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.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.
Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. If light, humidity and heat are present, these items will begin to lose their flavor. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. It is possible for whole spices to remain flavorful for up to five years. They’ll last longest when stored properly.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. Vegetables that are cooked slowly lose a lot of their taste and nutrition. Using these techniques will mean putting healthier food on the table. Cooking vegetables for only a short amount of time is essential.
Before preparing a nice meal for friends and relations, be sure to make a good plan. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients available. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
You can sprinkle it on many other foods besides meat. Add this savory seasoning to snack foods like Chex mix, or use it to spice up your omelet. Everyone will love the flavor and ask you for your secret ingredient!
Always taste a cooked sample of you dish before cooking the rest of the meat. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. It’s best then to not cook all of it immediately, only to find out that the seasoning is off. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. 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.
Garlic can easily stay on your hands. If you have a stainless steel sink or other utensil, rub your hands over the inside of the sink to remove the smell. This works for onions as well. This cleanses you hands thoroughly to avoid transferring the flavor of garlic to other foods.
Boiling and other lengthy cooking processes remove some of the vital nutrients contained in vegetables. Rather than boiling, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables to retain nutrients. Even better, eat them raw!
Guessing how long food will take on the grill is nearly impossible. A good quality, digital, meat thermometer is a good investment for your kitchen as it can tell you precisely the internal temperature of the meat, and this will let you know when it is cooked to perfection. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you’re cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.
When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. It is great to experiment when cooking but you should not try to do this when you are trying to make a good impression. This will allow for an easier cooking process.
When preparing chicken stock, make a large amount. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
Did you ever feel guilty for tossing moldy fruits in the garbage? Have you ever thought to just remove the moldy section by cutting it out? Saving half-rotten fruit in a healthy way is not possible. The bacteria that causes mold goes deeper than you think, so it’s always best to throw away food with even the smallest of mold spots.
If you use less oil when you are cooking you will cut some fat and lose weight. You simply do not need the added fat in a healthy diet. A wonderful option for cooking is a nonstick cooking spray. It gives the same nonstick result with far less health ramifications.
A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. Cauliflower tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.
When you are using wooden skewers in cooking, soak them for at least half an hour before putting the veggies on them. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. You can make sure that food stays on your skewers by skewing the food with parallel skewers.
When cooking a whole pumpkin, place the pumpkin upright first, then cut directly down its middle to create two halves. Place them on an ungreased baking pan with the cut side down. Sprinkle your baking sheets with a little water, and roast the pumpkin halves for an hour at 350 degrees.
Are you partial to using fresh basil in your cooking? If so, put lots of fresh basil into a glass. Make sure the the stems are completely covered with water. When you do this, it easy to store and stays fresh for several weeks. If you are sure to add fresh water, your basil will even form roots and become a plant. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time!
This procedure will keep fruits fresh throughout the year. An added bonus is that you are going to be able to eat fruit that is not in season and is therefore unavailable elsewhere during certain periods.
Keep sauce easily by filling an ice tray with the leftovers and freezing it. You will then have it readily available for when you need to make a quick and easy meal. All that needs to be done is to warm it up in a pan. The frozen sauce will keep extremely well until the next time you need it!
When adding your seasonings during cooking, add small amounts of seasonings at a time, rather than adding everything at once. Your food will taste as flavorful as ever if you season it this way.
Have you had trouble trying to figure out exactly how long to grill your meats? Use a good meat thermometer (a digital one is more accurate) so that you can ensure the inside is cooked correctly. Put the grill lid on to reduce cooking time for cuts that are more than an inch and a half thick.
Many veggies and herbs leave strong scents and plant oils on your cutting board that are very difficult to remove completely. Use a permanent pen to make a mark so you know which side you are using.
Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. Spices lose their flavor if kept too long. If you don’t use a spice very often, and it will go bad before you have to replace it, give some to family and friends.
Cook your veggies in chicken broth! The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.
Always check to see if your utensils are clean if you are about to cook. Any food particles left on a utensil could get into the food your are cooking, ruining the taste. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.
Many vegetables and herbs emit aromas that remain in the cutting board, regardless of how many times you clean it. Mark your ends on the cutting board using indelible ink so that you can remember one side from the other.
Any ground meat that you buy should be blotted prior to cooking. Before cooking ground meat it is always important to blot away moisture. If the moisture is left, it will undergo its natural chemical changes whilst you are cooking. Basically it just burns away. The meat will then steam instead of sear like expected.
You can reduce the cleanup required from meal preparation by washing dishes as you use them. If you have a double bowl sink, fill one side with hot, soapy water and the other side with clear water for rinsing. It is much easier to wash cooking utensils right after using them, and in some cases, you’ll need the same utensil again later in the cooking process.
When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Gather your ingredients, chop and measure the herbs or spices and double-check that you have everything you need. When you are ready to get started with the meal, you will only have to deal with the actual cooking.
Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. 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. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. Let the meal be for a few minutes, and give it time it cool off.
If you are using raw onions in salsa that will not be eaten in less than 20 minutes, then be sure to rinse the onions with cold water followed by thorough dry blotting. A sulferous gas is contained in fresh onions. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. You can remove the gas from your onions by rinsing them and drying them with a paper towel.
Use these tips for preparing your meals. Once you start tasting, you’ll realized that cooking is a good thing after all. As a matter of fact, you may even begin actually enjoying it. Once you begin enjoying it, you’ll discover yourself trying lots of new recipes. Get ready to discover the joy of cooking!
When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. You should start preparing your grill around 30 minutes before you put the food on. You need to allow the coals to reach a medium heat. Once the desired temperature has been reached they should be covered with ash. This is the best temperature for grilling.