Do not consider cooking as bothersome. This article has many excellent tips that can help you do just that.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. Humidity, heat and light can all cause flavors to weaken thus making your foods not able to obtain their potential. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Though if you have whole spices, you will notice the flavors are strong for 3-5 years. If you store them correctly, they will stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. The healthier way to prepare vegetables is by cooking them quickly, such as steaming or sauteing them; the most nutritious way of all is by serving them raw.
Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. This can make even the most difficult recipes fun and easy.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
They are known to soak up water like a sponge. So, in order to clean them, wipe off each mushroom with a clean, wet cloth.
Make sure that all of your spices are stored away from heat and light. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Your culinary preparations will taste better if your spices are fresh.
Have you ever experienced difficulty judging the time your meat should be grilled? A meat thermometer, digital if possible, is always a great idea. This way you can ensure that the inside of the meat is also cooking well. If the meat is greater than 1.5 inches in thickness, you should close the lid of the grill in order to decrease your grilling time.
To give your food vitality, prepare meals using fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ingredients whenever possible. Use fresh ingredients as much as you can, because they add better flavor to your dish and tend to be a lot cheaper.
If you have little time to cook each day, you can partially prepare certain foods to break up the cooking process into several steps. Complete as many steps in advance as you can without risking spoilage. There are many recipes where you can do the prep work the day before you start cooking. This takes a lot of the stress out of even the most complicated recipes and dishes.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.
Garlic is a delight to cook with, but its odor transfers very easily onto the hands. Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel, such as your sink, can help to get rid of these odors. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
When you are using wooden skewers in cooking, soak them for at least half an hour before putting the veggies on them. That way, they will not burn during the cooking process. To prevent food from falling from the skewers, use two parallel skewers rather than just one.
It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. It is recommended that you use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking inside the meat; a digital thermometer would give you very accurate readings. If the meat is thicker than an inch and a half, it may be a good idea to close the lid of the grill to cut down on total grill time.
If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. They are also easily located at almost every grocery store. Tofu can be pan-fried with some seasonings, and makes a tasty meat alternative. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.
When preparing chicken stock, it is best to make a large batch. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. Doing so will add a great deal of flavor to your vegetables, and help them maintain their nutritional content. This is an easy, delicious way to prepare veggies for you meal.
Cook your vegetables in 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 economical and widely available.
When cooking pumpkins, first set the pumpkin upright; then slice it down the center, cutting it in half. Place each half of the pumpkin on two separate baking sheets with the cut side facing down. Moisten each sheet with water, then place the pumpkin halves in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes.
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. This is going to help ensure that they do not burn during the cooking process. You can keep your food on the skewers if you use two sticks parallel instead of just one.
For better seasoning results, use smaller applications of seasoning at frequent intervals throughout the cooking process instead of dumping it all in at once. This will allow your dish to become more flavorful.
When you are going to make a dish that requires garlic, be sure to buy the freshest garlic you can. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste than old garlic. You can recognize fresh garlic from its firm skin and lack of bruises.
When cooking a roast in a short amount of time, it is important to keep the bone in the meat. This will speed up cooking time substantially. The bone absorbs some of the heat and distributes it inside the meat and roaster. Cut the meat around the bone before serving.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Also, try and include different types of dressings.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Using cheap or unfamiliar wine puts the flavor of your food in danger. There is wine available that was made specifically for cooking.
In order to keep herbs and spices fresh and flavorful, keep them stored in a cool, dark area. Storing herbs and spices in a warm location will cause them to lose their flavor.
Store unripened fruits in a plastic container that has holes in it. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. When they are placed in a perforated bag, the air can circulate, which ensures the ethylene gas is absorbed, so the fruit retains its great taste.
Shake a little salt onto your cutting board when you are chopping up fresh herbs. This should add flavor to the herb as well as keep them in place. Do not add any salt to the dish you are making to prevent over-salting. 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.
