When’s the last time you cooked something truly extraordinary? Do you remember? Extraordinary cooking doesn’t have to be something that is a rare occurrence. You can make every meal new and exciting, if you have the information and skills to do so. Here are a few cooking tips that will help every meal be special.
Consider recipes to be guidelines rather than rules. Feel free to branch out and switch up the spices or add an extra ingredient. Before long you will be compiling your own personal collection of altered recipes that are better than the original thing. Not only will you will also be able to impress your friends with unique dishes, but you will become a better cook as you experiment with changing recipes.
If you have already cooked before for someone that you know and love, try to shake things up a bit and add some new spices to the recipes. Changing things up can keep things fresh and make your cooking very spontaneous. This will improve your ability and skills in the kitchen.
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don’t discard them – saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn’t throw away those unused salad greens!
Leave the bone in a roast to speed up cooking. By leaving the bone in, heat moves to the inside of the meat faster, speeding up the cooking process. Because the bone transmits heat, the entire roast cooks more evenly throughout the cut of meat by leaving it in rather than removing it.
When storing items in your kitchen, you will want to make sure that they are stored in containers that are airtight and closed tightly for two reasons. While most foods will go stale having constant exposure to air, another big fear is that the product will be taken over by bugs.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. Place them in the freezer in plastic bags. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
If you have left over wine in a bottle from dinner or drinks with friends, you can pour out the remaining wine in an ice tray and put it in the freezer. When you are making a sauce that has wine in the recipe you can drop in a couple of cubes.
Use these tips to spark your own ideas about what your meals can be like. With a little creativity and a little know-how, the food you prepare can be something wonderful, every single time. Get excited about cooking again and see what you can conjure up in your kitchen.