Cooking is one of the finest skills to study on your own. Cooking well can improve your health, save you money and be fun. Better yet, cooking is a skill you can always improve. Even the greatest kitchen veterans can learn a little something new. Here are a few handy tips for getting better results out of your kitchen:
Add flavor to boring roast chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack, place thick slices of onion in the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top of them. The chicken juices will be absorbed by the onion, creating a caramelization on the bottom of the pan. After roasting, remove the chicken, add a little water to the pan and cook on high heat for a few minutes. This will create a tasty sauce for your chicken.
When roasting any type of meat, ensure that when you remove it from the oven you give it time to “rest” before you carve it up and deliver to the table. Allowing the meat to sit in its own juices for ten minutes or so will make sure that the meat is not dry or overly chewy.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Put salt on your cutting board. It can be difficult to cut herbs on your cutting board. They tend to go all over the place. To keep this from happening, just sprinkle a little salt on your cutting board before you begin. This will work to keep them from slipping around.
When you are cutting garlic, one of the things that you can do is to put it in a plastic bag before you cut. Then, slice the garlic cloves inside the bag to protect your board from smelling. This will help to reduce the pungent odor that garlic can give off.
If you’ve forgotten to soak your beans over night, quick soak them instead. Just put the beans in a very large pot and cover with water. Bring this to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about two hours. This method is just as effective as an over night soak and can save you time.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Using a slow cooking method is sometimes suggested, but the results are less nutritious and don’t taste as good. Speed cooking vegetables also retains the best texture and nutrition. Learning to give them just a quick steam is the best way to cook them.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will prove useful to you. Not only is cooking a field in which there is always something new to learn, it is a very personal skill set. You retain full control of what you learn and how you apply it. Keep your eyes peeled for more tips that you can use to cook the way you want to.