How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Whole spices may retain flavor for up to five years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.
Before attempting to prepare food with skewers, take a few things to heart. If you are using metal skewers, the square or twisted kind are much better than round ones for holding food in place.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. Rather than pale blonde, they should have a golden caramel color. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Exposure to excessive heat, humidity, or light will affect the flavor of dried seasoning. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Spices in their whole forms have longer useful lifespans, lasting up to five years. If the spices are stored properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period.
When you are seasoning meat, try a small piece prior to adding seasoning to the entire thing. Certain foods require special care when seasoning. Hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs are examples of foods that need to be carefully seasoned. After you season the meat, do not cook all of the batch. Rather, set aside a small bit of the meat and cook it the same way you will make the rest. Afterwards you can choose to cook the remainder of the meat or adjust your seasonings.
Going through a long cooking process like boiling removes many important nutrients that are found in vegetables. Keep them healthy by choosing fast methods of cooking such as steaming or sauteing, or better yet, learn to love them raw.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Plan to make a big pot of stock so you can freeze and store it. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower also matches the color and texture of the potatoes. This is a great way to add veggies and eliminate calories from a favorite dish.
Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth can be found at almost all local grocery stores at a very cheap price.
Do you cook often with fresh basil? Take out a glass and put some fresh basil inside. The stems will then need to be covered with water. Put it on the counter of your kitchen in order to maintain its freshness for many weeks. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Trim your plant on occasion and you will encourage future growth. This means you will have fresh basil in your kitchen for a long time to come!
Take a look at the nutrition facts when you buy ingredients to cook with. Many of the most common ingredients can contain unhealthy and unnecessary additives. Make sure the food does not have a lot of salt or sugar, these can both be harmful to your health.
To make the cooking process easier and faster, many preparatory steps can be completed ahead of time. Look at your recipe ahead of time and draft up a list of what you can do to get ready, but don’t risk spoiling any ingredients. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.
When adding your seasonings during cooking, add small amounts of seasonings at a time, rather than adding everything at once. Then the foods absorb the seasonings rather than being caked with them.
When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
Pay attention to the cooking oil amounts when preparing meals! Avoid pouring oil directly from the bottle to the pan when you cook, as this will allow you to lower your consumption of fat. Measuring the oil will let you closely examine how much oil you are using.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.
When making a dish that needs to contain garlic, purchase the best and most fresh garlic you can. The fresher your garlic, the sweeter a taste it will have. When choosing garlic cloves, look for firm skin with no bruising or soft spots.
When you make food that contains seasoning, only put a little bit on at a time instead of putting it on all at once. This is a great way to increase the flavor of your foods and make your seasonings last longer.
If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. Look for wines that are specifically used for cooking.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. Also, give a variety of different dressings.
To keep your dried herbs and spices flavorful, keep your spice rack tucked away somewhere cool and dark. If you put them above the oven, or in another warm place, the spices and herbs will not retain their flavor.
Leaving the bone in a roast can help shorten the cooking time. Your roast will be done a lot faster because its bone transfer heat to your roaster. When your meat finishes cooking, all you need to do is cut the meat off of the bone and enjoy!
Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
After purchasing fruits that are not quite ripe, store them in a plastic bag that is perforated with holes. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. By using the plastic bag with small holes, you are circulating the air in the bag which allows the fruit the retain its taste.
You need to stay organized when you are cooking, so that you can be sure the food is as great as it can be and that nothing burns. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. Being disorganized means having difficulty finding things and quite possibly ruining an entire dish, wasting valuable time and money!
To avoid burning your food, stay organized. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. A cluttered, unorganized cooking area will leave you scrambling to find things while your food gets more and more “well done”. You will end up burning things and throwing them away when simple organization would have allowed you to cook a wonderful dish!
Use high-quality utensils to cut with in the kitchen. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. More injuries, cuts and serious accidents happen as a result of blunt utensils than freshly sharpened ones.
You should clean your dishes as they are used. Keep one side of the sink full of sudsy hot water and use the other side to rinse clear. This will prevent you from mixing clean dishes with dirty ones. This is the best method to clean up quickly after cooking.
If you want to cook with a vegetable or fruit that you haven’t used before, take time to learn more about it. You may be pleasantly surprised about the versatility of new food once you do a bit of research on it. You will be able to find the best way to cook this new ingredient and have more fun.
Do not forget to add salt to water for making pasta. The salt will hold better while cooking because it is absorbed by the pasta along with the water. If you try to salt the pasta after it is already cooked it will not hold the seasoning as well.
Save on cooking time by prepping ahead of getting started. You can frequently get your ingredients ready one or two days before you cook your meal. With this added preparation, you may find that meals are less stressful, as well as more flavorful. Getting your meals ready ahead may be a habit that lasts for a lifetime.
Get your grill ready to go before you start to barbecue. At least half an hour before you plan to cook, prepare the grill in readiness. Your coals should all have a coat of ash at this point and be medium hot. This is optimum grilling temperature.
Although you may want to impress them with something fancy, never try a new recipe when cooking for someone important. Many people want to impress a loved one, new in-laws or a boss with their cooking. Instead, try a recipe that you have prepared before and can cook really well.
Do not overcook or undercook your cake. While the recommended baking times are good guidelines, they can be affected by factors like elevation. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake instead. If the toothpick has no batter on it, then the cake has finished baking. If it does have batter on it, then put the cake back in the oven.
We all enjoy new ways to prepare oysters. Try preparing your oysters differently if you are tired of the usual drizzling of lemon juice. Place open oysters in a broiler pan and spoon cream on top. Grate Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper and sprinkle it over the top of the oysters. Broil until bubbling. Another option is to saute the oysters. Coat them with seasoned flour and saute them in warm butter for about two minutes, until the oysters are golden. You can also bake the oysters right in their shells. Place the oysters in a large casserole dish then, add fresh breadcrumbs and a small dab of butter on top of each oyster. Allow the oysters to bake between four and five minutes at 425 degrees. After the liquid in the dish reaches the point of bubbling, serve immediately with a fresh, crispy and crusty loaf of bread.
When you are working with a fruit or vegetable you are unfamiliar with, take some time to learn about it. You might be surprised to learn that with a little bit of information, you can see the different ways to incorporate it into your meals. You will be able to find the best way to cook this new ingredient and have more fun.
In order to guarantee you hear the timer go off, set the oven and a watch. Using the alarm on your watch will help make sure that you hear it go off, and prevent from overcooking your food.
Try incorporating a few of these tips into your meals. The delicious results will be well worth the effort of learning to cook. In fact, you might start looking forward to it; ultimately, you might find yourself trying all kinds of recipes and dishes. Use the tips above to get started on cooking.
To make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, use baking potatoes for a firm shell. Red potatoes can’t hold dense fillings because their skin is too thin.