Food is an essential part of everyone’s lives. Follow the tips here to add that special “magical” quality to all of your cooking.
Cooking processes that take quite a bit of time, like boiling, may allow nutrients to leach from the vegetables. To retain these nutrients, rely on cooking methods that don’t take a lot of time, including steaming or sauteing. You can even eat them raw if you have the taste for it.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Your spices and herbs will lose some of their flavor when exposed to light, humidity and heat. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. Store your spices correctly to make them last.
Feel confident when serving meals to a new guest or on a special occasion, by sticking to recipes that you have already mastered. Don’t attempt cooking experiments or recipes you’ve never tried before. This makes cooking less stressful.
You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. Though slow cooking is popular in some cultures, the process actually eliminates important nutrients and renders the vegetables tasteless. Speed cooking vegetables also retains the best texture and nutrition. Adapting the principle of faster cooking times is a crucial element in serving better quality vegetables to your family and friends.
If you are cooking with oil, do not pour it directly into the middle of the pan. Instead, pour it on the side of the pan, so it will heat before it reaches the food. This will optimize the flavors in your food in your final dish.
Do you love to cook with fresh basil? In a glass put a lot of fresh basil inside. Make sure the stems are in water. This will help to keep it from going bad for quite a few days. In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. Trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more and stays fresh.
Freeze your meat slightly and you will find that it slices with ease. This provides ideally thin meat for Thai, Chinese, or other Asian recipes. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. To keep your meat cooking evenly, make sure you let the slices thaw completely before you cook them.
Do you have trouble determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Try using a good quality meat thermometer, to see whether the inside of the meat has reached the right temperature for proper cooking and good taste. If you are cooking thicker cuts of meat on the grill, for instance thicker than one and a half inches, close the lid to cook it faster.
Make sure that the knives you are using are very sharp. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. A cut is more likely when you push down hard on a dull knife that when you cut easily with a sharp one.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. Don’t try to create a new dish when you’re not experienced in cooking it already. Cooking will become less stressful.
When you cook veggies, try using some chicken broth! Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth costs very little, and can be bought at most any grocery store.
Give pre-cut, raw potatoes a cold water bath for a half-hour prior to frying for crispier French fries. By leaving the potatoes to soak up cold water, the fibers are reinforced. This makes it so when you fry them, they’ll withstand the heat better and won’t break down completely.
If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. The vast majority of grocery stores stock both of these products. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.
When you need to season your food, add your seasoning a little bit at a time instead of all at once. Depending on the type of food, this can be an excellent way to improve the flavor and extend the seasoning.
When preparing chicken stock, make a large amount. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
If you only have a short time to cook a roast, leave the bone inside the meat. Your meat will cook faster this way because the bone helps to carry the heat straight to the inside of your roaster. Once the meat has finished cooking, remove the bone prior to serving.
Read the labels for any product that you buy to use in a recipe. Lots of the time, cooking supplies have hidden ingredients that may be bad for your health. Too much salt, sugar, and those dreaded unpronounceable chemicals can really alter the flavors of dishes and be generally unhealthy for you.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.
Don’t mix unfamiliar wine into your food. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.
Clean cooking utensils are an absolute necessity when you start any cooking project. Any residual food matter missed during washing can spoil the dish you intend to cook. This can be costly because it might allow for bacteria to spread.
Keep those turkey leftovers after the big meal. Cut up the remaining meat, place it in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, and store it in your freezer. Frozen, leftover turkey will keep for a few months, allowing you to pull out a container for sandwiches or salads at any time.
Don’t eat your meal right away. Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. Many people are tempted to rush food to the table when serving a meal. Unfortunately, serving your meal immediately can take away from the taste and quality. Always allow your meat sit for about 5 minutes before eating.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. The temperatures that meat should reach, when being cooked to be eaten, varies between different types of meat. Since bacteria is all around us, especially on meat, it is important that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill off this bacteria and therefore prevent you from getting sick.
When unpacking your groceries, place any unripened fruits in perforated bags. Some fruits, like apples, produce ethylene gas as they ripen. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.
