Learning how to cook requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to eat the batches that aren’t quite ready for prime time. Learning new techniques for cooking is a life-long learning experience and your education begins here. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way to cooking success.
One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.
When storing ingredients that you will use for cooking it is a good habit to stock them in large quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. This will make preparing food easier and faster. For example, when preparing vegetables, you can just pull them out of the freezer and simply boil them.
Save time by cooking large quantities, and freezing the extra. When you are planning an elaborate or time consuming meal, prepare extra servings. Making more won’t increase your cooking time much, and these extra meals can be frozen, providing a fast and healthy alternative to the typical frozen TV dinner.
When making homemade salad dressings it is a good idea to use extra-virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavor that really adds to a salad. Extra-virgin olive oil can be somewhat expensive so it is important to buy it when it is on sale or with a coupon to make it more affordable.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
Before grilling any foods, make sure your grill is clean. A dirty grill surface can cause many problems. Excessive smoking, soiling of flavors, potential for bacterial illness, not to mention being a fire risk, are all side effects of a filthy surface. Clean your grill with a wire brush often for best results.
Avoid limiting yourself to white potatoes in your cooking. They are very high in starch and have the least amount of nutritional content of any of the potatoes. Try varieties that come in blue, red, yellow, and orange. You can substitute almost any root vegetable as your usual white potato.
Allow your food to sit for a moment before serving it. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. Always allow your meat sit for about 5 minutes before eating.
While some foods need to be cooked at a high temperatures for short times, larger foods need to be cooked at lower temperatures for longer times. Doing so will allow the larger foods to slowly release their flavors as they cook and to be cooked evenly without under or over cooking.
Store your spices and herbs in a area that is cool and dark, and keep them away from the stove. Doing this ensures your spices are always rich with flavor every time you reach for them. Heat, humidity and light will cause your herbs to lose their flavor much faster.
The best part of cooking is that you can eat your mistakes. Don’t be scared about trying something new. Even Julia Childs and Wolfgang Puck have made complete failures of dishes at one point or another. Cooking is all about learning and experimentation until you learn what works for you, so give it a shot!