Cooking can become a fun activity once you have perfected a few basic techniques. This article is designed to help your hone your cooking skills. All you need is a little confidence to have fun in the kitchen!
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
When you are cooking food on skewers, there are some basic guidelines to know. Using metal skewer types will increase your chances of success when compared to wooden options.
If making stir-fry, meat must be cut on the bias and sliced thinly. Sometimes, however, this can be a little challenging and tedious. Use meat that is firm, but unfrozen, and slice the meat across the grain, at 45 degrees.
Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. They will not taste as fresh if they are exposed to light or warmth. Spices and herbs that are ground usually retain their flavor for close to a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. When stored properly, they will stay fresher longer.
Add oil to the pan on the side so when it reaches the food it is hot. This ensures your food’s flavor is maximized when finished.
Preparation is one of the most important things that you will have to do before you cook a meal for your friends or family. Double-check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Get everything set to cook the next day. Determine if you have you got the right utensils, etc. This process will reduce your stress level and help manifest a more positive outcome.
Always cook what you know whenever you are cooking for someone special. You don’t ever want to try new ingredients or recipes that you don’t have experience with. You will enjoy cooking more if you have greater peace of mind.
Many people find slicing meat into thin strips very difficult; however, if you partially freeze the meat, the task is much simpler. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. There’s less tearing of the semi-frozen meat as it’s cleanly sliced. Before you cook the sliced meat, however, you must first allow the strips to thaw.
Has it ever seemed like you were wasting food when you threw away fruits that were moldy? Is it alright to eat fruit after removing the moldy sections? It’s not safe to try to save partially rotted fruit. They need to be thrown out, due to the fact that mold is much deeper than just skin level and could make you or anyone who eats it very ill.
If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. This is not the time for testing new recipes or new ingredients. This will allow for an easier cooking process.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. When potatoes are allowed to absorb cold water, the texture is able to withstand the extreme heat of cooking without breaking down and becoming mushy.
Try adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes to lower the fat content. Cauliflower’s neutral taste means that it blends easily with the flavor of the potatoes, butter and milk. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.
For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. If you slow cook your vegetables, they will lose their nutritional value. Using these techniques will mean putting healthier food on the table. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Put a some of it in a cup. Now fill the glass with water to just above the stems. You can put it on the kitchen counter and keep it for weeks. If you provide the basil with fresh water, it will eventually root in the water and sprout a new plant. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!
Do you enjoy preparing dishes that contain fresh basil? Place a few fresh sprouts in a glass. Fill the container with enough water to cover the stems. Set the glass on the kitchen counter or windowsill to maintain its freshness for weeks. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. You should also trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more.
Garlic may be a tasty addition to your meals, but the smell that stays on your hands is a bit of a downside. Try rubbing your hands against stainless steel to get the odor of garlic and other foods off your hands. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. When spices sit around for too long, they tend to lose flavor. If you purchase a new spice but doubt you can use it before the flavor dries up, share some of it with a fellow cook.
Use airtight containers for storing flour, sugar, and baking mixes in the kitchen. These containers do two things to keep your food fresher: they keep bugs from entering them, and they keep air exposure to a minimum. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.
After you finish cooking, let your meal rest and soak in the juices. Many individuals don’t know it’s important to let your meal sit for a bit before dishing it up. You may think it is best to serve your meat right off the grill so it is piping hot. You are not serving your food at its finest if you do this. It’s also important that the food simply cools down and rests for awhile for flavor’s sake. Give it a few minutes, and it should be ready to go.
The night before you are scheduled to prepare a large, multi-course meal, complete as much prep work as possible. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and chop and measure them in advance. When you are ready to cook the meal it will be quick and easy because you will just have to throw the ingredients together and cook.
You can dry out your own tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. 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. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
Prep your grill in advance of your barbecue cookout. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. The charcoals are ready to cook over once they are ash covered, and at medium heat. This is optimum grilling temperature.
Always follow instructions to the letter whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. Remember that the makers of your mac and cheese designed these instructions with the best possible result in mind. To serve the macaroni and cheese, a solid faced spoon works just fine. Spice up the dish with a bit of salt and black pepper.
Buy only good quality knives for food preparation. It’s safer to cut with a sharp instrument than it is to with a dull one, and you will also save some time. Most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen are due to someone using a dull cutting utensils.
Homemade stock adds lots of flavor. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. When you do this, you will have delicious, healthy stock ready-to-use whenever you make soups and stews. If you prepare your own, homemade stock, you will be cutting out all of the preservatives of canned versions.
A meat thermometer can let you know if your meat has been thoroughly cooked. Different types of meat have a certain internal temperature that is considered safe to eat. Bacteria thrive on meats, and unless the meat is properly and thoroughly cooked, these bacteria can remain and cause you sickness if consumed.
Before you cook ground meats, be sure to blot away excess moisture with paper towels. Before preparing ground meat, you should blot away excess moisture. If your meat is too moist, then it can affect how it cooks. This will cause it to sizzle. This will cause your meat to be steamed rather than seared.
Your spices and cooking herbs will last longer if stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Spices rapidly lose their flavor and aroma if they are kept in areas that are bright, humid, or warm. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.
A great way to add zip to some of your staple foods, like potatoes, use beef or chicken stock instead of water. You can use bouillon cubes if you do not have any stock handy as a substitute. In this way, you will be adding the right amount of liquid to your recipe, along with a little extra flavor.
In conclusion, it is simple to learn how to cook. All you need it the time and the craving for knowledge. When you apply the tips from above, you are on the right path to learning more about cooking, so you can master every element in the kitchen. Cooking is fun as long as you have a positive attitude.
Consider using a potato with a thick skin if you want your twice baked potato to have a firm skin. Varieties such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes have thin skins that aren’t sturdy enough for heavy fillings.