When cooking, be creative. Use recipes as guidelines rather than step-by-step instructions. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Now that is a real cook!
Make sure you rinse onions that have been diced and blot them when you are preparing salsa that will not be used in 20 minutes. There are sulfurous gasses in onions. This excessive gas can damage the flavor of fresh salsa. Once the onions are rinsed and dried, the gas is gone.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you are cooking your meats properly. Follow the recommended guidelines for the correct internal temperature for each kind of meat. Bacteria can easily survive in meat, so unless it is thoroughly cooked, this bacteria can stay in the meat and make you ill.
Don’t start cooking until your preparations are finished. This way, you can prevent distractions like hot oil in pans or other distractions. You can also save on gas and heat by not turning on appliances before you are ready.
Play it safe by setting a watch timer, as well as the over timer. Timers can be found anywhere, ranging from your watch to your phone, so you probably have one available, and you can always get a simple stopwatch to carry with you.
Use a few spices to flavor your cooked meals. Salt and pepper are everyday seasonings, but a little garlic, ginger, or cayenne can add an interesting zest to a prepared meal. Many people have different tastes when it comes to spice. Rather than adding these spices to the food as you’re cooking it, put them on the table so people can choose which ones they want to use. Everyone will enjoy your cooking more if you leave options open for them.
Good quality knives are an excellent investment for your kitchen. Nobody wants to use dull knives, as they can take over twice the time to chop up ingredients, and they are more dangerous than sharp ones. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
You can reduce the stress of preparing a large meal for family and friends by doing some of the work well before you begin cooking. The most important step, however, is to plan out everything in advance; many preparations can be completed the night before. Ingredients can be measured, vegetables chopped, and marinades mixed well in advance of the start of the main cooking process.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. You may end up steaming your meal because of the water content of your vegetables. Also, make sure that this is done at a temperature that is low.
If you are aware that tomorrow is going to be extremely busy for you, you should plan your dinner that night in advance. You can really save yourself some time and worry by assembling your meals, like a meatloaf, ahead of time so it is oven-ready for dinner.
Save on cooking time by prepping ahead of getting started. One of the things that you can do is create components of your meals in advance. Sometimes, this can actually let the flavors of what you are making become more “married”. Once you become accustomed to completing advanced prep work, you may never cook any other way.
Some fruits will grill up nicely, and make a tasty treat. Try taking slices of melon, nectarines, and peaches and then putting them on some skewers. Grill on a clean grill until grill marks appear. Serve the fruit atop ice cream or a grilled cake.
For easily adding intricacy and interest to dinner rolls or corn, try concocting a flavored butter. Bring the butter to room temperature, or put it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it soft. Try incorporating some herbs and spices to spice up the flavor of the corn. Give barbecue sauce a try, or mix in peppers, honey or lemon juice.
Learn to love stacking cooling racks. When making several batches of yummy cookies or other treats, the finished batches can use up all your counter space while cooling. Therefore, stackable cooling racks allow you to capitalize on your limited counter space. Using vertical spaces lets cookies cool down while still giving you other space to use for other activities.
When prepping a salad for a potluck or for serving later in the day, layer it wisely. Place the juiciest ingredients, such as tomatoes, on the bottom of the bowl, and settle the lettuce or other ingredients that are prone to wilting or sogginess on the top.
Butter should be softened but not fully melted before being creamed with sugar. It the butter is already melted, put it in a freezer for a couple minutes to let it get harder. You can also put the dough in the fridge once it has been mixed. When you use chilled dough, it will not spread as far on the cookie sheet.
When testing out spices, try saffron. Saffron has a very unique and exotic flavor. Saffron’s flavor has delighted generations since ancient times. Its flavor and seasoning properties are highly coveted, making it easily the most costly spice in the entire world.
As you can see, cooking can be an adventure instead of a chore. Following the advice presented above will help you see cooking as way to get creative, instead of it being boring and annoying.