Are you getting tired of having to constantly cook for your family? Cooking is a task that should be enjoyable, and not one that you dread. Here you will find some excellent cooking ideas that will help you remove the stresses of not knowing where to begin. Make mealtime a source of enjoyment, not exasperation.
Your meat need to be sliced thinly across the grain when you are preparing stir-fry. This can take time and be tricky. When the meat feels firm, pull it from the freezer and cut across the grain at a 45 degree angle.
If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member. Try some recipes and be patient as you develop your skills.
Freezing meat will make it more solid, and easier to cut into thin strips. Thin strips of meat are ideal for meals that are originally ethnically Asian. Partially freezing meat keep the fibers in meat from stretching and tearing resulting in perfectly sliced strips. However, always thaw your food before cooking it.
Add oil to the pan on the side so when it reaches the food it is hot. This helps to bring out the flavor in your food.
It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. Dull knives, in addition to being ineffective, are actually very dangerous. It is more likely that you will cut yourself while trying to get a dull knife to cut something than when you use a well-sharpened knife.
Sharp knives are an essential tool. Blunt knives are frustrating to use and they can also be very hazardous. You can cut yourself so easily trying to force dull knives through something than it is to make a simple cut with a sharp one.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. Cauliflower’s subtle flavors blend in with the potatoes and other ingredients easily. Additionally, cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so it makes it an easy, healthy addition to your dish.
When you are cooking an important dinner you want to whip up something you know how to cook well. Stay away from using new ingredients, or a new recipe. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.
Do you want to cook with fresh basil? Take some fresh basil and put some of it in a glass. Make sure the stems are covered by an adequate amount of water. Put it on top of your kitchen counter and it will be fresh for weeks! If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. If, however, you brush the grill with oil, this will help prevent sticking.
Garlic’s only disadvantage is that it transfers smell onto your hands. Rub your hands on the inside of a sink made of stainless steel after using garlic. This process removes the odors from your hands and keeps you from transferring them to the next piece of food you work with.
Tofu and beans can serve as great sources of protein that can be easily added to any diet. Both are readily available in grocery stores. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.
Do you have a difficult time deciding how long you should grill your meat? Whenever you are grilling it is advisable to have a quality cooking thermometer handy to ensure thoroughly cooked meat. If possible use a digital meat thermometer to obtain a more accurate reading. If the meat you’re grilling is more than 1.5 inches thick, think about keeping the lid of the grill closed to shorten the cooking time.
When buying ingredients to cook with, always read the label. Potentially unhealthy ingredients lurk in typical cooking supplies. Pay special attention to carbohydrate and salt content, as eating too much of these can be especially dangerous.
Use airtight containers for flour, sugar and baking mixes in the kitchen. These containers keep your food safe from pests and help your items stay fresh by sealing out the unwanted air. You can find these containers in a variety of sizes online or at local stores. Regardless of where you purchase them, using these containers is a choice you are unlikely to regret.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. This stock is a popular base that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles and much more. Let your stock cool off and pour it inside Ziploc bags.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. Fruit produces ethylene gas as it ripens. Placing fruit in a perforated bag allows air circulation in the bag, retaining ethylene gas and keeping the fruit tasting good.
Decreasing the amount of oils that you are using when cooking is essential if you are interested in losing weight and eating a healthy diet. Butters and oils contain unnecessary fats. A smart alternative is to switch to a nonstick cooking spray, it gives similar results with less of the unhealthy ingredients.
To avoid mistakes like burning your food while you are cooking, it is of the utmost importance to stay organized. A well-organized cooking area is conducive to great results. Unorganized cooking stations may mean you lose money and valuable food that is better suited to eating.
Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. Broth will fill your dish with flavor. This cooking method also allows you to eliminate unhealthy oils. Try this next time you cook vegetables for a great meal.
When using fresh herbs in your meal, including dill and parsley, place the herbs together in bunches, and cut them with scissors. This will keep them drier and less heavy than if they are chopped.
When you season food add a little at a time every few minutes rather than adding it all at one time. If you season your food this way, you can bring out the flavors of your ingredients a lot better.
It is important to completely follow the instructions when making macaroni and cheese. The macaroni will be perfection if you choose to cook it in this manner. After the cheese has melted on the noodles, you will be able to enjoy macaroni that is divine. You can use a solid spoon to serve macaroni and cheese. Give the macaroni some spice with pepper.
Store unripened fruits in a plastic container that has holes in it. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
Get your grill ready to go before you start to barbecue. A half hour is the lead time usually needed in order to have the grill properly fired up before you cook. The coals should have an ash covering and should emit medium heat. This is optimum grilling temperature.
Good organizational skills can help you avoid cooking mishaps. Being organized with your cooking station can make it more productive. Unorganized cooking stations may mean you lose money and valuable food that is better suited to eating.
If you are cooking with a certain type of fruit or vegetable for the first time, do some research before using it. A little research can show you a whole new world of different foods. Educating yourself before you start doing anything in the kitchen will go far in making your experience more fun.
When cooking boxed macaroni and cheese meals, it is best to follow the box’s directions exactly. The dish turns out perfectly when you follow the recipe, and is absolutely delicious when the velvet, soft cheese sauce melts on top of the macaroni. Serve it with a solid spoon to get all the cheese from the pot to the plate. Use a dash of pepper to finish off the dish!
If you are cooking for an important guest, don’t use that as an opportunity to try out a new recipe. You may want to show off your cooking skills to a boss, a new love interest, or your in-laws. You are certain to gain their respect if you prepare one of your tried-but-true signature dishes.
Brining is a technique for preparing poultry. Try soaking poultry, such as chicken, turkey, goose or duck, for 60 minutes in a brine solution prior to cooking. This makes the flavor of the poultry exponentially more flavorful.
Always blot ground meat before cooking it. It helps to blot moisture from any type of ground meat. If you leave the moisture in the meat, it will then release when it is cooked. Instead, it can sizzle away. When this happens, your ground meat may actually steam, instead of searing like you want it to.
In addition to the oven timer, set the timer on your wristwatch or stopwatch. Using your watch’s timer or wearing a stopwatch will ensure you that you will hear the signal regardless of your location.
If you want to serve a complicated meal, eliminate much of the stress by completing some tasks the day before. Gather all your ingredients together, chop what needs to be chopped, measure out all the required herbs and spices and make sure you have everything that you need on hand. When the time comes to actually cook the meal, you will just have to combine the ingredients in the right order and cook them at the proper temperature for the correct amount of time.
A cooling rack that can stack should be used. When making several batches of yummy cookies or other treats, the finished batches can use up all your counter space while cooling. Stacking cooling racks will help you save space and keep everything organized. Using stacking cooling racks enable you to allow your baked goods to cool without sacrificing counter space.
An excellent suggestion is to purchase solid cutting utensils for use in your kitchen. This not only saves you time from having to deal with knives that are dull, but it’s safer to use utensils that are new and sharp, rather than ones that are old and dull. Most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen are due to someone using a dull cutting utensils.
When you are cooking with Teflon coated cookware, you must use silicone, nylon or rubber utensils. Spoons that are constructed of metal or wood can scratch your delicate pans, ruining the coating and even allowing it to get in the food you’re preparing. This could be dangerous and off-putting.
Feeding an entire family can be very overwhelming at times. Luckily many ways exist that assist you in meal preparation. Try to relax when you enter the kitchen next time.
If you wish to remove strong food odors from your hands, simply rub them on a piece of stainless steel prior to washing them with soap and water. This strips the odors off your hands so that you don’t contaminate other ingredients. There are purpose-built steel “soap bars” for this, but the sides of your sink or your spoons will work just as well.