Have you ever wanted to cook just like they do at restaurants? Have you maybe even attempted to make it yourself at home? Use the following tips to learn how to make your favorite meals, and create new ones, for all occasions. Many people enjoy cooking and find it to be a relaxing hobby.
If you are cooking a dish in oil and need to add more to the pan, drizzle it around the sides. This way, the oil heats up before it reaches the food. Doing this will give you maximum flavor when your meal is finished cooking.
Spices should be stored in a dark and cool place. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Another little known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. If you store them correctly, they will stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
Slowly stir corn starch into simmering sauce to thicken. Mix one tablespoon of starch and two tablespoons of water. Stir the solution into the simmering thin sauce to make it thicker. Make sure you combine them gradually and consistently so as to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.
When making a stir-fry meal, meat should always be thinly sliced, and cut on the bias. Slicing the meat can take a lot of time and be rather tricky. Take the meat out of the freezer once it gets firm, place a sharp knife at an oblique angle and start slicing.
It is important to have sharp knives when cooking. Dull knives are more dangerous to use and they are less productive as well. It is very easy to accidentally cut yourself when you’re struggling to cut something with a knife that is dull.
Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. If you leave them out somewhere, you will expose them to light, wetness, and heat, and it could ruin them. Keeping your spices in darkened, cool areas will lend extra longevity and flavor. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
Cooking vegetables for long periods of time causes them to lose a lot of the nutrients that are found in them. 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 technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don’t extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. Make sure to let the meat thaw before you cook it, frozen ice and hot oil do mix well together.
Many apples are purchased for cooking in winter and fall, but they will rot in a short period of time if they are not properly stored. Warm, dry air rots apples, so they need to be stored in loosely tied bags, and then placed in the fridge or cool area. If there is one apple that is rotten, it can make the rest of the apples go bad.
When trying a new seasoning for your meat, season one small piece and sample prior to cooking the entire batch of meat. A lot of foods require you to season them carefully; for instance meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. Do not cook it all after seasoning. The more you cook, the better you will get at using the right amount of spices and seasonings. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.
Do you enjoy cooking with the flavors of fresh basil? Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Add water to cover the stems. The basil will stay fresh for a matter of weeks on your windowsill or kitchen counter. If you occasionally change the water, the basil will eventually grow its roots under water. While the basil is alive and thriving, make sure you trim the leaves in order to progress the growth of the plant. You will have plenty of fresh basil on hand.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. The potatoes need to soak because the fibers will be reinforced through the cold fluids which in turn makes them fry better. They can handle the heat and not break apart completely.
There are few things more frustrating in grilling than going to flip a burger and finding that it has stuck to the grill. You should brush a thin layer of vegetable oil over the grill before you begin cooking. This will keep the food from becoming stuck to the grill surface.
Meat is not the only use for this seasoning. Try using the seasoning on pumpkin seeds, or get creative by adding it to your favorite egg dish. Everyone will be wondering what your secret ingredient is!
Tofu and beans can serve as great sources of protein that can be easily added to any diet. Both beans and tofu are readily available in most grocery stores. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.
Pumpkin preparation involves slicing it in half, from top to bottom. Put each half on a baking sheet, with the cut side facing downward. Pour a little water on some baking sheets and bake the pumpkin for about 1 hour at 350 F.
The ideal way to cook a pumpkin is to first place the pumpkin upright on the cutting surface. Cut the pumpkin in half, then down the middle. Place both halves cut side down on separate baking sheets. Put a little water on the sheet and then bake the pumpkin halves for about an hour at 350 degrees.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.
If you are cooking with garlic, you want to use the freshest clove that you can find. The fresher the garlic, the sweeter the taste. Fresh garlic usually has a firm skin and no bruises or soft spots.
Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. Separate the halves by using indelible ink on the cutting board so you know what belongs on each side.
Before you begin to cook, your utensils should be clean. Any residual food matter missed during washing can spoil the dish you intend to cook. It could promote the spread of bacteria.
Prior to cooking ground meat, blot it. The excess water on ground meat can present a problem while cooking, so do not skip this essential step. Any moisture in left in meat will be released during the cooking process. It will steam off in the hot skillet. This causes your meat to steam instead of sear.
To avoid burning your food, stay organized. When your station is organized, you will be more productive. If you just cook without a plan, you will waste lots of food, which is the same as wasting lots of money.
If you want to try a more advanced recipe, make it more manageable by prepping the day before. Start by getting all of your ingredients in one place to make sure you have whatever you need. Have all ingredients chopped and measured. Then all you have to do is put everything together when you get ready to cook the meal.
There are two fast, easy ways to get warm, crisp tortillas. Preheat the oven to 350 and place your tortilla in the oven until it is crisp. You can also use a gas stove top to warm tortillas right on the grill. When you use these methods, your tortillas will taste crisp and fresh.
Get all your preparations done and ready before you begin cooking a meal. That way, you are able to prevent using a lot of gas or heat while cooking, and you provide safety when using hot oil or other dangerous things while distracted.
Herbs and spices need to be kept in a dry, cool area, away from light. Heat and moisture can have an adverse effect on the taste of your spices. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
When you barbecue, get your grill ready before you start. Start prepping your grill roughly 30 minutes or more before you decide to start cooking. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the best temperature to begin grilling.
Use brine in your cooking. Soak turkey, chicken, duck and goose in brine approximately an hour before cooking, and you will create delectable poultry tastes in your dishes.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. Many cuts and accidents are caused by dull utensils.
Consider using a potato with a thick skin if you want your twice baked potato to have a firm skin. A red potato’s skin is too thin to hold together if you are using a dense filling.
There are a few ways you can heat tortillas properly. For the first method, set your oven’s temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The tortilla is then placed directly on the oven rack until it reaches your desired crispness. As an alternative, put the tortilla right on the top of the flame on the stove top. Cooking the tortillas in these manners will help to make it tastier and fresher.
Stir-frying your rice is a great way to make use of surplus vegetables and meat in the fridge that you can’t use in other recipes. Day old rice serves as the best method for fried rice, but you could also make fresh rice so long as you use a little less water. Saute your meat and vegetables until crisp-tender. Then add the cold rice to the pan along with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other spices.
Keep your seasonings in a cool, dark, moisture-free place. Heat and moisture can have an adverse effect on the taste of your spices. This will keep them exposed to heat and other unfavorable conditions that zap all of their flavor.
One way to eliminate odors when working with fish, garlic or onions is to use stainless steel as a base to rub them, and then wash them. The stainless steel will help to remove the offending odor restoring your hands’ freshness. You can find stainless steel on your kitchen sink basin, on cutlery or even in specially designed stainless-steel soap bars.
You have lots more tools now to help make you a skilled home chef. Be creative and experiment with a wide variety of recipes and meals. By using the great variety of recipes from different cultures there is no limit to the creativity of your cooking.
Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. This will help you go through the preparation easily and not have to run to the store for additional ingredients. Take a few minutes to set out your ingredients and make sure you have enough of everything.