Anytime you cook a simpler dish, include fresh seasoning and herbs with it. Dried herbs like oregano and basil are generally more appropriate for highly complicated dishes with varied flavors. Using fresh herbs can really help to enhance the flavor of an otherwise tasteless meal. To ensure you have fresh herbs for cooking, you should have an herb garden.
Clean cooking utensils are an absolute necessity when you start any cooking project. If food is left behind on the utensils after washing, this may spoil what you are planning to cook. It could promote the spread of bacteria.
Not all potatoes are the same, and if you substitute one type of potato for another, your dish may not come out like you expected. Some potatoes are waxy and are great for making things like boiled potatoes or potato salad but are not so good for french fries, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. When cooking those foods, try using fluffier potatoes, including Russets.
If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. Made in large batches, it’s easy to store in the freezer, if you use resealable plastic bags. This ensures that tasty, homemade stock is always available when the time comes to prepare soups and other recipes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
While you may wish to cook a fancy dish, don’t experiment when you need to cook for an important person. Be it a lover, the in-laws or your boss, you want to make sure that they enjoy your cooking. The best way to make them happy would be to cook a great meal, so make sure you cook something you are familiar with.
The night before you are scheduled to prepare a large, multi-course meal, complete as much prep work as possible. Locate the ingredients, cut up and measure herbs and spices and look through your cupboards to make sure you have what you need. When the time comes to prepare the meal, you will now only need to assemble the ingredients and cook it.
Brine is a wonderful way to cook. Soak your meat from turkey, a goose or a duck in this brine solution for an hour before you cook to make poultry taste better.
Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This will help season the pasta as it cooks. Pasta that is salted after it is cooked does not absorb the salt as readily.
There are a number of delicious ways to prepare oysters. While oysters are for the most part eaten raw with a bit of lemon lemon juice on top, there are many other ways for you to prepare them. Place the opened oysters into their shells onto a broiler pan, cover the oysters with a little amount of cream. Add some cheese and pepper on top, and cook until you see the liquid churning. You may want to try sauteing oysters. Just drop them in some seasoned flour, then fry them in butter until they turn golden- about 2 minutes. Oysters should be baked in their shells. Put them into a casserole dish, and place a small amount of butter and breadcrumbs across each oyster. You can then bake them for around five minutes at 425 degrees. Whenever the juices and butter are bubbling hot, you can then serve it alongside a toasted baguette.
Reserve some pasta water for use in your pasta sauce. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Amalgamation will help the starch in the pasta to add a creamy quality, and extra body to your sauce.
Always use soft, not melted butter when you are making cookies. If the butter is melted, put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a minute or two to stiffen it up. You could also put the entire cookie dough mixture in the refrigerator. When dough is cool, it is less likely to spread haphazardly.
Keep your spices and herbs stored in a dark, dry, and cool area. Exposure to light, humidity, and heat can make your spices lose their flavors quickly. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
One way to eliminate odors when working with fish, garlic or onions is to use stainless steel as a base to rub them, and then wash them. A spoon or the side of the sink will do the trick, or a ready-made “soap bar” made of stainless steel. This technique will eliminate odors and keep hands fresh-smelling as well.
When baking a cake, be sure not to over or under cook it. The recommendations on the package are only guidelines, because many factors, including oven variations, can impact the finished product. To determine if your cake is done, use a toothpick or clean knife blade to find out. Poke it gently into the center of the cake. If it is covered in batter, your cake is not done yet. Wait until the toothpick comes out clean.
Make your cooking very colorful. More colorful foods tend to be healthier and are also more interesting visually. Some colorful garnishes you can add to your meals include cherry tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and carrot curls. Let the inner artist show itself onto the dinner plates, and you’ll have the family lined up begging for more.
Food is a very powerful part of our lives. Apply the advice from this article to amaze those that dine at your table.
Purchasing meat and fish with the bones intact can be very beneficial. Save the bones from cooked and raw meats in storage bags, and keep frozen until needed for stock.