Many people see cooking as something bothersome. Here is a compilation of tips and suggestions that can help make cooking enjoyable for you.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Do not expect your spices to last more than a year. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.
Add oil to the side of the pan when you are cooking with it. The oil will then already be heated when it comes to the center of the pan. Using this technique ensures that your food will have more flavor.
If using oil in your cooking, pour it in the pan in an area away from the food. By the time the oil reaches the food it has been heated up and is ready to roll. This helps to bring out the flavor in your food.
Apples spoil quickly if stored incorrectly. Apples spoil in warm, dry air, so keep them in a refrigerator or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied. One rotten apple can actually spoil the whole bag so make sure you keep an eye your apples.
In order to make it easier to slice meat into thin strips, you should first marginally freeze the meat. This technique is particularly good for meats served in Asian cuisine. By partially freezing the meat, it can be sliced with much less effort and with little damage, too, as the fibers will will be less likely to tear. However, the meat strips should be thawed to assure even cooking.
To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. When potatoes are allowed to absorb cold water, the texture is able to withstand the extreme heat of cooking without breaking down and becoming mushy.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. The more fresh ingredients you use in your cooking, the better your dishes will be. Fresh ingredients have more flavor, and are less costly than frozen and canned ingredients.
By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Look over your recipe and determine which items can be prepared in advance and not spoil. There is a lot of preparation that you can take care of a day in advance. This takes a lot of the stress out of even the most complicated recipes and dishes.
It is possible to do a lot of preparation beforehand in order to speed up the cooking process and make it easier. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. This can turn even the most complex recipes into quick, fun and fast cooking jobs.
If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
Do you have trouble deciding how long to grill your meat? It is always good to use a meat thermometer to determine when your meat is properly cooked. Close the top of the grill to cook meat faster if you use meat that is more than 1.5 inches thick.
If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. Both are easily available to buy at almost every grocery store. Frying the tofu in a low-sodium soy sauce is a tasty alternative to eating meat for dinner! The beans can be boiled with some herbs for a flavorful protein source.
If you want a healthier diet, use less oil when you cook. You simply do not need the added fat in a healthy diet. Using a nonstick spray is a good alternative as it has the same effects without all the calories.
When serving a salad at a social gathering, keep the dressing in a dish to the side. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. It is important to provide your guests with a plethora of dressings.
Cooking pumpkins requires a few steps that are necessary. First, you must make sure it is standing upright. Second, you must cut it evenly in half by cutting down the middle. Take both halves with the cut sides down and place on different baking sheets to bake. Spray a bit of water on each baking sheet, and then put both into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about an hour.
Make your stressful family or holiday dinner more relaxing by completing most of the prep work up to 24 hours in advance. Make your sauces, cut your ingredients or marinate meat the day before. You will more prepared to cook your meal the next day, and will experience less stress!
After a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or any other occasion, do not discard the 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. Storing turkey in this method helps it stay fresh for weeks and allows you to use it again in the future for sandwiches or salads.
When using garlic in your cooking, always purchase the freshest garlic possible. Generally speaking, the freshest garlic will also have the sweetest taste. Fresh garlic will have firm skin and cloves. In addition, it should not be shriveled or have any bruises.
Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. This results in light and fluffy herbs, and prevents the wetness that can occur when you chop them.
Keep the bone in your roast if you’re trying to make it and you have no time to spare. The meat cooks faster this way due to the fact that the bone carries the heat right to the interior of the roasting pan. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. You can make stock in large quantities if you wish, then store it in bags and put it in the freezer. This way you will always have flavorful homemade stock on hand when you want to make soups or other dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. This will result in less stress the next day, and you will be more than ready to begin the cooking process.
Include some salt in the water when you make pasta. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.
Any time you are faced with a large amount of leftover turkey, don’t be tempted to throw it in the garbage. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. Turkey can be used later for many delicious casseroles and salads, since it can last in a freezer for long periods of time.
Don’t completely drain the water after cooking pasta, save some to add to the pasta sauce. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. Add some of it in as you mix the pasta with the sauce. The water from the pasta contains starch that, when mixed with your sauce, will create a creamy texture.
New spices should be purchased every six months. The flavor of spices diminishes if they sit around for too long. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.
Prior to barbecuing food, be sure that the grill is properly prepared. This should be done about 30 minutes prior to putting any food on it. You should keep the coals at a medium heat and covered with ashes. This is optimum grilling temperature.
Organization while cooking is necessary in order to avoid disasters, like under done or burnt food. When your cooking area is organized, you will be more productive and avoid errors. When you are disorganized, misplacing items or making food inedible becomes much more likely.
Good quality knives are an excellent investment for your kitchen. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. By using this technique you can chop many herbs in a short amount of time, and they will be much lighter and fluffier, without the wetness that you get when using a knife.
Here are two better ways to warm tortillas. One is to place them on a rack in a 350 degree oven. Leave them long enough to become just crisp. You can use the flame of a gas stove to warm up a tortilla directly. Trying any of these methods will create an amazing tortilla.
As you’ve read, there are a variety of ways that cooking can be made fun and exciting, and not just a chore. Using the advice in this article will enable you to add a creative flair to an activity that is commonly seen as drudgery.
Trussing is when you tie your turkey with string. This keeps the wings and legs close to the bird, promoting a more even cooking. If left untied, the turkey’s legs and wings may burn before the breasts and thighs are done.