Have you ever been at a restaurant and wondered how the food was made? Perhaps you have made your attempts to make it at home yourself? Read the following article to learn tips on how to create your favorite dinners or come up with new ones for any occasion. Cooking can be a rewarding hobby for nearly anyone.
To make slicing meat into thin strips a little easier, partially freeze it. This is helpful for Asian dishes you may try that call for thin strips of meat. It’s easier to slice meat that has been partially frozen because the fibers don’t tear and stretch, so you can make clean cuts. For even cooking, let the strips of meat thaw completely before you start to cook.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool place. Heat, light, and a large amount of humidity can ruin spices and herbs. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Spices that are whole will retain flavor longer, closer to 3-5 years. Storing your spices properly can help you achieve a longer shelf-life for your spices.
Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. A dull knife will not only make it more difficult to slice and chop your ingredients, but it will also be a hazard to use. The chance of accidentally cutting yourself while using a dull knife to cut steak is way higher than using a sharp knife to cut the same steak.
If making stir-fry, meat must be cut on the bias and sliced thinly. Very often this is difficult to master and takes a lot of time. Freeze the meat until it is firm and then slice the thin slices across the grain.
A lot of people cook with apples during fall and winter, but they will spoil rather quickly if you don’t store them correctly. Apples rot in dry warm air, so store them in loosely tied plastic bags in the refrigerator or a cool basement. Be sure to remove any spoiled apples as soon as you spot them, or the entire batch will end up rotten.
Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Slowly add this mixture to your simmering sauce to thicken it up. For a sauce that’s too thick, add more liquid.
There are many things you can do ahead of time to save time during your meal preparation. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. This way, you don’t burn them when you are cooking with them. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
Freeze sauces by pouring leftovers into ice cube trays. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
Do not use wine for cooking that you have not tasted. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.
If you are trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol, try to decrease the amount of fat in your diet. Oil and butter have lots of fat. Another healthy alternative for low fat cooking is nonstick spray.
For the best cooking results, spices have to be replaced after six months. If a spice is kept for a long time, it could lose some of its flavor. If you purchase a specific spice, knowing that you probably won’t use it all, split it with someone.
Whenever you are adding seasoning to a recipe, add it slowly over time rather than dumping it all at once. This will allow you to make your meal more flavorful, and will prevent you from adding too much seasoning.
For more flavorful dishes, make your own stock. Making it in huge quantities can allow you to store the leftover in some resealable bags in the freezer. This ensures that tasty, homemade stock is always available when the time comes to prepare soups and other recipes. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.
Buy fresh cloves of garlic and mince them yourself for use in recipes. Generally speaking, the freshest garlic will also have the sweetest taste. You will also find that fresh garlic has firm skin and is free of bruises.
It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Put a cookie sheet underneath the cooling rack and then set the pair in an oven heated to 190 degrees. Leave for as many as ten hours. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. You can also store them in jars packed with herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. This adds some extra flavor to the herbs while also keeping them on the board. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. The salt that has been sprinkled onto the board, will also have the extra benefit of adding a little bit of extra flavor when it adheres to the herbs.
It will be very helpful to have all cooking supplies nicely organized. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Store items of a similar nature together. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
If you know that your home made salsa will not be used right away, take the time to rinse and dry the chopped onions before adding them to the salsa. Fresh onions can emit sulfurous gas. Your salsa will be ruined if you use raw onions. Rinsing in cold water and drying the onions first will eliminate this gas.
Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.
Keep your wood cutting board in tip-top shape. Exposure to moisture or dryness can damage a wooden board easily. If you have to clean your cutting board, use a sponge rather than immersing it in soapy water. Bring a damaged wood board back to life with regular oiling, using only oil made for cutting boards. Store in a cool dry place until the product has completely dried.
Try to wash dishes when you are cooking to save time on cleaning a mess after dinner. Keep one side of the sink full of sudsy hot water and use the other side to rinse clear. Utensils and mixing bowls are easiest to cleaned directly after their use, and can be used again during the same meal preparation.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. There is a recommended minimum temperature for every type of meat; this ensures that meat is cooked well enough to be safe to eat. Cooking meat thoroughly is the only way to kill the bacteria that naturally exist on meat. Unchecked, these bacteria can cause illnesses if consumed.
When preparing a pasta dish, you should add salt to the boiling water before adding the noodles. This will allow the pasta to take on the seasoning more efficiently. Salting pasta after cooking it results in a less flavorful pasta dish.
Do not bake a cake too long or to short of a time. The time recommended on the box or in a recipe is a guide to be used with caution, because many factors, such as high altitudes, can have an effect on the actual time needed. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If the toothpick comes out with no batter on it, the cake has finished cooking. If the toothpick has batter on it when it is pulled out, the cake needs to stay in the oven for a few more minutes or so.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Besides letting you work faster, a sharp knife is actually less likely to cause injury. Many cuts and accidents are caused by dull utensils.
While it’s natural to want to impress guests with a fancy meal, stay away from new recipes when you will be serving someone important. Whether it’s your boss, new-in laws, or a new love interest, you want to please them. Please them by cooking a recipe you are familiar with, and can cook very well.
Take care to not overfill your pan when you are sauteing. You may end up steaming your meal because of the water content of your vegetables. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
Look for interesting ways to prepare oysters. The most common way to eat oysters is raw with lemon juice, there are many alternatives. You can crack open the oysters and put them in a broiler pan with their shells, then add a little bit of cream on top. Add grated Parmesan cheese and shredded fresh peppers to the oysters and bring to the boil. Oysters can also be sauteed. Mix some seasonings with flour and coat the oysters. Fry them in very hot butter for about two minutes or until they are golden brown. Cook oysters right in their shells. Add breadcrumbs and butter to the top of each oyster, put them in a sizable casserole dish, and bake for about five minutes at 425 degrees. When the juices and butter both bubble, it is time to serve it. Serve it before it cools down. A toasted baguette should accompany the dish.
A better way is to use the oven timer as well as a watch timer. If you engage in another activity away from your oven, you will hear your watch timer beep.
You are on the way to becoming a wonderful chef. Use your creativity to create fabulous meals and memorable new recipes. With the tremendous variety of foods from around the world, there is no limit to the creative, delicious meals you can cook!
When cooking potato skins or twice baked potatoes, always use the kind with a thick skin such as a russet. Varieties such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes have thin skins that aren’t sturdy enough for heavy fillings.