Cooking is an activity that just about anyone can have fun with. Cooking is as simple as purchasing the ingredients you will need, and following a recipe step by step. Can you lay your hands on a few basic items to cook with? If you have the ability to follow the steps listed, you too can cook. If you are looking to take your culinary skills a bit further, see the tips below for some advice of how to effortlessly make delicious dishes that you and your family will love.
As with many other things in life, one of the keys to making great meals for your family is preparation. Look at your recipe, and ensure that you aren’t missing any ingredients. The day before your meal, get your kitchen into cooking mode and hunt down your favorite utensils, pots and pans. This can seriously reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for keeping herbs and spices. The flavor of herbs and spices will be diminished if they are subjected to humidity, heat, or light. It is normally the rule that spices that are ground lose their flavor after they keep for around a year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.
Sharp knives are an essential tool. Dull knives, in addition to being ineffective, are actually very dangerous. If you’re trying to slice a firm vegetable with a blunted knife, you’re more likely to cut yourself with it than you are if you use a sharp knife.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. However, when you are ready to start cooking and have a deadline for when your meal needs to be finished, it can be a bit stressful. You can help lessen the potential stress by getting all your prep work done early.
Cooking vegetables for long periods of time causes them to lose a lot of the nutrients that are found in them. Quick cooking methods like steaming and sauteing will retail flavor and nutrients better. You can also enjoy vegetables in their raw state to get a boost of natural energy!
If you are learning to cook for yourself or your family, pick up a cookbook from your bookstore or library. Look for one that has basic, easy recipes that will be fun to cook. Try different recipes until you come up with something that works for you.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. This can require some time and some effort. When the meat is firm, not frozen, slice it across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
While garlic imparts a delicious flavor to your cooking, it may also leave a residual odor on your hands. However, rub your hands inside a stainless steel basin when you have finished working with any strong-odor ingredient. This will take the scent off of you hands.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. For Asian meals, such as Thai and Chinese dishes, this technique creates strips that are particularly ideal. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don’t extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. However, you must allow the sliced meat time to thaw out before the cooking process, so it cooks evenly.
Keep flour, sugar and other items for baking in tins with seals that keep the air out. You should keep your foods stored in a air tight container so they stay fresh for a long time. Almost every store has some form of them, and they are usually inexpensive.
It is important to have sharp knives when cooking. Knives that have not been sharpened in a while can not only pose a threat to your health, but also a threat to smashing your food. When you use a dull knife, you often have to force the blade through whatever you are cutting. Using a sharp knife is much easier and safer.
A super healthy, and tasty, veggie dish is simply sauteed veggies in some chicken broth. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. Try this next time you cook vegetables for a great meal.
Many people love the taste of garlic, but cooks are more ambivalent about it because its scent sticks to the hands. Rub your hands along the metal rim of your sink in order to get the odor off your hands after handling pungent food ingredients, such as garlic. This will remove the scent from your hands and stop it from transferring.
If you are preparing a recipe that calls for milk or water, try substituting with an alternate liquid to add new flavor to your meals. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Using different liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.
Do you have trouble deciding how long to grill your meat? Using a meat thermometer can help ensure that your meat is cooked thoroughly. Put the grill lid on to reduce cooking time for cuts that are more than an inch and a half thick.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. This makes the flavor of the food the best it can be and you will get everything out of each individual ingredient.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. Brushing vegetable oil on the grill will help keep your food from sticking.
If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. The amount dressing that people prefer on their salad varies so allow guests to add their own dressing. Also, try and include different types of dressings.
Prepare things the day before if you cannot handle doing everything in one night. You could pre-cut the vegetables, pre-mix the sauce, or even prepare the meat marinade prior to heading off to bed. You will be much less stressed and more ready to cook the next day.
If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
If you prefer to use spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a cool, dark place, so their freshness and flavor is preserved. If you put them above the oven, or in another warm place, the spices and herbs will not retain their flavor.
Substituting another liquid for milk or water can help give your meals a new flavor. When a recipe calls for water, you can try chicken or beef broths. You may even want to try something like juice. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.
If you have turkey for a meal, whether it’s on a holiday or another occasion, make sure you keep the leftovers. Instead of tossing out the leftovers, store them in a container that is airtight and place in the freezer. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.
Measure your cooking oil! Make sure you measure out your oil to cut some of the fat that you cook with; do not pour it straight from the bottle. This allows you to keep a strict amount of oil, instead of overdoing it.
Let your meal sit for a while. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of letting a meal sit for a while. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. Let your meal sit and cool off for a couple minutes before serving.
If you do not have time to cook for your family, prepare things in advance. You could pre-cut the vegetables, pre-mix the sauce, or even prepare the meat marinade prior to heading off to bed. Doing the prep work ahead of time will decrease stress, and increase your enjoyment of finishing the meal.
When chopping fresh herbs, try sprinkling a bit of salt over the cutting board before you begin. Salt will not only add flavor to your herbs, but it will keep the herbs on the cutting board. To avoid serving a dish that is too salty, do not add extra salt to the meal you are preparing. The salt you put on the board will stick to the herbs and add a bit of flavor.
If you know that your home made salsa will not be used right away, take the time to rinse and dry the chopped onions before adding them to the salsa. If you use fresh onions, they are going to release a sulfurous gas. If you wait long enough until the onions start emitting gas, your salsa could be ruined. By running water over the onions and then drying them off, you get rid of the gas.
Get rid of the moisture on your ground meat by blotting it out before you begin cooking it. Blotting away the moisture on ground meat is always a good idea. Leaving it can cause the liquid to release when cooking. Basically it just burns away. This leads to the meat getting steamed, instead of what you want, which is to sear it.
To save time in cooking, do your prepping ahead of time. You can often prepare ingredients for upcoming meals a day or two in advance. For certain meals, it is imperative to engage in longer preparation times to yield the best flavors. Once you get used to prepping ahead of time, you will always do it.
After you finish cooking, let your meal rest and soak in the juices. Many people do not realize that it is important to let a meal rest. It can be tempting to serve a meal straight off the grill. However, you will miss out on great food if you do. Let the meal be for a few minutes, and give it time it cool off.
If you’re cooking for someone of importance, do not try your hand at an untested recipe, no matter how much you would like to impress your guest with a gourmet meal. For a boss, new in-laws or a love interest, you should impress them using your cooking skills. Spend additional time preparing the dish to make it extraordinary for this special person.
Wooden Cutting Board
One way to eliminate odors when working with fish, garlic or onions is to use stainless steel as a base to rub them, and then wash them. It does not matter if you use a spoon, a side of your stainless-steel sink, or a “soap bar” made of stainless-steel; rubbing your hand on it neutralizes the undesirable smell and freshens your hands.
Make sure that you maintain your wooden cutting board. Your cutting board can split or warp if it is exposed to excessive moisture, heat, or extreme dryness. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. Make sure that the cutting board has completely dried before using.
Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. You will also have all the ingredients you need on hand. It takes much less time to plan everything out in advance than it does to stop in the middle of cooking to search for that necessary ingredient.
Cooking can be a hobby, a skill, and a profession. The ways to cook food are endless. And the best advice comes from people who can share the techniques that make them good at their skills and talents. Make use of this advice next time you need to cook something!
Fruit grills really well. Load up a kebab with sliced fruits such as melons, peaches, nectarines, and pears. Keep grilling them until grill marks show up. Place atop grilled pound cake or on ice cream to serve.