It is much easier to order take-out than it is to cook. After all, you get to sit and wait and there’s no clean-up afterwards. But when you do the cooking yourself you have more control over the ingredients and it tastes better because it comes from your heart. Here are a few cooking tips to make you put the phonebook down and take out the pots.
Change from ordinary table salt when cooking, to sea salt or kosher salt. The latter will add a much better flavor to the recipe. While it is important not to over-salt food for health reasons, leaving salt out of a recipe altogether can result in a meal that tastes bland. So seek a middle ground when using this seasoning.
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.
To reduce the fat and calories in a recipe that calls for a lot of mayonnaise, simply replace half the mayonnaise with sour cream. Since mayonnaise serves primarily a textural purpose in many of these recipes, replacing it with similarly textured sour cream gives you the same texture with a lighter, healthier taste.
Basic seasoning of the food you prepare goes a long way in proving your skills in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to taste your food as you work and adjust seasonings accordingly. Typically, some of the most expensive cuts of meat, as well as many many varieties of seafood, are rather dull without some help. Your guests will appreciate a well-seasoned dish that they don’t need to shake salt on until their arms goes numb or twist the pepper mill over for an hour to make palatable.
If you would like to bake a berry desert in the winter (when most berries are out of season), use frozen berries as a delicious and more eco-friendly alternative to fresh ones! Thaw your frozen berries for 45 minutes, drain the excess, then use as you normally would when making a berry pie or cobbler.
For fluffier pancakes, allow the batter to sit for about five minutes before you start pouring it into the pan. This will allow the flour to absorb more of the moisture in the mix, making for much lighter pancakes that will rise more when you cook them and give them that great restaurant flavor!
This will safely preserve them for up to a year. You also have the benefit of enjoying fruits out of season.
Cooking your own meals can be a great experience. Use these tips to get your kitchen buzzing and rediscover how gratifying it can be to eat a meal that you prepared with your own two hands in your kitchen. You know what? Your meal probably tastes better than any take-out you can get.