In an era of many restaurants, processed foods, microwaves, delivery pizza and Chinese take-out, the art form of cooking is becoming a lost art. Yet anyone who wants to eat healthily, cheaply or just at home can learn the science of food preparation. This article has some pointers for anyone who wants to better in the kitchen.
The smaller the item you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature should be. Baking something delicious does not have to involve leaving food in the oven for hours. If you are baking something small, set the oven temperature higher. Just make sure you leave it in the oven for less time.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
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!)
Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.
If you want to add a unique touch to your dinner, use fruit as a side dish. Fruit will help to flush down the thick pieces of meat that you just ate and will serve to re-energize your body after consuming a lot of calories. Add oranges, pears and apples to your dinner to optimize your experience.
Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant’s seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base – it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.
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.
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.
Preparing delicious, healthy dishes and meals for one’s self or guests and loved ones does not have to be troublesome. Apply the advice in this piece for success in the kitchen. Use the knowledge here to feed yourself and those around you with delightful meals sure to bring full bellies and smiles to faces.