Food is such an essential part of our lives. Cooking is a survival skill, but it can also be a passion. The love and effort that can go into cooking even the simplest dish can shine through to the recipients of this food. By showing respect for your ingredients and paying attention to some small details, you can make the very most of your food no matter what ingredients to which you have access.
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
When cutting onions, hold a match between your teeth while you cut. Make sure the match is not lit. This will keep those stinging eyes and unwanted tears away. Your experience cutting the onion will be more pleasant if you follow this simple tip each and every time.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Test a small sample of your seasoned meats prior to cooking the full dish. Different meats including meatballs and meatloaf need to be seasoned carefully. Never cook all of your meat immediately after it has been seasoned. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. Once you’ve done this, you can cook the rest of the meat or add additional seasoning as you see fit.
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.
If you invest in nothing else in the line of cookware, purchase a non-stick roasting pan with a removable non-stick roasting rack. Instead of wrestling with a disposable roasting pan this Thanksgiving, praying it doesn’t collapse, a decent quality roasting pan can save you time, money and heartache. Look for a deep pan with steel handles, able to hold the largest turkey or piece of meat that you would normally buy for your family, along with a roasting rack that enables you to lift the meat from the pan effortlessly. The non-stick coating will make clean-up a breeze and the pan can also be used for a large sheet cake, a pan of lasagne and so much more.
Cooking is an activity that is what you make of it. You can either let it be a chore or enjoy it as the creative process it is. Cooking can be very satisfying. The creation of an edible piece of artwork that started as such a different ingredient can be an almost miraculous event and is as rewarding for the cook as it is for the person who eats the final product.