It’s common knowledge that people require food to sustain life. But plain “survival” foods can lead to boredom in the kitchen. Cooking something wonderful is better than you eating something of the same caliber. The following tips will help you improve your cooking abilities.
Be sure to keep your spices in an area that is cool and dark. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.
A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
Save yourself some time and stress by doing prep work a day ahead. Having your preparation done ahead of time is very important. Cooking with a deadline to meet can become stressful. Prepare early to avoid later stress.
Many people like to cook with apples towards the end of the year, but if they aren’t stored properly they can spoil. Keeping your apples in a cool, dry place will keep them from rotting. Quickly remove any apples that are rotting, because they will cause the other apples to spoil quicker.
Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. The crust should have a nice golden color to be fully cooked. This is because the golden color lets you know that the sugar from the crust has caramelized, which give it that sweet, yet crisp taste.
Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and 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.
Before preparing a nice meal for friends and relations, be sure to make a good plan. Double-check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Get everything set to cook the next day. Determine if you have you got the right utensils, etc. This will allow you to cook without having to worry.
Keep sauce easily by filling an ice tray with the leftovers and freezing it. Then, at a later date, it is a simple process to reheat the cubes on your stove top in a pan. And don’t worry, your sauce will still taste great even after freezing.
Sharp knives are essential in any kitchen. Make sure your knife is not dull when you are cutting something, this is very dangerous. It is much easier to cut yourself trying to force a dull knife through a vegetable, than cutting it with a sharp knife.
Whatever you may be cooking, using fresh foods is always better than canned, dried, or frozen. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.
You should use chicken broth when you are cooking your vegetables. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.
By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. This can make harder recipes easy, and complicated ones a fun, fast experience.
If you are intending to use skewers when you cook, do not forget to soak them in water for at least half an hour before you use them if they are wooden. This will prevent them from burning while you are cooking. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
They are known to soak up water like a sponge. Get a wet cloth instead, and wipe off each mushroom by hand.
When cooking with pumpkins, you will need to place the pumpkin upright then slice it in half right down the middle. Lay each half on it’s own cookie sheet with the cut side facing down. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
Garlic is one of those delicious ingredient that has a drawback; its flavor gets onto your hands. To remove it, rub your hands along the inside of a stainless sink or bowl . This will cleanse your hands and prevent the smells from transferring to the food you handle next.
Keep the dressing for a salad off to the side when you’re having guests over for a meal. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. It is important to provide your guests with a plethora of dressings.
Proper timing of grilled meat can be tricky to figure out. The best way to be sure that your meat has cooked fully is to test it with a digital meat thermometer near the center of the thickest part of the meat. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.
If you are cooking a roast and are short on time, make sure to leave the bone in. The bone helps the heat distribute on the inside of the roast, which helps it cook faster. When the roast is done, slice it around the bone.
When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is great for preventing sticking of vegetables and incorporating some great flavor with them. There is not a lot of expense when buying chicken broth, and most grocers carry it.
Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. Cut up the remaining meat, place it in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, and store it in your freezer. This will help the turkey to stay fresh over the next few weeks so that you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! Both are easily available to buy at almost every grocery store. Seasoned tofu is a wonderful alternative to meat, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan frying. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. If they’re not organized, you’ll waste time looking for needed items. Keep certain similar tools in one area. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. Amount and type of dressing are personal tastes, so let your guests dress their own salad. You should also provide a large variety of dressings to serve your guests.
When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
Make your stressful family or holiday dinner more relaxing by completing most of the prep work up to 24 hours in advance. Plan ahead by chopping veggies or readying a marinade the night before. This creates less stress the next day when you are pressed for time; it also keeps your more prepared when you are ready to throw dinner together.
You may have heard master chefs on TV say, “Let the meat rest before serving it.” Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. You may think it is best to serve your meat right off the grill so it is piping hot. If you do this, you aren’t getting the full experience associated with your food. Let the meal be for a few minutes, and give it time it cool off.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.
Use salt liberally in the water used to cook pasta. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.
Having a clean and organized kitchen is essential to cooking a great meal or dessert. When your station is organized, you will be more productive. Also, organize your refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying unnecessary items that will eventually be thrown out.
An excellent suggestion is to purchase solid cutting utensils for use in your kitchen. This not only saves you time from having to deal with knives that are dull, but it’s safer to use utensils that are new and sharp, rather than ones that are old and dull. Dull knives actually cause more cut fingers and accidents than sharper ones.
While cooking or baking, wash the dishes as your sauce simmers or your cookies bake. Make sure that one side of the sink always has soapy hot water in it and the other side has clear water for rinsing in it. It’s easier to wash bowls after they have just been used, and they’ll be available for you to use again if you need them.
Sometimes eating is not as enjoyable as serving your own well-cooked dishes. Use these tips as you cook and tweak them a little as you go. Improving your culinary prowess will cause others to beg for your home-cooked snacks at every get-together.
Do not overfill the pan when sauteing foods. Just add a little bit. This will create extra moisture that will act to steam the food rather than adding that crispness that comes from sauteing. Also, make sure that this is done at a temperature that is low.