The culinary arts use hundreds of techniques, recipes and ingredients to produce an infinite number of delicious meals and dishes. Some cooking methods are simple while others are more complex. In this guide you will see fast and simple tips you can do to improve your current skill level.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. If they are exposed to light, heat or humidity, they will lose much of their flavor. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Whole spices can stay fresh for up to five years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
Keep your herbs in a place that is both dark and cool. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors.
To make your sauce thicker, stir cornstarch into the simmering sauce. Combine two tablespoons filled with water and one tablespoon filled with cornstarch in a small dish. Add this mixture to the sauce while it simmers in order to thicken it up. Adding the cornstarch mixture slowly and continuing to stir helps you judge the proper thickness of your sauce.
Finish your prep work in advance. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. When you have a schedule as to how long you plan to be cooking, things can get a little stressful in the kitchen. If all of the prep work is completed well before the actual cooking begins, this will help alleviate some stress later.
Boiling and other lengthy cooking methods strip vegetables of their important nutrients. The healthier way to prepare vegetables is by cooking them quickly, such as steaming or sauteing them; the most nutritious way of all is by serving them raw.
Before eating there is cooking, and before cooking there is preparation. This is a vital step to master if you want to produce impressive meals. Be certain that you have every ingredient you will need on hand. The day before the big event, get everything ready to go. Make sure you have all the utensils and cookware you will need. This can seriously reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Garlic can add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food. However, when you are cutting and chopping fresh garlic, it can also leave its odor on your hands. However, rub your hands inside a stainless steel basin when you have finished working with any strong-odor ingredient. This serves to both clean your hands thoroughly and prevent the odors from seeping into any other food you are going to handle.
For stir-fry dishes, meat should be sliced very thinly and on the bias. This can take up much time and is also somewhat tricky. When the meat is stiff but not frozen, take it out and slice immediately across the grain at a slight angle.
After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. Take them out to use on another night when you’d like a no hassle home cooked meal. Simply reheat the sauce cubes slowly in a medium pan on your stove top. Nothing to worry about as the sauce will be fine even after it’s been sitting in ice cube trays.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. This is helpful for Asian dishes you may try that call for thin strips of meat. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. After slicing the meat, allow it to completely thaw to ensure that it cooks evenly.
You should always buy recipe ingredients after you have thoroughly looked at the labels. You might be surprised how many common cooking implements have ingredients concealed within that are unhealthy. You want to make sure that the product is not too high in sugars or in sodium as both can cause extreme health problems if over consumed.
When cooking for someone that you want to impress it is important to make sure that you are preparing a meal that you have prepared before and know you can prepare well. Don’t experiment with recipes or ingredients that you’ve never used before. You will be more comfortable cooking, and there will be less of a risk of messing it up.
Make sure that you never use a wine in your food that you would not normally drink. 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.
If you find yourself with leftover homemade sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
If you have turkey for a meal, whether it’s on a holiday or another occasion, make sure you keep the leftovers. Instead, cut it into smaller pieces, and place in the freezer in airtight containers. This will keep the turkey fresh, so it can be reused for salads or sandwiches.
Add the seasonings a little at a time throughout the cooking process. When this is done, the flavors of the food will be enhanced, and you will be bringing out the best in all of your ingredients.
Instead of chopping them on a cutting board, a better way to cut herbs is to hold them in a bunch and cut them with sharp scissors. This works especially well for dill and parsley. The leaves will be fuller and more crisp than they would have been if they were wet.
Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Lay your tomato slices across a cooling rack with the cut-side facing up, and salt them lightly. Set the rack on a cookie sheet in an oven at 190 degrees for a 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.
Dry ground meat with a towel before you put it in the pan to remove excess moisture. It helps to blot moisture from any type of ground meat. If you leave it there, the meat will not cook properly. It will start to sizzle away. It will result in beef that is steamed, rather than seared, completely changing the flavor of your final dish.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As the fruits get ripe, they’ll give off ethylene gas. When you keep these fruits in aerated bags, the gas that might normally build up and be trapped is released and allows the fruit to maintain freshness longer.
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 all your ingredients together, chop what needs to be chopped, measure out all the required herbs and spices and make sure you have everything that you need on hand. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.
When you are faced with cooking a difficult meal, prepping the night before will really reduce your stress. You can place all of your ingredients in a designated area so that you can be sure that you have all of the ingredients to prepare the dish. You can then chop fruits or vegetables and measure all dry ingredients that you need for the recipe. When the time comes to actually cook the meal, you will just have to combine the ingredients in the right order and cook them at the proper temperature for the correct amount of time.
A sharp knife is the cook’s bosom companion; spend the money for top-quality cutlery. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. Dull knives cause more cuts and accidents than sharp ones.
Impress your friends and family by creating an especially tasty sandwich, by making sure the dressing and fillings are adequate and there are no dry corners to the bread. Adding mayo is often done quickly, leaving globs mainly in the middle of the sandwich. Properly spreading the mayo will guarantee a flavorful sandwich with every bite.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you are cooking your meats properly. All of the different meats require a certain internal temperature in order for it to be safe to eat. If meat is under cooked, the bacteria in the meat can be consumed, which could result in illness.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. The extra moisture creates steaming which will prevent the food from attaining the crispy texture that sauteing is known for. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
To save time in cooking, do your prepping ahead of time. It’s often possible to do some preparations even a couple days before you need to cook. In some cases, you will find the longer preparation window will make your end result a flavorful masterpiece. Once you start advanced preparation, you might not ever return.
People often ruin their dishes by making them overly complicated. By sticking to a simple recipe, you can come up with something that is quick and healthy but still manages to taste wonderful. Use the tips presented here and come up with a few cooking ideas of your own. Happy eating!
While it may be tempting to try something new, always cook something you know. Whether it is a love interest, boss or new in-laws, you want to impress them with your cooking. You will be better off pleasing them if you cook something that you know you will come out good.