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.
Spices should be kept somewhere cool and dark. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. When a spice is placed in a cool area with very little light, its life is extended and it will taste better. These fresh spices will help add flavor to your meals, making them tastier!
Pasta is one of the best things that you can cook during the course of the day for the nutrients and carbs that it brings and its pleasant aroma. Make sure that your water is boiling for at least two minutes before you put your pasta into the pot for maximum quality.
To prepare for the meal that you are going to cook, make a comprehensive list of everything that you are going to need to cook your meal when you go to the supermarket. This will allow you to stay as organized as possible so there is no part of your meal that you leave out.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
You should use nonstick cooking spray when cooking a meal or snack. The nonstick cooking spray keeps food from sticking to a pan without adding unneeded fats and calories. There are some sprays that are flavored, so that you can get the same flavor as if you had used butter.
To make the perfect pasta, cook it one minute less than what you read on the box and cook it the rest of the way with the sauce you are serving with it. This ensures that you do not overcook the pasta if you were to toss it in with the sauce after you cooked the pasta until it was done in the pot of water.
When you are making homemade soups that contain meat, they tend to have a lot of fat that needs to be skimmed from the top. One quick solution to that problem is dropping in a couple of ice cubes. As the ice melts, the fat will stiffen around it and you will be able to remove it with ease.
When it comes to cooking the fresher the better. Sure the bottled and shaker spices cost less but there is no taste comparable to the taste of fresh cut spices such as garlic and parsley. So make sure that you spend the extra fifteen minutes cutting your spices, instead of shaking them.
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!