Cooking can be a challenging skill for some to learn. If you are just learning the basics of cooking, start with simple recipes that include some of your favorite ingredients.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
Being organized is a key step when planning to prepare a meal for family or friends. Look at your recipe, and ensure that you aren’t missing any ingredients. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This will aid you in keeping calm and doing your best.
When preparing stir-fry meals, cut the meat on the bias and keep it thin. This is not easy to do and could take some time. Remove meat when firm but no longer frozen, and slice it 45 degrees across the grain.
If you want your food to come out as good as it can when you are cooking with oil you should be sure to add the oil to the side of the pan so it is hot once it reaches the food. Doing so will give your cooking the best possible flavor.
Partially chill meat so it becomes easier to slice into thin strips. This is perfect for meals that require really thin meat such as Chinese or Thai dishes. If you freeze meat partially, you get a cleaner slice, without the stretching or tearing of fibers. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.
Going through a long cooking process like boiling removes many important nutrients that are found in vegetables. Rather than boiling, quickly steam or sautÃ© your vegetables to retain nutrients. Even better, eat them raw!
Do you want to cook with fresh basil? Put a bunch of fresh basil in a glass. Add water until the stems are covered. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time!
When cooking for someone who is important to you, it’s best to prepare something that you are skilled at making. Refrain from enthusiastically whipping up a new dish or using untested ingredients. When you always strive to follow this, your time in the kitchen will result in less stress.
When you do this, the mushroom will become absorbent and soak up the water. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
Cook your vegetables quickly to preserve flavor. Taste and nutritional value suffer when vegetables are slow-cooked. Speed cooking vegetables also retains the best texture and nutrition. When you know how to cook vegetables in the least amount of time possible, you will enjoy better tasting and nutritious vegetables.
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. After you have finished doing your prep work with the garlic, run your hands along the stainless steel interior of your sink. Rubbing your hands on the stainless steel, helps remove the odor from your hands, so that every other food you touch does not smell like garlic also.
Use airtight containers to store baking mixes, sugar and flour. Keeping your ingredients in airtight containers will stop them from spoiling or being infected with bugs. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.
Will you be making a meal using fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. The stems should be thoroughly covered in water. It will remain fresh for a good amount of time just sitting on the kitchen counter! Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Trim or cut the basil regularly to encourage growth and you will be able to enjoy fresh basil!
If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. If you make a large pot of stock, you can freeze it and store it for future use. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
No matter what you are cooking, fresh ingredients are always much better than dried or frozen ingredients. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.
If you plan to use wooden skewers when cooking, soak them in water for about thirty minutes prior to use. This is going to help ensure that they do not burn during the cooking process. Also, use two skewers through your food to help secure it, so it doesn’t end up on the ground.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Using different liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. You can find these ingredients easily and incorporate them to many different recipes. Frying the tofu in a low-sodium soy sauce is a tasty alternative to eating meat for dinner! Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.
When cooking with garlic, use the freshest bulbs you can find. Fresh garlic is sweeter, while older cloves of garlic are more pungent. If garlic isn’t fresh, it will be shriveled and soft.
When making a dish that needs to contain garlic, purchase the best and most fresh garlic you can. A rule of thumb for garlic: Fresher means sweeter. Stale, or old, garlic may be bruised, shriveled or soft.
Keep those turkey leftovers after the big meal. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. Keeping the turkey in the freezer allows it to stay fresh for a couple of weeks, and then it can be used for sandwiches or in a salad.
Don’t cook with wines that you don’t enjoy drinking. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.
Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. The herbs can be fluffier, lighter, and drier than if you just chopped them.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
You can make remarkably flavorful dishes by making your stock yourself. Make a large batch, and then store it in your freezer. You will have stock on hand for soup and other things. Doing it on your own, prevents any unnecessary preservatives from being added to the stock.
When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This method of cutting herbs provides a drier, more flavorful product than chopping.
