Have you ever wondered how the chef prepared your meals at your favorite restaurant? Perhaps you have made your attempts to make it at home yourself? When you follow these tips, you will be able to replicate your favorite dishes and create new favorites of your own. Cooking is a great hobby for having a fun and relaxing time and can be done by all types of people.
If you are first embarking on a quest to prepare more of your own food, head to the nearest library or bookstore and find a cookbook with simple, basic recipes that you will enjoy preparing. Create at your own pace and allow for patience as you get the trick of cooking down.
Getting thin strips of meat is a lot easier if you partially freeze the meat first. This is especially helpful if you are preparing an Oriental dish. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don’t extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. After slicing the meat, allow it to completely thaw to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. This color means that the sugar has caramelized within the pie crust and will have a crunchy and sweet flavor.
If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. That would be a bad time to experiment with the unknown, whether it is an untried recipe or ingredient. By doing so, you eliminate much of the stress of preparing the meal.
Anytime you use meat for a stir-fry, make sure to slice the meat as thinly as you can and make your cut on the bias. This is not easy to do and could take some time. Wait for the meat to get slightly firm and remove it from the freezer, then slice diagonally, cutting across the grain at an angle of roughly 45 degrees.
Do you cook with fresh basil? Gather a bunch and put it into a glass. Fill the container with enough water to cover the stems. Basil will stay fresh in bowl of water for up to four weeks. If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. You can cut the basil every once in a while in order to spur further growth, thereby making basil available for even longer.
A good tip when cooking with oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it’s already hot when it slides down into the food. This helps to bring out the flavor in your food.
It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Whenever possible, incorporate fresh ingredients; they enhance the flavor of other ingredients and may even be less expensive.
Lengthy cooking processes such as boiling remove many of the important nutrients found in vegetables. To preserve a vegetable nutritious value, cook quickly by either steaming or sauteing it. Ideally you should consume the vegetable in its raw state.
They will soak up much of the water, as if they were a sponge. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.
For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.
Although garlic is a great flavor booster that compliments a wide variety of foods, it can unfortunately stick to your hands. Rub your hands on the stainless steel interior of your sink to get rid of the smell right away. Not only does this clean your hands, but it also stops the unwanted smells from getting into other foods you are about to handle.
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. The more fresh ingredients you use in your cooking, the better your dishes will be. Fresh ingredients have more flavor, and are less costly than frozen and canned ingredients.
You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Check recipes to find out what can be prepared ahead of time without risking spoilage. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. Even if you are faced with a challenging recipe, it can make everything go quickly.
When cooking vegetables, try cooking them in chicken broth. By using chicken broth instead of water, you will add extra flavor to your vegetables. There is not a lot of expense when buying chicken broth, and most grocers carry it.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.
Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! You can find these ingredients easily and incorporate them to many different recipes. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. Make beans a less boring source of protein by including some herbs when you boil them.
When you are using wooden skewers in cooking, soak them for at least half an hour before putting the veggies on them. That way, they will not burn during the cooking process. Use two parallel skewers as opposed to a single skewer to keep food intact.
Put any of the unripened fruits you buy in a plastic bag with small holes on the bag. As they ripen, they will create ethylene gas. With holes fitted in the bag, the gas is allowed to escape. The air will circulate, and the gas will not harm the fruit’s natural taste.
Add the seasonings a little at a time throughout the cooking process. Doing this helps the food get the most flavor and more out of the ingredients you used.
When cutting herbs, sprinkle a little salt onto your chopping board first. Salt will not only add flavor to your herbs, but it will keep the herbs on the cutting board. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.
When you want to chop herbs, sprinkle some salt on your cutting board. This keeps your herbs on the cutting board and can add a bit of flavor, as well. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
Even the simple things can make the family go wow, like spreading mayo evening completely across a piece of bread. A haphazard chef might just rush through and slop a dollop of mayonnaise in the middle of the bread and call it done. Even distribution of mayonnaise makes each bite delicious.
Keep your wood cutting board in tip-top shape. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. A wooden cutting board will be ruined if it is placed into water. You can find oil designed for cutting boards to maintain yours. Let the board dry thoroughly before you use it.
There are some ways to properly take care of a cutting board made of wood. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. You should not ever leave your board submerged in water, rather apply a wet sponge to clean it. If you have a damaged cutting board, you should purchase an oil product that is designed for cutting board restoration. Store in a cool dry place until the product has completely dried.
