Many folks can view cooking as quite a troublesome chore. This article will show you how you can do exactly that.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. Humidity, heat, and light all affect the flavor of your spices. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If you store them properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
If you are just starting out with cooking, consider doing your research at your local library. There are plenty of cookbooks with simple recipes available. Experiment with a few, and be patient; remember, you’re learning new skills.
A good tip when using cooking oil is to put some on the sides of the pan while cooking. This way, it will already be hot when it gets near the food. Using this technique ensures that your food will have more flavor.
Keep spices in a dark and cool place. If they are stored in an area that they are exposed to light, heat and humidity, their shelf life is shortened. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
Apples are very popular in cooking in fall and winter, but the spoilage rate is high if they are not stored correctly. To properly store them, you should keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool temperature. Be sure to remove any spoiled apples as soon as you spot them, or the entire batch will end up rotten.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. This is perfect for meals that require really thin meat such as Chinese or Thai dishes. Partially freezing meat keep the fibers in meat from stretching and tearing resulting in perfectly sliced strips. Make sure that you let the meat thaw before cooking, so the meat is cooked evenly.
Do you plan on cooking with fresh basil? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Now fill the glass with water to just above the stems. Next, place the basil and glass on the kitchen counter; the herb will remain fresh for a week or more. If you change the water occasionally, the basil will even grow roots in the water. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.
Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. Dull knives can actually be dangerous to use and the certainly make chopping difficult. If you have to work on forcing a dull knife to go through something, you’re much more likely to accidentally cut yourself in the process than with the one quick, clean cut of a sharpened knife.
Fresh foods are always a better choice than frozen or dried ones regardless of what type of food you are cooking. You will save plenty of money by buying fresh vegetables and other ingredients, and your food will also taste more flavorful.
Crispier fries come from potatoes that have been left to soak in ice cold water for about 30 minutes. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Look through your recipes and determine whether or not certain steps can be completed beforehand. Much of the preparation can be done the day before it is needed. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
By doing so, the mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.
Use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for your cooking for the best results. Use any fresh ingredients that are available. They are not only tastier in general, but they also tend to be cheaper, as well.
The simplest way to prepare a pumpkin for cooking is to half it by cutting the pumpkin in half. Next, set each of the two pieces on a separate baking sheet, taking care to place each one cut side down. Sprinkle the baking sheets with a little water and allow the pumpkin to bake for an hour at 350 Fahrenheit.
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. You will clean your hands and stop smells from rubbing off on other foods.
Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.
Do not use a random amount of cooking oil. To lower the amount of fat in your cooking, be sure to carefully measure the amount of oil that you use when you cook, instead of simply pouring from the bottle into a pan. This lets you keep an eye on just how much oil you use.
When unpacking your groceries, place any unripened fruits in perforated bags. 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.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. You should also provide a large variety of dressings to serve your guests.
Make certain all your utensils are cleaned prior to cooking. If there is any food left on the dish after you wash it, it could contaminate the next dish you use it in. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
Store spices and herbs in cool and dark areas so their freshness and flavors are preserved. Using a cabinet over the stove to store herbs and spices will cause them to lose their flavor and you will lose money too.
Use your own stock for more flavorful food. Make a large amount and store it in the freezer. By doing this, you’ll always have homemade stock available whenever you are in the mood to cook soup. If you prepare your own, homemade stock, you will be cutting out all of the preservatives of canned versions.
Make the most of your holiday feast by reusing the leftover turkey. Instead, cut the turkey into smaller pieces, store it in a container that’s airtight, and freeze it. Doing this will keep the turkey fresh for several weeks, and it can be made into a sandwich or a salad whenever you want.
When preparing pasta, it is important to add salt to the pot of water. Seasoning will impregnate the pasta more efficiently while it cooks. Salting pasta after cooking will not be as effective in enhancing the flavor.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. Poorly organized supplies cause confusion and mess. It is a good idea to have separate storage space for similar items. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
Sprinkle a small amount of salt over your cutting board surface before chopping your herbs. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Don’t put too much salt on the board, though. Don’t add salt later, either, as there should be enough absorbed when you are chopping. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.
Many veggies and herbs leave strong scents and plant oils on your cutting board that are very difficult to remove completely. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. You need to allow the coals to reach a medium heat. Once the desired temperature has been reached they should be covered with ash. This is the best temperature for grilling.
Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. Share your spices with friends or relatives if you will not use as much as you buy.
The act of tying a turkey with a string is called trussing. This prevents the legs and wings from moving too far away from the main body, which can cause it to cook unevenly. If the legs and wings aren’t tied down, they tend to easily burn while the body of the bird continues to cook.
High quality cutlery and knives are worth the expense. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. Dull knives have caused many more accidents than nice, sharp ones.
A better way is to use the oven timer as well as a watch timer. That way you won’t be able to go out of range and forget that you have something in the oven.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. It helps to keep the legs and wings of the turkey close so that the bird cooks more evenly. If left untied, the turkey’s legs and wings may burn before the breasts and thighs are done.
Cooling racks that stack on top of one another are greatly beneficial in the kitchen. This will save you space, especially if you are planning on baking a lot of cookies. This is why you should use these cooling racks so that you can have more space. Using stacking cooling racks enable you to allow your baked goods to cool without sacrificing counter space.
When herbs and seasonings are prominent in a dish, use fresh ones if possible. Basil and oregano are great additions to any type of dish for their zesty flavors and aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, fresh herbs will brighten any dish and improve its flavor. Consider planting your own herbs to guarantee a fresh and steady supply.
Try baking dishes that are oily, versus microwaving them when they need reheated to avoid greasy messes. Microwave radiation heats oil faster than the rest of the leftovers, which means the oil starts separating from all other ingredients involved. If you bake the dish instead you are cooking it all at the same rate, which will result in better tasting food and less mess.
Use both the timer on your oven and a timer that can be carried with you, such as the type found on a watch. Using these timers or a stopwatch can make sure you hear that beep anywhere.
When you are creaming together butter and sugar to make cookies, make sure you have softened butter, but you don’t want it melted. If it did melt, just put it in the freezer until it hardens a little bit, or you can refrigerate the mixed dough, as well. An added benefit to using cool dough is that your cookies will maintain their proper shape.
To circumvent a greasy mess when reheating a leftover meal that contains oil, place the meal in your oven it and bake it instead of reheating in the microwave. Because microwaves have intense heat, oil separates from other ingredients because it heats faster. Baking, however, heats a dish slowly and consistently, preventing the ingredients from separating.
While dark, leafy vegetables provide superior nutrition, they can sometimes prove cumbersome or difficult to prepare. The stems are tough and take forever to remove. To make it easy, fold the leaf lengthwise and remove the stem through the middle. For particularly tough stems, use a knife and cut the stems out while the leaf is folded. Either way you do it, when the leaf is unfolded, you are left with a green with no stem.
There are many suggestions covered in this article that show how cooking can become a fun part of the day. Following the advice presented above will help you see cooking as way to get creative, instead of it being boring and annoying.
Most of the time, people apply too much salt in their recipes before even tasting them. If this happens to you, do not worry! Throw some cut up potatoes into what it is that you are making, and let them cook for approximately 15 minutes. Those potatoes will absorb all the extra salt. Try adding tomatoes to the mixture to reduce saltiness.