It is important to properly care for your wooden cutting board. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. Don’t submerge the board in the sink when you clean it. Instead, use warm, soapy water and a sponge. Try oiling your damaged board regularly in order to restore it. Before using it again, make sure the oil is completely dry.
Always drain and blot your ground meat after cooking to remove excess fat. Before cooking ground meat it is always important to blot away moisture. If your meat is soggy before you sear it, then it will be soggy afterward. The moisture will start to sizzle and steam away when it hits the heat of the pan. This causes your meat to steam instead of sear.
Use both the timer on your oven and a timer that can be carried with you, such as the type found on a watch. By using your watch timer, you will always have it with you and will hear the alarm regardless of where you are.
Potatoes come in many different varieties, and you can’t always substitute one for another. Some potatoes are waxy and are great for making things like boiled potatoes or potato salad but are not so good for french fries, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. Russet potatoes are more suited to those applications because of their fluffy texture.
Don’t use metal or wooden utensils when cooking with non-stick cookware. Metal and wood can make scratches and chips in the nonstick, which makes the pan worse and can even put some of the coating into the food you cook. Not only does this taste bad, it can be potentially dangerous.
Brining is a technique for preparing poultry. If you soak your poultry dishes in brine an hour before you cook it, you will bring out their natural flavors.
Frozen sweet corn is a versatile vegetable that can be easily spiced up if the family is bored with the normal way it is served. Adding some coconut flakes to your corn is a way to give your corn an enjoyable Thai inspired flavor.
You should instead set the watch timer and the oven timer. If you set the timer that’s on your wristwatch or on a stopwatch you’re carrying, you’ll always know when the oven timer beeps, even if you’re not within hearing range of it.
Make a flavored butter to add a new twist to staples like dinner rolls or ears of corn. Either use room temperature butter to start, or try warming it up in the microwave. When soft, throw in some spices, herbs or sauces to give it an extra kick. For example, you might use chipotle peppers, citrus juices or even honey.
To make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, use baking potatoes for a firm shell. Red or new potatoes have too thin of a skin to hold the filling.
Do you need to juice your fruit? Stick in in the microwave for best results. Take your lemon, orange, or other fruits and heat it up in the microwave for ten seconds. After removing them, gently roll them on a cutting board before slicing them open to begin juicing.
Use softened butter instead of melted butter for creaming sugar and butter for cookies. If the butter has melted, you should allow it to briefly harden in the freezer. An alternative is to mix the butter with the other ingredients, then allow the dough or batter to sit in the refrigerator. If the dough is cooler, your cookies will not spread as much during baking.
Incorporate different colors into the the dishes you make. The consumption of colorful dishes is healthy to your body and pleasing to see. Accentuate your dishes with cherry tomatoes, carrot slices, or parsley for a pop of color. Be innovative in using color, and watch your food get eaten up quickly.
You can throw fruits on the grill, and make them delicious. Consider grilling a skewer of fresh, sliced melons, peaches or other juicy fruits. Cook them until you see the grill marks on them. Finally, serve them with a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream.
There are times when you want to keep food warm, such as a large batch of pancakes or waffles, until you are ready to eat. Simply warm your oven to around 300, or use the warm setting on the dial. Then, when you have finished cooking the waffles and pancakes, place them on an oven-safe plate or cookie sheet and store them in your oven until ready to serve.
To ensure the freshest fish, go fishing and catch your own. You will have literally taught yourself to fish and you will feel great as you prepare a meal that you provided for yourself.
Many of the most popular fruits become brown when exposed to air: apples, bananas and pears, for example. The process can be stopped with salt water and lemon. For a better flavor, pineapple juice can do the same job. There is no reason for soaking the fruit; merely dipping the fruit in the juice will do the job well.
Cooking is a thing you can improve upon by using these tips. Armed with these great ideas, the only thing left is to get to kitchen and start cooking! You will be cooking dishes everyone will enjoy.
When buying meat, choose cuts that are on the bone. After removing the bones, store them in freezer-tight bags and keep them on hand in your freezer compartment for use as needed.