How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. Exposure to humidity, light and heat all affect the flavor of your spices. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Spices that are not ground can keep their flavors for 3 to 5 years. Their changes at longevity increase with proper storage.
If you want to use skewers when cooking, remember these helpful hints. If you are choosing to use a metal skewer you can choose from round or flattened skewers. Skewers that are not round will better hold food in place on the skewer.
During cooking, it’s essential that you have sharp knives accessible. If you try to cut using a dull knife, you will have a lot of difficulty, and it can also a very dangerous. A sharp knife, however, makes quick and clean work of vegetables, meat, and anything else that you’re cutting. You won’t have to force the issue; a sharp knife glides through the task.
If you are going to stir-fry meat, be sure to have it cut on the bias and finely sliced. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. Take the meat out of the freezer once it firms up (not frozen) then cut at an angle of 45 degrees across the grainy part of the meat.
Always cook what you know whenever you are cooking for someone special. That would be a bad time to experiment with the unknown, whether it is an untried recipe or ingredient. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Your culinary preparations will taste better if your spices are fresh.
Do you ever feel bad for disposing of fruit with a little mold on it? Ever thought if you could just pick out the mold and salvage the fruit? Never try to salvage fruit that is past its prime. Throw them away because mold grows much deeper than you can see and moldy food can make you very sick.
Do you ever hesitate to toss moldy food? Can you cut out the rotten areas or moldy areas and still eat the fruit? Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to save fruit that has begun to rot. The bacteria that causes mold goes deeper than you think, so it’s always best to throw away food with even the smallest of mold spots.
Apples spoil quickly if stored incorrectly. Store them in your fridge or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied, as they tend to spoil in dry warm areas. Make sure to inspect your apples regularly, as one rotten apple means that the others are soon to follow.
Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. Cauliflowers look very similar to potatoes in texture and color when they are mashed. It will allow you to have a delicious side dish that is healthier and still flavorful.
By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Browse through your recipes and see what parts can be prepared early, without fear of spoiling. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. This will enable you to enjoy the process of creating dishes that ordinarily would be a real task.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Try using a clean, wet cloth and wiping them off instead.
Garlic is amazing, but comes at the cost of smelly hands. To remove the odor, simply take your hands and rub them against the sides of a stainless-steel sink. This works for garlic and for other foods that leave behind a strong odor on your hands. This removes the scent from your hands; it also prevents the odor from being transferred to other foods.
Garlic is a tasty ingredient that has a flavor that can, unfortunately, transfer to your hands. To remove it, rub your hands along the inside of a stainless sink or bowl . This will remove the scent from your hands and stop it from transferring.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
Do you ever have difficulty determining how long you should grill your meat? A meat thermometer, digital if possible, is always a great idea. This way you can ensure that the inside of the meat is also cooking well. Thicker cuts of meat should be cooked with the grill lid shut, in order to reduce the amount of time cooking and maximize juiciness.
Read labels when shopping for recipe ingredients. A lot of items you purchase at the grocery store will have a laundry list of unwanted substances in there. By reading the labels, you can check to see if the product contains sugars or sodium in high amounts. Sugars and sodium can be detrimental to your health if over consumed.
Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. To avoid this possibility, you can apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the grill before cooking.
You can dry out your own tomatoes. To be able to dry them yourself, cut the tomatoes half an inch thick, or you should cut Romas lengthwise in half. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Next, the tomatoes need to spend about 10 hours in an oven set to 190 degrees. Put a cookie sheet under the rack before it goes in. Finally, place your dried tomatoes in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. You can store dried tomatoes in an olive oil filled jar. Add fresh herbs for seasoning. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
Keep in mind that tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein when you want to add more protein to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. Seasoned tofu is a wonderful alternative to meat, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan frying. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.
When you finish a turkey meal, always make sure you save what remains. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
Read nutrition labels when you buy foods. A lot of ingredients that are common to cook with have hidden, unhealthy ingredients. Too much salt, sugar, and those dreaded unpronounceable chemicals can really alter the flavors of dishes and be generally unhealthy for you.
You should consider replacing your spices about twice a year. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Label the ending of your chopping board by marking it with ink. This will help you to identify the different sides of the board.
If you purchase fruit that is still green and want it to ripen quickly, put it in a plastic bag with perforations. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. This will keep them drier and less heavy than if they are chopped.
To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. Doing so will give you the best stock for any dish that calls for it. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.
If you are planning a complex meal, reduce your stress by doing the prep the night before. Make sure you have every ingredient you need, and measure out spices or herbs. Cut veggies as necessary. This way, you won’t have to do the tedious tasks when you are ready to cook.
Impress family and friends when you make a simple sandwich just by spreading the mayonnaise evenly on the entire slice of bread. Take your time spreading mayo. Don’t just dump a spoonful of mayonnaise into the center of a sandwich. When you take the time to spread them evenly across the entire slice of bread, you ensure that every bite contains maximum flavor.
Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. Once it’s been cooked, the pasta will be harder to season properly.
If you’re going to be barbecuing, it’s a good idea to prepare your grill beforehand so that it’s already ready for you when you need it. Start prepping your grill roughly 30 minutes or more before you decide to start cooking. The heat should be moderate and the charcoal should be a little ashy. This is optimum grilling temperature.
If you saute a food, don’t overload the pan. Excessive moisture can steam food, instead of actually sauteing it. You need to make certain you are sauteing items at a lower temperature.
Be careful to neither over-bake nor under-bake your cake! Though recommended cooking times are a great guideline for novice cake bakers, they can be misleading, because factors such as elevation can impact the actual cook time of the cake. To determine if your cake is done, use a toothpick or clean knife blade to find out. Poke it gently into the center of the cake. If the toothpick is clean and dry, your cake is done. If it is covered in batter, leave it in a little longer.
Do not overcook or undercook your cake. The times on the recipe are great as a guide for cooking, but factors like elevation and various oven temperatures can effect the actual cooking time of cakes. Instead, take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. It needs to come out clean to know the cake is baked all the way through, but if batter sticks to it, the cake will need to bake longer.
Try reheating foods that contain lots of oil rather than microwaving them to avoid having a greasy mess. When you cook foods in the microwave, there is a huge surge of heat, which will cause the oil (that heats the quickest) to start to separate from all of the other ingredients. Baking, on the other hand, slowly and consistently reheats the whole dish, keeping its flavors and ingredients cohesive.
Buy a cooling rack that is able to be stacked. If you bake large batches, the cooling baked goods often take up every spare inch of space in your kitchen. That’s why you want to have stackable cooking racks at the ready. Thinking vertically makes your kitchen more space efficient.
If you want to infuse a bit of flavor into your food as you are cooking it, substitute beef or chicken stock for water. Bouillon cubes dissolved in the appropriate amount of water will also work. Doing this will allow your food to get the moisture it needs but also add another level of flavor to the dish.
The tips you just read about, can be put to good use if your incorporate them into your meals. Once you try them, you’ll be assured that cooking isn’t that bad after all! Preparing attractive, tasty meals may even become a hobby you enjoy. You will look forward to trying new recipes and cooking techniques. Consider trying your hand at cooking.
Use soft butter not melted butter when creaming sugar and butter to make cookies. If the butter has melted, you should allow it to briefly harden in the freezer. An alternative is to mix the butter with the other ingredients, then allow the dough or batter to sit in the refrigerator. The advantage of cooling your dough is that when you bake the cookies, they will not spread out as much.