Cooking is a necessary skill whether you live alone or need to feed a large family. You can reap many social, financial and health benefits from mastering the fine art of cooking well. The following can teach you the A to Z’s of cooking.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.
If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. If you are cooking an exotic dish that requires thinly sliced meat, this is the best way to do it. By marginally freezing meat, slicing it is made cleaner, as its fibers will not tear quite as easily. However, you must allow the sliced meat time to thaw out before the cooking process, so it cooks evenly.
Cooking vegetables for a long time in a boiling liquid will remove nutrients that are found in them. To preserve a vegetable nutritious value, cook quickly by either steaming or sauteing it. Ideally you should consume the vegetable in its raw state.
Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. It is difficult to cut ingredients using dull knives and they are also dangerous to use as well. If you use a dull knife you will need to exert more force to get the job done and run the risk of cutting yourself, whereas with a sharpened knife you can do your prep work easier and quicker.
Always cook what you know whenever you are cooking for someone special. Avoid trying out new recipes or new ingredients in such a situation. This will help to make cooking more enjoyable and less stressful.
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.
Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. 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. When they’re mashed, cauliflowers have the same appearance and consistency as potatoes, too. Adding a little cauliflower can take calories out of your favorite mashed potato recipes and add in a little vegetable goodness, too.
Have you ever experienced difficulty in determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Use a meat thermometer to tell when it is cooked properly. A good rule of thumb to reduce the total cooking time is to always close the grill lid whenever the thickness of the meat exceeds 1.5 inches.
Flour, baking mixes and sugar should be stored in airtight containers. When you transfer these foods to airtight containers, you are not only protecting them from bugs and bacteria, you are also helping them remain fresh longer. You can buy these nearly anywhere, so they’re a worthwhile investment.
When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. Not only will chicken broth help to keep vegetables from getting stuck to the pan, but they will add some nice flavors to the dish. Chicken broth is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.
When cooking vegetables, it is a good idea to use chicken broth. The broth will give the vegetables a delicious, warm flavor as well as extra moisture so they don’t stick to the pan. Chicken broth is very inexpensive, and can be purchased at just about any local grocery store.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. Your food will taste as flavorful as ever if you season it this way.
When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. If you do not do this, your food may cook faster than you want, causing it to burn. To prevent food from falling from the skewers, use two parallel skewers rather than just one.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
Leave the bone in your roast if you are in a hurry. The bone helps the heat distribute on the inside of the roast, which helps it cook faster. Once the roast has finished cooking, it is easy to go in there and remove the bone.
For a good pumpkin cooking method, make sure the pumpkin is upright, you then want to cut it directly down in half, in the middle. Place each half of the pumpkin on two separate baking sheets with the cut side facing down. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. As some fruits become more ripe, they can produce ethylene gas. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.
Always properly measure cooking oil. A simple way to reduce fat when you cook is to measure your oil, rather than pour it straight from the bottle. This is the best way to know the amount of oil being added to your food.
Having a clean and organized kitchen is essential to cooking a great meal or dessert. Being organized with your cooking station can make it more productive. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.
Always purchase the freshest garlic available if you plan to be cooking with this wonderfully aromatic seasoning. For the most part, this ensures you will be getting the sweetest-tasting garlic. You will also find that fresh garlic has firm skin and is free of bruises.
You should blot ground meat before you cook it. It helps to blot moisture from any type of ground meat. If your meat is too moist, then it can affect how it cooks. This will then sizzle away. This prevents the meat from searing as you intended; it will steam instead.
When serving salad to guests, you should never put salad dressing directly on it. You should have it to the side so that each person can use as much or as little as they want. People vary in the amount of dressing they like on their salad, so it is helpful to let them do this on their own. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
When you want to chop herbs, sprinkle some salt on your cutting board. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. The salt that you sprinkle on the board sticks to the herbs and gives them just the right amount of flavor.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. The herbs will be lighter and fluffier this way, and will not be as wet as they would be if you chopped them.
Take care of your wood cutting board. Keep a wood cutting board away from heat and too much or too little moisture, as this can cause warping and splitting. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, but instead, wipe it off with a sponge using warm water and soap. You can find oil designed for cutting boards to maintain yours. Before using it again, make sure the oil is completely dry.
Macaroni and cheese should be cooked with careful attention to the instructions. The macaroni turns out perfect this way and is to die for once the nice velvety cheese is melted over the noodles. When serving the macaroni with cheese, a good faced spoon works best. You can even add some pepper to give you macaroni a little kick!
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry cupboard. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. Being so close to the heat will only cause the flavors of your spices to fade.
You should let your meal rest for a little bit. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. You are not serving your food at its finest if you do this. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
If you are trying a new fruit or vegetable that you are not accustomed to, take a little time to learn some things about it. You might be surprised how much you can do with that new food. Becoming knowledgeable should precede any work you do in the kitchen, and it will also help in giving you a more enjoyable cooking experience.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. This is the most effective time to season pasta. Salting pasta after cooking it results in a less flavorful pasta dish.
If you are combining sugar and butter for a cookie recipe, it is essential that the butter is soft but not melted. It the butter is already melted, put it in a freezer for a couple minutes to let it get harder. You can also put the dough in the fridge once it has been mixed. If you chill your dough it will not spread out.
When planning to barbecue, don’t forget the lead time necessary to get the grill hot when you are ready to use it. You should start preparing your grill around 30 minutes before you put the food on. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. That is the ideal grilling temperature.
The idea of cooking for a large gathering may leave you feeling stressed. In order to avoid panicking while making the final preparations, do as much as you can the night before. Marinade everything, get the ingredients out, and even measured. This will reduce the stress.
Having the ability to cook and make enjoyable meals for you and your family is a beneficial skill to have. As we have shown, a few great cooking skills can make your life better in so many ways. Though drive-thrus offer convenience and speed, the taste offered by a meal prepared at home triumphs over any drive-thru any day.
Use a nylon or silicone cooking utensil when cooking on nonstick cookware. Metal or wooden utensils will scratch nonstick coating. Not only will that appear unappetizing, but it can be dangerous as well.