you have fresh herbs is to plant a herb garden.
Consider reheating any oily foods in the oven rather than the microwave so that you avoid any mess. Oil heats more quickly than other ingredients, and the strong heat that a microwave has will cause it to separate from everything else. Baking will keep the ingredients more cohesive.
When cooking with fruits and vegetables that you have never used before, gather as much knowledge about them beforehand as you can. When you’ve done some research, you might be surprised to learn how versatile a particular new food is. To have a better cooking experience, educate yourself before starting anything new in the kitchen.
Select potatoes with a thick skin if you are going to make twice baked potatoes. A red potato’s skin is too thin to hold together if you are using a dense filling.
Use a thick-skinned baking potato for firmer-shelled twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes have very thin skin and are unable to support dense fillings.
An easy way to speed up your cooking is to prepare either prepare it the night before or at least as much as you can prepare. If you chop vegetables for a stir-fry or a lasagna and keep it in the refrigerator, you can serve your delicious meal to your family the next day without the stress of needing extra time.
When you are creaming butter for cookies, be sure the butter isn’t completely melted, just soft. If it has been melted, place it in the freezer and remove it after a couple of minutes to make it more firm. You can also put the dough in the refrigerator after you mix the ingredients. By using cooler dough, your cookies will not spread out as much.
Even though leafy greens are healthy, they are hard to cook. It could become annoying when removing their tough stems. An easy method of removing difficult stems involves breaking the greens in half, and pulling the stem out. Or you could use a knife and easily cut out the steam from a folded leaf. Once the leaf is unfolded, you will have perfect greens.
To make your next cooking session a snap, gather up all the ingredients you’ll need before you start. You don’t want to start cooking only to realize you need to go purchase a necessary ingredient. It does take a little bit more time to get everything out prior to cooking, however, it will save you time and frustration in the long run.
As the article shows, there are many ways to make cooking less of a drag and more interesting. Use these tips to become more creatively engaged in cooking, and actually start to enjoy yourself!
For people that enjoy preparing meals with fish, try catching fish locally, if possible, instead of buying. Someone who catches and cooks their own fish on the same day not only eats a fresh meal but has the ability to completely provide for themselves.