If you are looking to improve on your cooking skills, a refresher course in the basics can be a great investment of your time. But if you are too busy for that, the following tips can help you get back to some cooking basics that you may have forgotten or overlooked.
Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.
Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.
Try to store spices in dark, cool places and do not store them above your stove. Places that are bright, humid and hot, can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A good place to put them would be inside of a pantry or in your kitchen cabinets.
When you want to make a soup using stock, follow this tip. Be sure to make a large amount of stock, pour it in a plastic bag, and place it in the freezer. This will allow you to quickly make soup whenever you want to by simply thawing out the already made stock.
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. If you are disorganized, you won’t know where to find the cheese grater or the spatula when you need them. You may find it beneficial to group similar items together. For instance, put all your spices together in one cabinet.
When cooking with raw meat or eggs, it is very important that you keep your hands and cooking station very sanitary. This is because the raw form of these materials can spread illnesses, such as salmonella, to you. If you do contract an illness, you will be very sick and won’t be cooking for a while!
To sear a rib-eye, T-bone, strip or other steak to perfection even when you can’t fire up the outdoor grill, flip a cast-iron skillet over and broil the steak in your oven. Heat the skillet in a hot oven prior to placing the steak on its surface, and cook to your preferred level of doneness.
When you are using herbs and spices make sure that you store them correctly to keep the, fresh. Since humidity is a spice’s worst enemy, make sure to keep them in air-tight containers. Also, keep them in a dark place, as light can also negatively affect the taste of your spices.
When you are storing leftovers make sure that you put them away as soon as possible to inhibit bacteria growth. You should always cover them tightly as well. This not only ensures health but it also will keep your leftovers fresher for a longer period of time. Leftovers are great!
Cooking the daily meal can seem like a chore sometimes and throwing ingredients together quickly becomes tiresome. Cooking for pleasure can be relaxing, entertaining, and can be delicious. Remind yourself of some of the basic rules of cooking and make cooking fun again for you and your family.