A lot of people regard cooking as an unwelcome, but necessary task. However, cooking can be an enjoyable activity. This is an easier way to live healthy. Every good cook constantly looks for ways to improve their cooking skills. Use the tips in this article to learn more about cooking and to start seeing cooking as an enjoyable activity.
There are some things you should be aware of if you plan to cook with skewers. When using metal skewers, square or twisted skewers hold food better than the round skewers.
All of the prep work can be done ahead of time. Do not start cooking until the prep work is done. That way, when you’re ready to cook, it takes some of the stress out of it, especially if you have a deadline to meet. Prep work helps take the stress out of meal planning and preparing.
Complete as much of the preparatory work as possible for your meals ahead of time to speed up the process of cooking. Complete as many steps in advance as you can without risking spoilage. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. This is a great time saver, and can make that complex recipe into something that is quick and fun.
If you are cooking for an important event, it is a good idea to make a meal that you have made before. Avoid cooking with new ingredients or a new recipe that you have never used before. Cooking will be less stressful.
Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
Garlic’s only disadvantage is that it transfers smell onto your hands. Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel, such as your sink, can help to get rid of these odors. Not only will this remove the scent from your skin, but it will also prevent the juices from affecting the flavor of the next food you touch.
Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. You have an added bonus, because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. The less time you take to cook them, the better your vegetables will be.
Guessing how long food will take on the grill is nearly impossible. Try using a digital meat thermometer to judge when your meat is cooked thoroughly. Meat that is thicker than an inch and a half should be cooked with the lid of the grill closed.
They will act like a sponge and just soak up a lot of that water. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.
Use air tight containers to store baking mixes, flour and sugar. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren’t exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. You buy them pretty much anywhere and they are a beneficial asset.
While garlic is excellent for cooking, it can also be absorbed into your hands. An easy way to prevent such scents from adhering to your skin is to rub exposed areas on the stainless steel of your sink. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
If you use skewers for any of your dishes, be sure to soak skewers made of wood in water for a minimum of a half hour before using them. Using this method, you will not burn them when you’re cooking. Double up on the skewers per kebab to ensure that nothing falls off of them.
If you’ve made a big pot of sauce, freeze the leftovers by pouring the extra sauce into ice cube trays. For a quick and easy sauce on another night, simply remove as many cubes as you need and reheat in a pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. You can buy these in almost any grocery store. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you use! To make sure the fat content in your food is as low as possible, carefully measure the oil you cook with instead of just eye-balling it. By doing this, you can keep a close eye on the amount of oil you use in cooking.
Saute vegetables in some chicken broth for a healthier option. This way you’ll use less oil while still giving the veggies a nice flavor. This method produces healthy and tasty vegetables.
Keep the dressing for a salad off to the side when you’re having guests over for a meal. Some people love dressing in great huge globs, while others like a lighter taste. Some folks don’t like any dressing at all, (or are watching their weight) so leave the dressing of salads up to your guests. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
Always make certain you are checking out the ingredient labels when getting items for a recipe. Many of the most common ingredients can contain unhealthy and unnecessary additives. Do not buy anything that contains a lot of sodium, sugars or fats.
Here is a fresh perspective on pumpkins. First, cut your pumpkin in half from top-down. Set each half cut-side down on its own baking sheet. Add a touch of water to each sheet before putting it in the oven. You will want to bake this for approximately an hour at 350 degrees.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. Place the cooking supplies that are similar in one place. For example, since basil and parsley are both spices, put them in the same cabinet.
When serving salad to guests, always offer the dressing on the side rather than pouring it directly on the salad. Some people like to put more salad dressing on their salads than other people do; let your guests put their own salad dressing on. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. The next step is to put the rack on an old cookie sheet and then place in an oven set at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.
When planning to prepare complicated dishes, do the prep work the evening before the actual cooking is to take place to minimize stress. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. As you begin your masterpiece, just put it all together and cook as necessary.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Make a small mark with a marker on one side of your board to remind you which side is for sweet items and which is for sour.
You should save some water from the pan in which you cooked the pasta so that you can add it to the pasta sauce later. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. Through a process known as amalgamation, the starch in the pasta water creates a creamy texture in your sauce.
For the best cooking results, spices have to be replaced after six months. If the spices are too old, they are going to lose a good bit of their flavor. If you buy too much of a spice, give it to someone you love!
The smallest touches, such as spreading mayonnaise well from edge to edge of the bread, can mean the difference in making your food “pop” with your guests. Often, through rushing, many people just put a smear of mayo on the bread. When it is spread out evenly, each bite of the sandwich will be delicious and full of flavor.
Use your own stock for more flavorful food. You can make stock in large quantities if you wish, then store it in bags and put it in the freezer. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
Brine is great to cook with. You soak your poultry in a this seasoned salt water bath for at least an hour before cooking in order to enhance the natural flavors of the bird.
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. Dull knives waste time and can mash food instead of cleanly slicing. Sharp knives are safer to use, too. Most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen are due to someone using a dull cutting utensils.
Eating oysters when they are fresh is always a good idea. The most common way to eat oysters is raw with lemon juice, there are many alternatives. You can crack open the oysters and put them in a broiler pan with their shells, then add a little bit of cream on top. Drop fresh black pepper and Parmesan on top of them, and place under the broiler until they start to bubble. You can also saute them. Lightly coat the oysters in seasoned flour, and then fry them in melted butter for two minutes, or until they are a light golden brown. Don’t remove oysters from their shells before baking. Put them into a casserole dish and then add some butter and breadcrumbs over the top. Put in the oven and bake for five minutes at 425 degrees. Once you see the juices and butter bubbling, serve immediately with a fresh toasted baguette.
Ensure that all of your spices and herbs are stored in a cool and dry area away from direct light. Heat and moisture can have an adverse effect on the taste of your spices. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
As previously stated, the best cooks are always learning. The real fun in cooking isn’t just rote memorization of recipes, but learning entirely new ways of looking at food. Help people around you by sharing your knowledge. Cooking tips should be shared, not only learned.
Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. You may even be able to prepare your ingredients a day or more in advance. There are many cases in which the flavor of the ingredients is actually improved by early preparation. Once you get in the habit of advanced prep, you may never return.