Have you ever asked yourself how a restaurant prepares a particular dish? Do you want to make those dishes at home? By following the tips below, you can not only learn to cook your favorite meals, you’ll also be able to create new ones. Cooking is a great hobby for having a fun and relaxing time and can be done by all types of people.
Spices should be stored in a dark and cool place. Common kitchen conditions, such as heat, light, and humidity, will destroy the flavor of herbs and spices. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
If you boil your vegetables or cook them for too long, they will lose a lot of nutrients. Rather than boiling, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables to retain nutrients. Even better, eat them raw!
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
No matter what you are cooking, fresh ingredients are always much better than dried or frozen ingredients. Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.
When adding seasonings to meat, test a small amount before seasoning the whole batch. Meats like meatballs, hamburgers or meatloaf can be easily under or over seasoned. Season it mildly before you make the entire meal. Just cook a small piece formed into a patty. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.
If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. This will make reheating the sauce easy, as you can pull out as many cubes that you need for the next meal. The sauce will be very edible after it comes out of the trays.
If you are having guests over for dinner, cook a meal you are confident making. Avoid trying to cook something new. Avert a stressful experience and enjoy the occasion.
Have you ever wanted to cook a meal using fresh basil? Take a bunch of it and place in a glass. Then cover the stems of the basil with water. Keep it on a kitchen counter so you remember to use it. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. Trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more and stays fresh.
A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
When you use fresh ingredients, your cooking will be considerably better than if you used canned, dried or frozen ingredients. Use fresh ingredients, as they bring out the flavor in a dish, and they are also less expensive.
It’s important to include beans and tofu in your diet if you’re trying to increase your protein intake. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Tofu can be pan-fried with some seasonings, and makes a tasty meat alternative. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.
Sauteing vegetables is an extremely healthy method of cooking them. Consider adding chicken broth for some added flavor. Doing so will add a great deal of flavor to your vegetables, and help them maintain their nutritional content. This is a healthy and tasty, vegetable cooking technique.
Disperse spices and seasoning to your favorite food in small, equal increments over time. This adds a more subtle and deep flavor to your food and enhances the flavors of other ingredients to the utmost.
When making a meal that needs milk or water, try a different substitute to make the dish taste different. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.
If you want to cook a roast quicker, leave the bone inside of it. The bone holds heat and helps cook the interior of your roast, speeding up the entire process. It is easy enough to cut the meat off the bone once the roast is cooked.
If you are big on using spices and herbs, store them in a cool and dark place to preserve their flavor and freshness. A lot of people store herbs and spice in cabinets which can collect heat, make sure you avoid this as this can result in flavor loss (as well as money loss).
If it can be hectic getting dinner ready in time, try preparing ingredients the night before. You can cut up ingredients, measure spices, marinate meat and prepare sauces 24 hours in advance to avoid the stress of preparing a more complex meal. You will save a lot of time, and feel much less stressed when you have to cook.
Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. Instead, cut it up, place it into a an airtight container, and put it in the freezer. Storing turkey in this method helps it stay fresh for weeks and allows you to use it again in the future for sandwiches or salads.
Consider drying your very own tomatoes. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. They can then be stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
Always make sure that the cooking utensils you are about to use are clean before starting any cooking. This is a basic but very important rule for any cook. If your utensils still have food in them, it can ruin what you are trying to cook. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
Always check to see if your utensils are clean if you are about to cook. You could contaminate what you’re going to cook if the utensils aren’t completely clean from previous cooking sessions. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
Don’t eat your meal right away. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. It can be tempting to serve a meal straight off the grill. You are not serving your food at its finest if you do this. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
Use salt liberally in the water used to cook pasta. The seasoning will soak into the pasta this way. Adding salt after the pasta is cooked will cause the flavor to not be absorbed as well.
Buying quality knives is an important investment in your kitchen. You can save time not having to sharpen or deal with dull knives and sharper knives are safer to use. Dull, hard-to-control knives cause far more cuts and accidents than well-sharpened ones do.
If you are using raw onions in salsa that will not be eaten in less than 20 minutes, then be sure to rinse the onions with cold water followed by thorough dry blotting. Onions from the store have gas that smells like sulfur. Salsa will not taste good with the aura of sulfur. If you rinse the raw onions and dry them well, it will remove this gas.
When sauteing food, don’t put too much oil in the pan. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn’t allow it to saute or get crispy. Do not raise the temperature too much.
You should let your cooking wait until all the necessary preparations are complete. This allows you to economize on the amount of gas or electricity used when cooking, and keeps you from becoming distracted and accidentally getting injured by something like hot oil splashing out of a pan.
There are a few ways in which you can reheat tortillas. One way is to set the oven so that it will reach 350 degrees, and place the tortilla right on the rack. Then just take it out when it is as crispy as you like it. A different, super quick way to heat your tortillas is placing them right on your gas-powered stove top, on the metal grill right over the flame. You will have a better tasting tortilla if you use these suggestions.
There are a few methods you can use to heating up tortillas. One way is to set the oven so that it will reach 350 degrees, and place the tortilla right on the rack. Then just take it out when it is as crispy as you like it. An additional option is to place the tortilla on the grill directly, straight above the flame. This will make for a crisper, better tasting tortilla.
A meat thermometer should be used to ensure that meat is being cooked properly. Follow the recommended guidelines for the correct internal temperature for each kind 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.
Now you are on the path to being a chef at home! Experiment freely, imagine wildly, and make bold attempts at using new recipes and new ingredients. By using the great variety of recipes from different cultures there is no limit to the creativity of your cooking.
When making simple dishes, favor fresh herbs over dried ones. Applying dried herbs, such as oregano or basil, to your dish is fine as long as the dish contains many flavors and is complex. Fresh herbs have a stronger flavor and can improve the taste of any dish. An excellent method of ensuring you constantly have fresh herbs handy is to have your own herb garden.