How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Whole spices typically last longer than ground spices. Depending on the advice you’re reading, they can last from one to several years. In terms of lasting, remember it is the flavor of the spices that is usually the issue with the older spices losing their flavor. The color, fragrance and condition of the spice will often indicate its freshness. If the spices are stored properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period.
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. Common kitchen conditions, such as heat, light, and humidity, will destroy the flavor of herbs and spices. Do not expect your spices to last more than a year. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. Store your spices correctly to make them last.
Prepare as much of your recipe as you can ahead of time. Having everything prepared before you begin cooking is important. That way, when you’re ready to cook, it takes some of the stress out of it, especially if you have a deadline to meet. Try to complete your preparations, so you can avoid scrambling later on.
If you can, do all the preparing of the meal’s ingredients in advance. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. Cooking can get stressful when you’re working to deadline. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.
Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.
When you are seasoning meats, try cooking a small piece first and testing it out, before making all of it. Many foods, like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs take careful seasoning to taste great. Spices and seasonings added when the meat is fully cooked are unlikely to stick. Instead, form a small patty and cook that first. If you are satisfied with the flavor you can move on to the rest of the batch, or, if the flavor is off, you can add more seasonings to get the flavor right.
Every cook needs access to a set of sharp knives. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. When trying to forcefully use a dull knife to cut a vegetable it becomes a lot easier for you to cut yourself than when you use a sharp knife.
Boiling your vegetables may cause you to miss out on many of the benefits and nutrients to be found in your meal. If you are not serving the vegetables in their raw state, consider steaming, sautéing or even roasting your vegetables to protect their vitamin and nutrient content.
The overall quality of vegetables is affected by the length of cooking time. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. You have an added bonus, because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. Cooking vegetables for only a short amount of time is essential.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. Soaking the potatoes helps to make the fibers within them stronger, which makes them better able to handle the heat during frying.
This seasoning not only goes well with meat, but it can also work with other foods. Add these types of seasonings to roasted pumpkin seeds when you need a pick-me-up, or spice up your breakfast by putting it on scrambled eggs. Everyone will love the flavor and ask you for your secret ingredient!
Garlic is a delicious ingredient that has a place in many recipes, but it has no place on your hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.
Have you ever struggled to determine the time it takes to grill your meat? Make sure you use quality meat thermometers to ascertain the internal temperature. 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.
It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. A meat thermometer can give you a precise temperature, reassuring you that the meat is fully cooked. If the meat is thicker than an inch and a half, it may be a good idea to close the lid of the grill to cut down on total grill time.
If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Make enough so that you can freeze it and use it in your recipes. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
There are few things more frustrating in grilling than going to flip a burger and finding that it has stuck to the grill. To avoid this possibility, you can apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the grill before cooking.
Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth doesn’t cost much, and is widely available at most grocery stores.
Always store baking supplies such as baking mixes, flour, and sugar in airtight containers. You can protect your food from bugs and keep them fresher using an airtight container. These containers can be bought at almost any store and are totally worth it!
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. The amount dressing that people prefer on their salad varies so allow guests to add their own dressing. Your guests will also enjoy having a variety of dressings from which to choose.
If you are watching your weight and trying to eat healthy, it is essential to reduce the amount of oil you use when you cook. Oil or butter add more fat than necessary to your dishes. To achieve the same results without resorting to unhealthy oils, you can use nonstick cooking spray instead.
Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. A lot of people keep spices too long, which makes them not taste very good. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
Follow the instructions carefully whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. The macaroni turns out perfect this way and is to die for once the nice velvety cheese is melted over the noodles. A solid, wooden spoon is the perfect serving utensil. Give the macaroni some spice with pepper.
If you are going to make macaroni and cheese, follow the instructions. The dish turns out perfectly when you follow the recipe, and is absolutely delicious when the velvet, soft cheese sauce melts on top of the macaroni. A solid, wooden spoon is the perfect serving utensil. Add some extra flavor with pepper.
When preparing a pasta dish, you should add salt to the boiling water before adding the noodles. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. If you salt the pasta once it is cooked, you will not get as much flavor when you add the seasoning.
Blotting ground meats prior to preparing them is advisable. Before preparing ground meat, you should blot away excess moisture. If you do not blot it away, the moisture will come out when the meat is cooked. It will start to sizzle away. This will cause the ground beef to steam, instead of searing.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Take about a quarter cup of the water and set aside. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
Don’t completely drain the water after cooking pasta, save some to add to the pasta sauce. Save about one-fourth of a cup of water after draining the pasta. When your sauce is also ready, add in the water before tossing or topping the pasta. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.
Impress people with a perfect sandwich by spreading mayonnaise evenly and smoothly all over the bread, from crust to crust. Don’t just plop the mayo in the center because you are pressed for time. Not only will an even spread look more appealing, but it will ultimately taste better if the flavor is inherent in each bite.
Care for your wood cutting board properly. Excessive moisture, dryness, or heat all affect wood cutting boards and can cause them to split and change shape. The correct way to clean a wooden cutting board is to use a damp, soapy sponge or cloth to wipe it clean, rinse with boiling water and towel dry. Cutting boards should be treated regularly with specifically designed oil products. It should be completely dry before its next use.
Make sure to use fresh herbs and seasonings whenever cooking a simple dish. Sometimes dried prepacked herbs like oregano and parsley are acceptable because the complexity of a dish allows for the lack of freshness to not be as distinguishable. However, fresh herbs are much better and will produce a stronger, fresher and overall better taste. To ensure you have fresh herbs for cooking, you should have an herb garden.
There are different ways to heat up tortillas. One method is to place the tortillas directly on the oven rack until they reach the desired crispness in an oven that has been heated to 350 degrees. Another suggestion is to place the tortilla directly over the burner above the flame on top of a gas stove. Trying any of these methods will create an amazing tortilla.
Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. Ingredients for meals can often be prepared a few days ahead of time. There are many cases when the meal will have more flavor if the ingredients are prepped a few days in advance. When you become used to preparing your cooking ingredients in advance, you will wonder how you ever managed to cook without this practice.
Try these tips to cook your dishes. Once you taste them, you’ll be convinced that maybe cooking isn’t so bad after all! You may find that you actually begin to look forward to cooking your meals. Give cooking a shot!
Set both your oven timer and the timer on your watch. Carry the second timer with you so that you will hear the alarm anywhere in the house.