When you’re thinking about taking up a hobby, consider cooking. Cooking is often overlooked because you are probably doing so much of it, but the truth is that cooking can be a wonderful source of relaxation for the home chef, as well as a way to create and explore. Here are a few tips to help your cooking exploration.
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.
Cooking a large meal for friends or family requires a great deal of preparation ahead of time. Ensure that you aren’t missing important ingredients before you start cooking. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before so there will be no rushing. This process will reduce your stress level and help manifest a more positive outcome.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
Fresh ingredients are better than frozen or dried, regardless of what you cook. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. There are cooking wines available.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.
If you are going to buy mushrooms, make sure that you get them before they are opened. When the stems and the caps of a mushroom are tightly attached, this means means that they are really fresh. If the cap is opened, chances are the mushroom is not too fresh.
Take these tips and use them in your dishes to make them come alive. Serve them to guests, bask in the compliments and then do it all over again. The wonderful thing about cooking as a hobby is that you can always recreate or create anew; you’ll always need something to eat!