Spices and herbs should be kept in a dark place that is cool and dry. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
When you prepare a simple dish, be sure to use herbs and seasoning that are fresh. Elaborate dishes with multiple flavors can really be enhanced by using dried herbs, oregano and basil are great ones to use. Fresh herbs are still preferred, and they will provide a much better taste to your dish. If you love to cook, create an herb garden, which will provide you with a variety of quality herbs any time you choose.
Using brine in your food preparation is a culinary secret that can make your dishes go from bland to bursting with flavor. Soak chicken, turkey and game poultry in salt water for an hour to create a more flavorful dish.
If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. A little research can show you a whole new world of different foods. Teaching yourself prior to beginning any kitchen task will get you more fun out of your experience.
Set both your oven timer and the timer on your watch. If you engage in another activity away from your oven, you will hear your watch timer beep.
Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. One of the things that you can do is create components of your meals in advance. Sometimes the longer prep time results in deeply flavored dishes. Once you get used to prepping ahead of time, you will always do it.
To avoid a greasy mess when reheating dishes that include oil, place them in the oven instead of using the microwave. The concentrated heat in a microwave causes oil to separate from other food ingredients. The result of this will be a dish that is no longer as flavorful as it was in the beginning. Baking, in contrast, keeps this from happening.
Oysters are best when served fresh, but consider the different ways to prepare them. Oysters are typically enjoyed in their raw state, and perhaps with a squeeze of lemon juice. This should not deter you from experimenting with them! For example, you can place oysters on a half shell in a broiler pan and cover with cream. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper, place under broiler until bubbling. Another option is to saute the oysters. Sprinkle them with some seasoned flour and place in the frying pan with melted butter until the are golden brown, which normally takes about two minutes. Don’t remove oysters from their shells before baking. Place the oysters in a large casserole dish then, add fresh breadcrumbs and a small dab of butter on top of each oyster. Allow the oysters to bake between four and five minutes at 425 degrees. When the juices and butter start bubbling, serve very hot along with a baguette that is toasted.
To help your cooking go smoothly, you should take the time to prepare the ingredients you will need before hand. That way, you won’t be halfway into a recipe and lack something you require. It doesn’t take longer to prepare beforehand, but it can certainly save time as you go.
If you want to rid your fridge of leftover vegetables and meats the night before grocery shopping, mix them up in a wok with fried rice. Rice that is cool and one day old usually works best, but fresh rice can still be used if the water level is dropped just a little so the rice is slightly drier. Take your leftovers and start frying them in a small amount of oil. Once this mixture is heated up a bit, add the rice. Mix thoroughly before adding in the seasonings of your choice. Common additions include ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick and soy sauce.
Use ketchup in batters for fried foods. Not only is ketchup good for dipping food into after they’re cooked, it’s also good when you dip food into it before putting them in breadcrumbs. Ketchup will add an unexpected tangy element to fried food and will prompt your friends to ask for your secret.
If you are trying to measure a sticky substance, cooking oil can help. Prior to measuring, coat the spoon in the oil, like canola, so that the substance can slide off easier without waste and making a mess. This works well for peanut butter and honey, as well as other sticky foods.
Educate yourself on the potential of colors in your meal preparation. You will increase the visual appeal of your dishes and vary the beneficial nutrients found in different colored foods. A range of vibrant garnishments exists that you can use, from carrot curls to parsley. Be creative with color, and people will eat the food in no time.
Get out the cooking oil when measuring sticky foods. Before you even measure, add a little cooking oil to the spoon, such as canola, and the thing being measured will fall off the spoon easier, so that way you won’t have any waste and cleaning up is easier. This will work great for peanut butter and honey too.
Try using saffron while you are experimenting with spices. Saffron can create a sunny flavor that no other spice can. It’s popularity has stretched over centuries; it’s never lost its charm. Because it is so highly desired, it is also the most costly spice you can buy.
You have now taken the steps to become a great chef at home. Feel free to experiment with all the new imaginative ideas you have with meals and recipes. Considering all the various foods that the world’s many cultures provide, there is no end to the combinations you can cook up.
It is easy to keep your cooked pancakes and waffles warm while you finish cooking the batch. A 300 degree oven is an appropriate temperature. Place your breakfast goodies on a platter, and leave them in the oven to stay warm until they are ready to eat.