It doesn’t matter if you are single or are feeding a larger family full of hungry people, cooking is a big thing to learn, so take your time learning. There are not only nutritional benefits to cooking at home, but there are also social and financial ones as well. If you listen to this article, you’ll have no shortage of cooking tips.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. It has been found that ground herbs and spices maintain their flavor for roughly a year. Whole spices usually keep their flavor for around 3 to 5 years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. A dull knife will not only make it more difficult to slice and chop your ingredients, but it will also be a hazard to use. With a dull knife, you may have to struggle to cut a vegetable, making it more likely that you will get injured in the process. Using a sharp knife will make it easier to cut that vegetable, so you are less likely to get hurt.
Your spices should be stored in a cool place that is free of light. By storing them in excessive light and heat, their shelf life will decrease. If you store your spices in dark place with relatively low temperatures like a pantry, the spices will retain their taste and take longer to spoil. Your culinary preparations will taste better if your spices are fresh.
Long cooking processes, like boiling, can “zap” nutrients from foods, like vegetables. Allow your vegetables to keep their nutritional benefits by cooking them quickly, or eating them raw!
If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. This is best for Asian meals such as Thai or Chinese dishes. It’s easier to slice meat that has been partially frozen because the fibers don’t tear and stretch, so you can make clean cuts. To keep your meat cooking evenly, make sure you let the slices thaw completely before you cook them.
Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
When you are seasoning meats, try cooking a small piece first and testing it out, before making all of it. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. You should not cook the dish entirely after seasoning it. You should make a small patty first. After you do this you can either completely cook it or add more seasoning as you see fit.
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. Use fresh ingredients, as they bring out the flavor in a dish, and they are also less expensive.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Look over your recipe and determine which items can be prepared in advance and not spoil. Do the prep work the day before. This can turn even the most complex recipes into quick, fun and fast cooking jobs.
Are you a fan of using fresh basil? Put a some of it in a cup. Add some water to cover the stems. Put it on top of your kitchen counter and it will be fresh for weeks! You can even promote the growth of roots if you replace the water from time to time. Also trim the basil every now and then to facilitate growth. Enjoy fresh basil on a regular basis.
Do you know grilling times for meats? A good meat thermometer can pinpoint the cooking status of meat, inside and out. Use a digital thermometer for the most precise results. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.
By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. Do the prep work the day before. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
Flour, baking mixes and sugar should be stored in airtight containers. Keeping your ingredients in airtight containers will stop them from spoiling or being infected with bugs. Airtight containers can be purchased at many retailers.
Like many types of delicious ingredients, there’s a downside to using garlic: its scent can transfer to your hands. Try rubbing your hands on stainless steel when they smell from an odoriferous cooking ingredient This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
Sauteing veggies in a bit of chicken broth is a healthy way you can prepare them. Broth will flavor the vegetables, and less oil will be needed to saute them. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.
If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. Try using wines that are sold specifically for cooking.
Use airtight containers for flour, sugar and baking mixes in the kitchen. Not only will these containers make sure your foods aren’t contaminated by bugs, the lack of air will keep your goods fresher for longer. Airtight containers are available practically everywhere and are well worth their cost.
Consider drying your very own tomatoes. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. 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. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
Beans and tofu contain a lot of proteins. Most grocery stores sell both items. Pan fried tofu, lightly sprinkled with your favorite seasonings, is a delicious substitute to meat. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. Some fruits, like apples, produce ethylene gas as they ripen. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. Rather than using milk, think about yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.
Organize your materials as best as possible, if you desire to prevent the hazards of burns in the kitchen. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. If you are unorganized, it is easy to lose track of things and waste your money and delicious food that you could have been eating!
If you are under time constraints when you need to cook a roast, don’t remove the bone from it. The meat will cook more quickly due to the heat transfer into the roaster caused by the bone. When your roast is finished, simply cut around any bones before you serve.
You can chop fresh herbs quickly by bundling them together in bunches and cutting them with scissors. The leaves will be fuller and more crisp than they would have been if they were wet.
If you are often pressed for time when making dinner, try doing a little preparation work before hand, perhaps on the night before you plan to cook the dinner. The night before the big day, prepare a sauce, marinate meat or chopping up and measuring out vegetables and herbs. This will result in less stress the next day, and you will be more than ready to begin the cooking process.
Make certain to blot any type of ground meat prior to cooking it. It is always wise to blot any moisture that is present on ground meat. Unless you remove the moisture, it may not be released until the meat is cooked. The moisture will sizzle before your meat does. This will make the meat steam, instead of sear like you will want it to.
After your Thanksgiving meal, don’t throw away turkey leftovers. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. This will keep the turkey fresh enough to make salads and sandwiches for a couple of weeks.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. This is so that the seasoning will set into the pasta. If you salt the pasta once it is cooked, you will not get as much flavor when you add the seasoning.
It is crucial that you buy new spices around every six months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their 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.
Before you start cooking, it is best to have everything you will need already prepared. This allows you to economize on the amount of gas or electricity used when cooking, and keeps you from becoming distracted and accidentally getting injured by something like hot oil splashing out of a pan.
To be able to whip together a meal for those special people in your life is a great thing. As these tips showed, cooking can improve various facets of your life, no matter what kind of cooking you like, whether it’s soul food, down-home favorites or haute cuisine. Take out is a nice option every once in a while, but nothing is better than a meal you’ve made yourself.
Herbs and spices need to be kept in a dry, cool area, away from light. Spices quickly lose their flavor when they are exposed to excessive light, humidity, or heat. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.