Cooking can seem like something that only professionals can do. But if you have some good information and tips of the trade, then even those who burn toast can make a delicious meal. All it takes is the right techniques and a little bit of knowledge to turn you into a chef.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
Think about buying large beef roasts or pork shoulders to make during one of your weekend nights. After you have this for dinner, store it in your fridge so that you will be able to create many different types of sandwiches, as the week progresses. Maximize your value and limit your expenses by conserving food.
Cook your chicken over other ingredients. If you are making a chicken dish that includes an ingredient like onions, cook the chicken over them. Oil the pan and cut the onion into slices. Put them in the pan and place the chicken over them. The juices from the chicken will soak into the onion.
To take the metallic taste out of canned pumpkin pie filling, heat the filling with all of your spices first. Simply mixing your filling with the other ingredients and then baking traps the metallic taste in your finished pie. But by heating your pumpkin filling alone with the spices first, you release the metallic taste of the filling and simultaneously imbue it with the richer taste of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
Save your butter and margarine wrappers to use when baking. The wax paper that butter and margarine is wrapped in just happens to be the perfect size for greasing pans or rubbing onto a potato before popping it in the oven for baking. Save wrappers butter-side to butter-side in a closed storage container, so it stays fresh for your baking needs.
If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it on a pan, almost like a hamburger.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.
Keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dark place where they will stay fresh. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
If you want to have perfectly cooked bacon that does not curl up when you cook it, then you should soak it in cold water before putting it in the pan. You should also make sure to place the bacon in a cold pan because heating the pan too soon will cause it to stick.
Now that you have read some of these great tips, you should be ready to tackle making something delicious. Practice will make perfect though, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time around. Just like in anything else, let failure be your teacher.