Everyone wants to be a great cook, but just the thought of cooking evokes fear in many would-be chefs. Whether you want to whip up quick meals for the family, fill the perfect picnic basket or throw an elegant dinner party, you are sure to learn things here that will increase your culinary skills.
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
When not in use, put your spices in an area that receives the lowest amount of light and heat. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Fresh spices offer better taste profiles than stale ones.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
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.
Frozen vegetables should only be used as a last resort in home cooking. Though they are cheap and usually available year-round, they fall far short of fresh vegetables in several important areas. Frozen vegetables have lost some of their healthy vitamins and nutrients. They often have unhealthy food additives. They also tend to taste worse than their fresh counterparts.
Before you start cooking or baking make sure you have all the ingredients gathered together. This will save you time and prevent cooking mishaps. You’ll have a better product in the end.
A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.
If you are cooking pastries or foods that can get very messy, make sure that you wear an apron at all times. The last thing that you will want to do is to get food on your clothes and have to change before you eat your meal with friends or family.
Keep track of what goes into the ingredients for your recipes. The reason you want to do this is because many supplies that pop up in a lot of recipes can have ingredients in them that are not good for your health. Health issues can be avoided if you carefully read labels to assure that the ingredients do not have excess sugar or salt.
Be sure to spread the application of seasoning throughout your cooking time instead of only applying when you start to cook. This method will ensure that the flavoring is spread out and even, and that the ingredients are enhanced to the best they can be.
Now that you’ve read the basic tips that you need to become the talented cook that you’ve always wanted to be, practice tonight in your own kitchen by making a meal that will knock their socks off. In time, you’re going to be the best cook in the whole neighborhood!