Have you ever eaten at a dining establishment and thought about how they created their food dishes? Maybe you’ve fantasized about being able to cook that well at home. Follow these tips to learn the secrets of fine cooking. Cooking is an enjoyable and calming hobby for all kinds of people.
Keep all dried spices in a dark space that stays room temperature. If they are exposed to light, moisture, or heat, they will lose much of their flavor. Ground herbs and spices will retain their flavor for about a year. It is possible for whole spices to hold their flavor for several years. Store your herbs and spices correctly, so that they will stay fresh and keep their full flavor!
If cooking with skewers is something you are considering, then you will want to know certain things. Twisted or square shaped metal skewers hold the food better than round ones will.
It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. Look at your recipe, and ensure that you aren’t missing any ingredients. Check the day before you start to cook to make sure that you have everything that you need to cook the dish you have planned. This can help relax everything so that you can make something great.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. When you have a timeline for your meal to be ready, things can get a bit stressful once you start cooking. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.
If you need to slice meat into thin strips, then partially freeze it beforehand. This is best for Asian meals such as Thai or Chinese dishes. When the meat is partially frozen, cutting becomes cleaner as the meat fibers are less likely to tear or stretch. Allow the meat strips to completely thaw before you throw them in the cooking pan, so you can be sure that the strips all cook evenly.
Cut your meat very thin and with the bias when you are stirfrying. It takes a little practice and time to get it right. When the meat is stiff but not frozen, take it out and slice immediately across the grain at a slight angle.
It’s vital that you always use sharp knives when cooking. The duller the knife, the more difficult your kitchen task will be. You are also in danger of cutting yourself if you choose a dull knife. It is easy to cut yourself if you are using a dull knife than slicing it with a very sharp one.
There is a secret to thicken up your weak sauce. Mix two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir this solution into the thin sauce to thicken it. Make sure to introduce the starch slowly while stirring constantly to make it not be too thick.
Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. Store apples in a plastic bag in a cool, dry location to keep them fresher longer. One bad apple will quickly ruin the other apples.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. The somewhat bland taste of cauliflower helps it to blend seamlessly with your potatoes while picking up the other ingredients. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest 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.
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. You will clean your hands and stop smells from rubbing off on other foods.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Cauliflower’s neutral taste means that it blends easily with the flavor of the potatoes, butter and milk. Additionally, cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so it makes it an easy, healthy addition to your dish.
Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you are using! Rather than pouring oil into the pan directly from the bottle, measure the oil that you are using for cooking in order to decrease the fat. Measuring the oil will let you closely examine how much oil you are using.
When trying to add protein to a diet, you need to remember that beans and tofu are great sources. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
Any time you are faced with a large amount of leftover turkey, don’t be tempted to throw it in the garbage. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. This will help the turkey to stay fresh over the next few weeks so that you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.
When cooking pumpkins, stand the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, cut it down the middle. Lay the cut halves on individual baking pans. Add a few drops of water to each baking sheet, then allow the pumpkin to bake for about one hour at 350 degrees.
One of the most important things every cook needs is a well organized kitchen. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. Put all the things that are the same in one place. Keep your herbs and spices together and follow this grouping rule with other supplies as well.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. Cooking wines are available.
Cooking Ground Meat
If you cook using herbs and spices, keep them stored under dark, cool conditions to preserve their freshness and flavor. Keeping your spices in warm places, such as above your stove, will really take a lot of the flavor away.
Prior to cooking ground meat, blot it with a paper towel. It is a good idea to always blot away moisture before cooking ground meat. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when it’s cooked. The extra moisture will sizzle away. Therefore, it’s more likely that the meat will steam instead of sear like it should.
For the best cooking results, spices have to be replaced after six months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you buy a certain spice and you know that you are not going to use it all before it goes bad, give half to a friend or family member.
You can reduce your stress level by doing your prep work for an important meal the day or night before the event. 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. As you begin your masterpiece, just put it all together and cook as necessary.
When you cook macaroni and cheese, make sure to follow the listed directions on your box exactly. The macaroni will be perfect once the cheese melts over the noodles. Serve it with a solid spoon to get all the cheese from the pot to the plate. Shake a little pepper on your macaroni to add some spice.
If you make salsa with raw onions that you plan to save rather than eat right away, rinse the onions using cold water, then blot the onions dry before storing. The freshly-diced onions give off a sulfurous gas. Sulfurous gas can completely ruin salsa. If you rinse off the onion and then dry it, it will get rid of the gas.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Use this time to gather all needed ingredients, chop veggies and measure seasonings. Make sure you have everything you need. 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.
Get all your preparations done and ready before you begin cooking a meal. If you do so, you’ll save on electricity by not running an oven that you aren’t yet using. You are also adding a measure of safety by not getting distracted with another task and forgetting about a hot pan on the stove.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. Set aside about one-fourth cup of the pasta water. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
Now you can become a better chef with these tips in hand. Allow your imagination to go wild, and start having fun experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with delicious new recipes. Experiment with the cuisines from the many different cultures of the world to add variety to your cooking.
Tying up your turkey is called trussing. The advantage of trussing is that the legs and wings are held closer to the body, resulting in even cooking throughout the bird. In an un-trussed turkey, the legs and wings can get overdone and the tips can burn by the time the body is fully cooked.