It is much easier to order take-out than it is to cook. After all, you get to sit and wait and there’s no clean-up afterwards. But when you do the cooking yourself you have more control over the ingredients and it tastes better because it comes from your heart. Here are a few cooking tips to make you put the phonebook down and take out the pots.
Ensure that you properly maintain your cooking utensils on a regular basis. A chef’s knife, for example, is of no use to you when blunt so ensure that these are sharpened on a regular basis. When purchasing a chef’s knife look for one with a long and wide blade as this will give you better control and chopping speed.
Think about buying large beef roasts or pork shoulders to make during one of your weekend nights. After you have this for dinner, store it in your fridge so that you will be able to create many different types of sandwiches, as the week progresses. Maximize your value and limit your expenses by conserving food.
Don’t be afraid to over season your meat. Most people actually under season, because the cooking process will weaken the flavor of some spices. With the exception of salt, most seasonings will better enhance the flavor if you use about twice as much as you think you should.
When storing items in your kitchen, you will want to make sure that they are stored in containers that are airtight and closed tightly for two reasons. While most foods will go stale having constant exposure to air, another big fear is that the product will be taken over by bugs.
When freezing meat it is important to use freezer bags. Meat will get freezer burn if it is not properly stored. Meat that has freezer burn will not taste good when it is cooked, and it often has to be thrown away instead of being eaten. This can be very costly, but can also be easily avoided.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
If you are going to braise meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. By doing it this way, the meat will stay tender and it will retain its juiciness, which in turns, leaves the meat tasting good. Cooking it a high temperature can dry the meat out.
Use cast iron pans when you cook your meat. Cast iron imparts the best flavor to the meat and avoids any chance of sticking. You also get the added benefit of your meat having a higher iron content from using the cast iron. Sometimes old fashioned ideas are the best.
In addition to staples, condiments and seasonings, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy convenient foods and quick-fix items. A no-stress kitchen should include eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables, breads, baking products, canned and bottled items, grains, refrigerated and freezer items, and condiments. When you run out of a product, don’t forget to make a note of it, so you won’t be caught out if you need it in the future.
Cooking your own meals can be a great experience. Use these tips to get your kitchen buzzing and rediscover how gratifying it can be to eat a meal that you prepared with your own two hands in your kitchen. You know what? Your meal probably tastes better than any take-out you can get.