Do you ever think that your kitchen feels boring? Cooking for the love of it can change your perspective. You will enjoy the time spent in your kitchen and gain something from it. You can become a skilled cook, eat better, and save money at the same time. Here are some suggestions to consider.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.
Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.
If you are cooking a dish in oil and need to add more to the pan, drizzle it around the sides. This way, the oil heats up before it reaches the food. This helps to bring out the delicious flavors in your food after you are done cooking.
Being organized is a key step when planning to prepare a meal for family or friends. Gather all the ingredients beforehand. Put everything you need to cook the dish out the night before. Make sure you have all the cooking equipment and ingredients required. This can help relax everything so that you can make something great.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. By leaving the potatoes to soak up cold water, the fibers are reinforced. This makes it so when you fry them, they’ll withstand the heat better and won’t break down completely.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. When the meat is partially frozen, it is much easier to slice and doesn’t tear or stretch. However, to ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make sure that the meat is thawed before you cook it.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed potatoes. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Vegetables that are slowly and thoroughly cooked, are less tasty and nutritious than vegetables that are cooked briefly. These cooking techniques tend to preserve the health benefits of vegetables in general. Learning to give them just a quick steam is the best way to cook them.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Let your stock cool off and pour it inside Ziploc bags.
If you love using fresh basil, try growing it on your own to always have it on hand. Store the basil within a glass. Make sure the the stems are completely covered with water. You could let it sit on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. If you are sure to add fresh water, your basil will even form roots and become a plant. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
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. This way, you don’t burn them when you are cooking with them. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
It has a wide variety of cooking uses, even outside the combination with meat. Try using it to season roasted potatoes or chickpeas. Everyone will wonder what your secret is.
When cooking pumpkins, stand them upright and cut them halfway down the middle. Next, you want to use two cookie-sheet type pans. On each pan, place one half of the pumpkin with the side that is cut facing down. Place a tiny bit of water on each sheet, then bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
When burgers and other foods become stuck to the grill grates, it can be hard to loosen them without damaging the food. Because of this, you should use vegetable oil to brush the grill prior to cooking so that you can prevent the meat from sticking.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Rather than using milk, think about yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
Make a lot of stock if you are going to make it ahead of time. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
Don’t use a type of wine in your meal that is a kind you wouldn’t drink regularly. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. If you want a safe bet, most liquor stores carry cooking wines.
Skewers should always be soaked in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes before they are used in cooking. This way, they won’t burn while cooking. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
When making a big dinner for family and friends, start the preparations for the meal the day before. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed on the day of the dinner. You can cut up vegetables and onions, marinate your meat or make a sauce in the evening before you head off to sleep. You will more prepared to cook your meal the next day, and will experience less stress!
Be sure to read labels when purchasing ingredients for recipes. Many often-used ingredients contain hidden, unhealthy ingredients. You need to see to it that the ingredients are not high in sugar or sodium because both may cause complications to your health if consumed in large quantities.
You need to stay organized when you are cooking, so that you can be sure the food is as great as it can be and that nothing burns. An organized cooking station is a productive cooking station. Also, organize your refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying unnecessary items that will eventually be thrown out.
When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. Cut up the meat instead, put it in a container, and freeze it. This will keep the turkey fresh for a month or more, and can be easily thawed to use in sandwiches, soups, and salads.
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This makes the herbs fluffier and lighter, and not wet like they would be if they were chopped.
Fresh herbs in a meal are delicious. Bunch them together and then use a pair of scissors to snip them. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
To make your pasta sauce a little better, use some of the water that you cooked your noodles in. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.
Be sure to keep your dishes clean as you cook to avoid a lengthy clean up. To make it easy, just have one sink filled with soapy water and fill the other side with rinse water. If you wash bowls and silverware right away it is easier, and plus you’ll be able to use them again right away if they are needed.
You do not need to cook something elaborate to impress others. A simple sandwich with mayo or mustard perfectly spread to each corner of the bread can make a lasting impression. Often, condiments are haphazardly squirted onto only the center of the bread. If you spread condiments evenly, your sandwiches will have more flavor.
Stay creative and have fun when cooking. It is not always about following a recipe letter for letter. You can add a little something, or replace an ingredient you don’t like. It may end up tasting better than the original! That’s how real cooks do it!
It is important to properly care for your wood cutting board if you want it to last a long time. Heat, dryness, and excess moisture can cause a wooden cutting board to warp and split. Don’t submerge your board in water to clean it. Use a sponge and warm soapy water instead. Try oiling your damaged board regularly in order to restore it. Let the board dry thoroughly before you use it.
When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. You should start preparing your grill around 30 minutes before you put the food on. The coals should have a coating of ash and be at a medium heat. Grilling at this temperature is ideal.
You can get nice, crispy tortillas in a few different ways. The first way is to turn your oven on at 350 degrees and place the tortilla on the rack directly until it’s as crispy as you want it. Or you can place a tortilla directly over the flame when you are cooking with a gas stove top. These ways of cooking tortillas make them taste fresher.
Buying quality knives is an important investment in your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. With a bit of homework, you will learn a lot of new things to do with a new kind of food. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.
If you are cooking for an important person, make sure you cook something that’s both fancy and you know how to cook well. Don’t try to over impress by cooking something out of the ordinary or it could backfire. Whether it’s a loved one, in-laws or a boss, you still want to give off a good impression with your cooking. The best way to make them happy would be to cook a great meal, so make sure you cook something you are familiar with.
Getting a meal ready for a gathering involving a lot of family is something that can stress you out tremendously. Give yourself a head start by doing as much as possible beforehand. This way you won’t be overwhelmed and flustered by all you have to do on the big day. Set out measured ingredients and marinades.
Mold these ideas into your own methods and meals and feel free to experiment whenever possible. Take the time to learn how to cook, and your family should truly enjoy gathering around the dinner table every day. Taking up cooking is not only good for you but great fun as well. Make sure your kitchen is the hub of your home.
If you wish to remove strong food odors from your hands, simply rub them on a piece of stainless steel prior to washing them with soap and water. You can purchase a small bar made for this purpose, but you can also use a spoon or rub the basin of your stainless steel sink. Doing this will kill the strong odor on your hands.