One of the hardest things to master in cooking is learning how to bake. Baking requires time, patience, and practice. Try using these tips to help you learn either how to bake or make yourself a better baker. If you stick to these tips and practice them, you should be able to bake breads, cakes, and pastries with ease.
Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
As you cook your meal during the course of the night, make sure that you taste it at several different points. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly when it is done, so that you do not run the risk of overcooking it. Tasting your food is important to achieve the quality you desire.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
A well-stocked pantry is a cook’s best friend! Never is that more true than when you are faced with unexpected company and you have nothing specifically planned to serve. Maintaining a pantry stocked with the basics gives you the flexibility to create easy meals at the last minute. For help in creating a great cook’s pantry, think hard about the items you go back to again and again. You can also find great tips on items for the pantry in most good cookbooks and online at cooking sites.
If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. Some people like more dressing on their salad than others do, so it is better to let them add the dressing themselves. Make sure you have a selection to choose from.
Although there are many intricacies to baking, using these tips should allow you to become an excellent baker. There is no doubt that baking is a difficult cooking skill to master. So take your time, and do not be discouraged by minor setbacks. Practice these tips, and eventually you will get it perfect.