If you want to be a great cook, there are some important things you need to know. The following article will teach you the secrets behind what is involved in being a good cook Take the tips you learn and start eating better immediately.
Partially chill meat so it becomes easier to slice into thin strips. Certain dishes require thin strips of beef, chicken or pork. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. However, so they are evenly cooked, you want to make certain the meat strips are thawed before cooking.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. This is best for Asian meals such as Thai or Chinese dishes. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. Make sure to let the meat thaw before you cook it, frozen ice and hot oil do mix well together.
If you’ve made sauce, you should place any that is leftover in an ice tray and freeze it. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. The frozen sauce will keep extremely well until the next time you need it!
When you are putting seasoning on meat, just season a small piece first. Meats like meatballs, hamburgers or meatloaf can be easily under or over seasoned. Season it mildly before you make the entire meal. Instead, make a small piece in the shape of a patty and initially cook that first. If you are satisfied with the flavor you can move on to the rest of the batch, or, if the flavor is off, you can add more seasonings to get the flavor right.
Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. To avoid this possibility, you can apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the grill before cooking.
It is extremely important that your knives are always sharp. Dull knives can actually be dangerous to use and the certainly make chopping difficult. You’re less likely to cut yourself chopping up a vegetable with the clean, fast strokes of a sharp knife, than when you are forcing and wiggling a dull knife.
Before purchasing items to prepare any type of dish, it is important that you read the labels of the item. Potentially unhealthy ingredients lurk in typical cooking supplies. Check the levels of sodium and sugar, because severe health problems can arise when too much of these are consumed.
A lot of people cook with apples during fall and winter, but they will spoil rather quickly if you don’t store them correctly. Apples are extremely perishable. In a warm, dry environment, they will quickly go bad. Store your apples in an airtight container in a cool, preferably humid place. Make sure to inspect your apples regularly, as one rotten apple means that the others are soon to follow.
Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Dried tomatoes could also be put in a jar with fresh herbs and topped up with olive oil. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
This can be applied on many other foods other than just meat. Sprinkle it over popcorn for an evening treat, or add a dash to pasta. Everyone will love the flavor and ask you for your secret ingredient!
Never throw away turkey leftovers. What you want to do with them is slice the meat, put it in a freezer friendly tupperware, and stick it into the freezer. Frozen, leftover turkey will keep for a few months, allowing you to pull out a container for sandwiches or salads at any time.
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
If your meals include fresh herbs like dill or parsley, clump them together and use kitchen shears to cut them. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. You may think it is better to serve the food immediately. However, your meal could be much more enjoyable if you wait. Give your meal enough time to cool, and new flavors will appear.
When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.
Prepare the meal the night before to reduce any stress when you’re going to have a complicated meal. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start cooking, and that you shop and measure them so they are ready to go. Now all that is left is to assemble the dish and toss it in the oven!
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. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.
Use salt liberally in the water used to cook pasta. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Pasta that is salted after it is cooked does not absorb the salt as readily.
Try adding seasoning over the entire cooking process instead of putting on all your seasoning on at the beginning. Add a little spice every few minutes. If you do it this way you can ensure that you do not overdo your seasonings or use too little.
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The water contains starch from the pasta, and will make your sauce nice and creamy.
To make an improvement to pasta sauce, save some of the pasta’s cooking water. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. When you combine the sauce and the pasta, add this little amount of water to the mix. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.
When sauteing food, avoid over-filling the pan. Too much liquid in the pan will result in steamed, soggy food and not the crispy texture you were trying to achieve by sauteing. Make sure you do this at a low temperature as well.
Remember when cooking, even if it is just a simple dish, the fresher the better. Dried herbs can be used for recipes that are complex and filled with lots of flavors. Fresh herbs are still preferred, and they will provide a much better taste to your dish. You could start your own herb garden to always have fresh products.
It is important to maintain a wooden cutting board properly. Wooden cutting boards can warp and split if they are exposed to heat and moisture or if they are stored in an excessively dry area. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. When a cutting board shows signs of wear and tear, there are special oils that can rejuvenate them. Be sure to let your cutting board dry completely before you use it again.
Do your prep work to save cooking time. Some preparations can be done as much as two days in advance of the meal. Sometimes you will even discover that preparing ingredients over an extended period of time will enhance the flavor of the final product. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
Wrapping the turkey together with string is trussing. This ensures that the legs and wings remain near the bird, which results in more even cooking. If you don’t truss the bird, the outer extremities of the legs and wings will become overcooked while the remainder of the turkey is still undercooked.
Brine is a wonderful cooking method. Soak any poultry in brine water for about an hour before cooking it.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. You might be surprised of the possibilities you will learn about for food. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
Use beef or chicken stock in the place of water in soups, mashed potatoes and more. This will add a great deal of flavor. Bouillon cubes can be added to the water to give dishes the delicious stock flavor as well. The dishes you prepare this way have ample moisture, but also receive an additional layer of taste.
To make sure you know when the food is done, set the timer on the oven, but set a watch timer as well. That will let you move on to other projects on the house while assuring that you’ll hear the timer go off wherever you are.
A large family gathering is stressful enough, even without the cooking! However, if you are cooking for a large group, you might benefit from a little advice. Instead of panicking, do all the preparatory work a night or two before the big event is to occur. You can put out all the ingredients you are going to use, and have your measurements and marinades all ready to go.
Make good use of leftovers by throwing together a wok full of tasty fried rice. Rice that is a day old and cool is the best to use. If you have to cook it fresh, don’t use as much water so it’s drier. Fry the meats and veggies in a bit of oil, then add the rice and season with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and other spices.
Save spicy or unusual spices for after you cook the meal. Popular seasonings, such as garlic, hot peppers, herbs, and salts are desirable additions to any dish. Where seasonings are concerned, people have drastically different preferences. Do not spice the meal until after its cooked so that your guests can customize the taste of the meal. This way, each person can personalize their own meal.
Some pungent ingredients, like garlic, onions, or fish, can stick to your hands and transfer to foods you don’t want them on. You can stop this process by rubbing your hands on stainless steel before you give them a wash. You can use any stainless steel item: spoon, sink, or specially made “soap bar.” Rubbing them on stainless steel will remove the odor and keep your hands smelling fresh.
If you cookware is nonstick, do not use metal utensils when cooking. Metal or wooden utensils will scratch nonstick coating. This is dangerous, as well as unappetizing.
In conclusion, in order to become the best cook you can be, you must be knowledgeable. To some it comes naturally, but for others, they need as much advice as they can get. Whichever camp you fall into, this article has hopefully nudged you a little closer to being a real cooking wizard.
When you are making a salad to serve at a potluck dinner, layer it to retain maximum freshness. Your juicy ingredients should be at the bottom while your leafy items should be placed on top.