Making the same meals every day can be oppressively boring. Instead, how about training yourself on new and creative cooking techniques? Not only is cooking something that needs to be done, but it can exciting as well. Here are a few great cooking guidelines to get you started.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. They should not be a pale blond color, they need to be golden brown. This indicates the sugar has turned to caramel. Your crust will have a sweeter and crispier flavor.
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Exposure to humidity, light and heat all affect the flavor of your spices. For most grounded herbs and spices keep a lot of their flavor more than a year. Whole spices may keep their flavors, possibly, three years or longer. When spices are stored in the correct manner, they will stay fresh for much longer.
Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. Keep your apples in a cool and humid place and avoid dry hot areas. Check your apples regularly. If one apple starts rotting, the whole bag will be spoiled.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Experiment with a few, and be patient; remember, you’re learning new skills.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. To prevent your burgers from sticking, brush the grill with oil prior to cooking.
Oil should already be hot by the time it touches the food, so allow it to heat at the side beforehand. This helps to bring out the delicious flavors in your food after you are done cooking.
A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. This technique for thin cut meat is ideal for specific types of recipes, especially Asian cuisine. By marginally freezing meat, slicing it is made cleaner, as its fibers will not tear quite as easily. Then allow the slices to thaw so they’ll cook evenly.
This will allow your fruits to stay fresh and delicious for long periods of time. It will also allow you to have the fruits you love even when they are not in season.
Texture and taste don’t have to suffer when you are trying to lighten up your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower makes for a great substitute to help drop the fat and calorie content. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. As an alternative to milk, try using thinned sour cream, yogurt, soy milk or buttermilk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
Make your own dried tomatoes. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Set the rack on a cookie sheet in an oven at 190 degrees for a 10 hours. They can then be stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Slow cooking, and overcooking, vegetables will destroy their nutritional content and flavor. Speed cooking vegetables also retains the best texture and nutrition. Cooking better vegetables is all about cooking them for the least amount of time possible.
Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
Cooking with fresh basil? Store the basil within a glass. Make sure the stems are covered with water. Store it on the counter of your kitchen; it will stay fresh for weeks. Remember to refresh the water from time to time, and you will notice that the basil starts to grow roots. 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.
Organization is key to cooking efficiently and not letting anything burn. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. 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.
Several times your burgers will stick to the grill, and it is hard or impossible to remove them without destroying their shape. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
Think about making your own stock for more flavor. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. Your yummy stock will be ready for you when you’re ready to create your next culinary treat or just make a simple soup. By making your own stock, you can be sure that it is not full of preservatives.
Always read the labels of the ingredients you buy. You might be surprised how many common cooking implements have ingredients concealed within that are unhealthy. Make sure the food does not have a lot of salt or sugar, these can both be harmful to your health.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Feel free to adapt a recipe to suit your particular needs. Add things to flavor and shake up the recipe to make it your own. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.
You should always use cooking oil in exact measurements. 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. You’ll be able to carefully account for all of the oil that you use.
When chopping fresh herbs, try sprinkling a bit of salt over the cutting board before you begin. This gives the herbs a little flavor. Mostly, though, a little salt keeps the herbs from flying off the board. Do not add too much salt to your dish. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.
Always seek out garlic that is fresh and firm. Garlic is normally sweeter when it is fresh. Fresh garlic is free of bruises and firm to the touch.
Quality cutting utensils are a good investment for the kitchen. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. Dull knives cause more accidents than sharp ones.
Always take good care of your wooden cutting board. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. The board has to be washed, but just lightly go over it with soapy water. Don’t submerge the board in the dishpan. If you have a damaged cutting board, you should purchase an oil product that is designed for cutting board restoration. Allow it to dry completely before using.
The odors of many spices and vegetables will stay on your cutting board and will be impervious to soap. Mark your ends on the cutting board using indelible ink so that you can remember one side from the other.
You should utilize a meat thermometer, so that you can be sure that the meats are thoroughly cooked. Follow the recommended guidelines for the correct internal temperature for each kind of meat. If meat is under cooked, the bacteria in the meat can be consumed, which could result in illness.
Keep your kitchen clean by washing your dishes when you are done with them. Have some hot and soapy water on one side, and clear rinsing water on the other. 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.
There are many varieties of potatoes, but they are not created equal. 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. For those types of dishes, Russet potatoes are best.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. But if you do, you miss out on the full flavors of the dish. Let your meal sit and cool off for a couple minutes before serving.
Brine is a method that is great when cooking. Soak any poultry in a brine 1 hour before cooking to get a great taste out of it.
When cutting herbs, sprinkle a little salt onto your chopping board first. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Remember to use moderation; you don’t want to add too much salt to your ingredients. The salt that has been sprinkled onto the board, will also have the extra benefit of adding a little bit of extra flavor when it adheres to the herbs.
Try utilizing a stacking cooling rack. Large batches of baked goodies can quickly encroach on your work space. These racks utilize the vertical spaces in your kitchen. This will save your kitchen space and give you some breathing room.
There’s an art to the simplest meals. For example, spreading mayonnaise evenly over bread improves the quality of your sandwiches. Adding mayo is often done quickly, leaving globs mainly in the middle of the sandwich. An even spread will ensure that every single bite tastes as it should.
If you’ve been assigned kitchen duty at the upcoming family reunion, you’re probably feeling more than just a little stress right now. Try completing all preparations the night before the party, this will relieve a lot of stress. You can get all the equipment you need out, store perishable items together in the fridge, and put the nonperishable ingredients on a spare counter. You may even be able to measure out some of your ingredients ahead of time.
You can warm up tortillas in a few different ways. One of the easiest methods is to simply place the tortilla in your oven at a temperature of 350 degrees and watch it closely until it is heated to perfection. If you have a gas stove, you can also put your tortilla on the burner. These methods will give you a fresher tasting tortilla.
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.
These cooking tips can improve the style of your cooking and make this into a wonderful hobby. Through cooking, you have an exciting and tasty way of learning all about food. You can be even more self aware, as you discover what things you enjoy making. As you progress, you will start having more fun and cooking even better meals.
Fruit works fabulously on a grill. Slice up nectarines, melons and peaches and then thread them onto a skewer. Cook them on a cleaned grill until you see the grill marks. Serve these grilled slices of fruit with ice cream for instance.