There will always be new and interesting things to try when cooking. You should be creative regardless of what or when you are cooking. Using the proper techniques can change an ordinary meal into a fabulous event that will be well-remembered. The tips below are here to help you prepare delicious dishes.
bake tart or pie crusts longer that you think they should be baked. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. Dull knives, in addition to being ineffective, are actually very dangerous. If you use a dull knife you will need to exert more force to get the job done and run the risk of cutting yourself, whereas with a sharpened knife you can do your prep work easier and quicker.
If you think you want to try cooking with skewers, there are a couple things you should know. Not all metal skewers are created equal; traditional round metal skewers are not the best option to keep food in place when grilling. Choosing skewers with a different shape can be the secret to keeping your food from the bottom of your grill.
To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Exposure to excessive heat, humidity, or light will affect the flavor of dried seasoning. Most spices will retain their flavor for about a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. When stored properly, spice stay fresh for longer periods of time.
Vegetables that are cooked more quickly will be of higher quality. Taste and nutritional value suffer when vegetables are slow-cooked. The quick cook methods generally make the vegetables tastier and more nutritional. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.
Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. You can prepare tastier meals if you use fresher spices.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. You can prepare a lot of food the day prior to actually cooking. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
Here is a handy trick you can use to save your sauce. Try mixing in 1 tablespoon corn starch and another 2 tablespoons water in a container. Stir it into your sauce as it simmers and it will get thicker. Add the starch slowly and stir the sauce constantly to avoid making it too thick.
You should think big when preparing chicken stock. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Let your stock come to room temperature before you freeze it.
Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
If you’re using wooden skewers to cook, try soaking them in water for half an hour first. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
Have you ever experienced difficulty in determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? A reliable meat thermometer can help you ensure that the meat is properly cooked on the inside. For the most accurate readings, invest in a digital thermometer. 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.
Save the delicious taste of summer by drying tomatoes yourself. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Next, lightly salt the open sides and place them salt-side up on a wire cooling rack. Put a cookie sheet underneath the cooling rack and then set the pair in an oven heated to 190 degrees. Leave for as many as ten hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in your freezer. You can pack dried tomatoes in a jar stuffed with organic olive oil and your favorite freshly cut herbs. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
Replace your spices twice a year. If a spice is kept for a long time, it could lose some of its flavor. If you purchase a specific spice, knowing that you probably won’t use it all, split it with someone.
When cooking vegetables, try cooking them in chicken broth. Try cooking your veggies in chicken broth. It adds a nice flavor, and the veggies will not stick to the pan. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.
Always make sure that the cooking utensils you are about to use are clean before starting any cooking. This is a basic but very important rule for any cook. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. There is a possibility this may introduce bacteria into the food.
If you want to lose weight or adopt a healthier diet, use less oil when cooking. Lots of unnecessary, and unhealthy, fats sneak into meals made with oils and butter. Use nonstick cooking spray instead to get the same results as you do with oil but with fewer unhealthy ingredients.
Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. You will have stock on hand for soup and other things. If you prepare your own, homemade stock, you will be cutting out all of the preservatives of canned versions.
If you plan to use wooden skewers when cooking, soak them in water for about thirty minutes prior to use. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. To ensure that the food doesn’t fall off the skewer, use two skewers for each item.
If you want to cook a complex meal, try doing prep work the night before so you are less stressed. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and chop and measure them in advance. Now all that is left is to assemble the dish and toss it in the oven!
You should always look at the product labels before purchasing ingredients for a meal. Some cooking supplies will contain unhealthy ingredients. Health issues can be avoided if you carefully read labels to assure that the ingredients do not have excess sugar or salt.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This adds some extra flavor to the herbs while also keeping them on the board. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.
Impress your friends with a perfect sandwich by spreading the mayo evenly on the entire surface of the bread. Many people rush and just place the mayo in the bread slice’s middle. Every bite will be filled with flavor with the dressing evenly spread.
When cooking pumpkins, stand the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, cut it down the middle. On a baking sheet, put one of the halves face down. Use a different baking sheet for the other half. Add a bit of water to the pans. Cooking time is roughly an hour, and the oven temp should stay 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When food is being sauteed, make the pan is not overloaded. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Offering a variety of dressing for their salad is the best way to make sure that all guests are happy.
Tortillas can be suitably warmed using a few different methods. One way is to heat them up in a preheated, 350 degree oven. Place the tortillas right on the oven rack, and bake until crispy. Try placing the tortilla on the gas stove’s grill over the flame too. Either of these methods will result in a more crispy and tasty tortilla.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. 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.
Ensure that herbs and spices are stored in an area that is dark, dry and cool. Spices can quickly lose their flavors when exposed to heat, light and humidity. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. This will keep them drier and less heavy than if they are chopped.
To use leftover meat and veggies in your fridge prior to shopping try making fried rice in a wok. Using rice that has cooled for a full day is best. If you do not have any rice already cooked and cooled, you can make it fresh and just cut back on the amount of water you add to the pot. Heat up a small amount of oil in the wok, and then add the meats and vegetables, and cook until thoroughly warmed. Next, stir in the rice and any seasonings you want to use, such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic, or other spices.
Use cooking oil when you are measuring out things that are sticky. Prior to measuring, put a little bit of a low-flavor cooking oil on the spoon (canola works well here). This way, the food you are measuring will easily slip off the spoon. This stops you from wasting food and having to clean up afterward. You can use this method with honey, peanut butter, or anything else that is sticky.
Use a paper towel to blot moisture off of any ground meat before you put it in the pan to cook. If your meal includes ground meat, then blotting the moisture is especially important. If the moisture is allowed to remain, it will be released when cooking commences. This can change the way that your favorite steak cooks. This detracts from the searing process, and instead mimics steaming.
People who like to eat fish should try to catch the fish they consume on their own, if they have time to do so. Catching your own fish not only ensures that it is as fresh as possible, it gives you a sense of satisfaction.
Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. Many are tempted to quickly serve food hot off the grill or stovetop. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.
Use flavored butter spreads to add some zest to corn or rolls at dinner time. Soften your butter by letting it sit at room temperature or popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then you want to add some sauce, herbs or spices to give the butter that extra kick. Try BBQ, chipotles, lemon juice or honey.
Prepare the meal the night before to reduce any stress when you’re going to have a complicated meal. Start by getting all of your ingredients in one place to make sure you have whatever you need. Have all ingredients chopped and measured. When you are ready to get started with the meal, you will only have to deal with the actual cooking.
Make sure you layer a salad wisely if it going to be eaten at a later date. Put the ingredients with the most juice, including tomatoes, near the bowl’s bottom. Place leafy greens and other ingredients that lose freshness quickly near the top of the bowl.
If you desire to be a better cook, use these tips accomplish that. With improved culinary skills, not only will you eat better, the people around you will eat better as well. You may be the next Julia Child.
If you are preparing mashed potatoes, add hot milk just before you get ready to mix them. You want to make sure that the milk is not boiling, however. This will result in lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes, than using cold milk. Boring, lumpy mashed potatoes are for the birds.