Learning how to cook is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
To make it easier to peel boiled eggs, run them under cold water immediately after removing from them the stove. Once they are cool enough to touch, tap them lightly to crack and roll on a counter. Once you begin peeling and have an opening in the shell, run this under cold water and you will find the rest of the shell will peel off with the greatest of ease!
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
Purchase a quality loaf of bread that you can use as a side piece to a variety of meals. Bread goes great with any dish that has sauce or cheese, as you can dip it in a variety of different toppings. Include a loaf of Italian or French bread with your next meal.
Save your butter and margarine wrappers to use when baking. The wax paper that butter and margarine is wrapped in just happens to be the perfect size for greasing pans or rubbing onto a potato before popping it in the oven for baking. Save wrappers butter-side to butter-side in a closed storage container, so it stays fresh for your baking needs.
When shaving vegetables for dishes such as a vinaigrette or a salad, use a coarse microplane, also known as a grater or zester, to grate them into smaller pieces. The flavors of the vegetables are truly unlocked when grated with the microplane.
Some recipes call for peeled half or quarter peaches. In most cases peeling is not easy, as the skin sticks to the fruit and doesn’t come off. The easiest way to remedy the problem is to place the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the fruits, place them into ice water to stop the boiling effect. Their skin will come off easily.
Freeze your excess ginger root. When you buy a ginger root for cooking, the chances are you won’t use the whole thing in one recipe. Whatever you have left can be frozen. Not only will it keep for a long time, it’s really easy to shave off a piece with a sharp knife, or grate it when it’s frozen.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
If your family tends to eat a lot of chicken and often, remember to always brine the poultry as it will lock in flavor. Otherwise you are left with a dry piece of chicken that merely has whatever spices and herbs you chose coated on the outside rather than penetrating every bite.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.