Learning how to cook requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to eat the batches that aren’t quite ready for prime time. Learning new techniques for cooking is a life-long learning experience and your education begins here. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way to cooking success.
Cook your pasta one minute less than the package suggests, then finish cooking it in a pan with sauce. Your pasta will absorb more of the flavor of the sauce without having an over cooked texture. This can be a quick and effective way to prepare a pasta meal.
Make sure you spread out your condiments when making a sandwich. Most people rush through the early steps of making a sandwich. They spread their condiments around in the middle rather than making sure they cover the entire piece of bread. Cover your bread from corner to corner with condiments for flavor in every bite.
Prepare your ingredients, cookware, and cooking utensils in advance of starting to cook. Your time spent in the kitchen will be greatly reduced, and you will have less chance for error, when you do this. Make sure you remember to get the spices you will need ready as well.
When you are seasoning a salad, add a small dose of olive oil in addition to natural sea salt. This will help to give your salad a crunchy appeal even after you add the dressing. Keeping your salad as crunchy as possible will create a feeling of freshness upon consumption.
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
If you would like to bake a berry desert in the winter (when most berries are out of season), use frozen berries as a delicious and more eco-friendly alternative to fresh ones! Thaw your frozen berries for 45 minutes, drain the excess, then use as you normally would when making a berry pie or cobbler.
Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.
It is important to know that the smaller the item, the longer it takes to cook. Many people think that smaller items do not take long to cook, therefore the item does not cook thoroughly. Usually, larger items do not take as long to cook and because people think they do, these items get burnt.
The best part of cooking is that you can eat your mistakes. Don’t be scared about trying something new. Even Julia Childs and Wolfgang Puck have made complete failures of dishes at one point or another. Cooking is all about learning and experimentation until you learn what works for you, so give it a shot!