Many people view cooking as an annoyance. In this article there are suggestions and tips that will help make cooking an enjoyable part of your day.
When cooking with oil, add it not to the bottom but to the pan’s sides. This will allow the oil to heat up as it works its way down to the center. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Make a mixture of two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon corn starch. Simmer the sauce, and slowly stir the corn starch mixture in. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.
Do you often feel a bit guilty throwing out fruit that is rotten? Have you ever tried to salvage a fruit by slicing away the bad-looking part? Half-rotten fruit is not save worthy. There is no way to use this food without compromising your health. 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.
In order to have plenty of fresh fall apples for cooking, store them properly to keep them from spoiling. Warm dry air causes apples to rot, so put them in plastic bags with loose ties in a fridge or cool basement. Check your stored apples frequently, as one spoiling fruit can quickly ruin the rest in the bag if not promptly removed.
Having knives that are very sharp is essential when cooking. A dull knife will not only make it more difficult to slice and chop your ingredients, but it will also be a hazard to use. You are more likely to cut yourself by using a dull knife, as opposed to when cutting using a sharp knife.
A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.
A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.
Do you enjoy preparing dishes that contain fresh basil? If you want to keep it fresh, first place it in a glass. Fill the glass just enough with water so that the stems can absorb it. This will help to keep it from going bad for quite a few days. Frequent changes of the water might even encourage the basil to spread out some roots. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. The less time you take to cook them, the better your vegetables will be.
When you store flour, sugar or any type of baking mixes, always use airtight containers. Airtight containers keep your food fresh and protect it from bugs and bacterias. You can purchase them at many places, and they are well worth the money.
If you love using fresh basil, try growing it on your own to always have it on hand. You can cut basil by the stems, bunch it together, and put it in a glass. Submerge the stems in water. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. Remember to refresh the water from time to time, and you will notice that the basil starts to grow roots. You should also trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more.
When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth can be found at almost all local grocery stores at a very cheap price.
Avoid cooking foods in excessive oil when you are trying to become healthier or drop a few extra pounds. Many foods can be prepared in an alternative way that does not involve frying in oil. Unnecessary fats are contained in butters and oils. If you want to prepare your food in essentially the same fashion, substitute a non-fat cooking spray for the oil. These sprays are non-stick, and many have the flavors of your favorite oils infused.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Try to use as many fresh ingredients as you can, because they will bring out a lot more flavor in your dish, and they can be a lot less expensive in the long run as well.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. Try to use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream in place of milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
While garlic imparts a delicious flavor to your cooking, it may also leave a residual odor on your hands. After using garlic or other foods with odors that stick to your hands, all you need to do is rub your hands on a piece of stainless steel, like your sink. While ridding your hands of the garlic odor, it will also have the added benefit of preventing its transfer to other foods, as you cook.
When you are planning to make a meal that needs garlic, buy garlic that is fresh. Garlic that is fresh is sweeter than garlic that is not. To choose the freshest garlic, keep away from any cloves that are bruised, soft or have skins that feel too firm.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. Several wines suitable for cooking purposes are readily available in the market.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Plan to make a big pot of stock so you can freeze and store it. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.
If you are often pressed for time when making dinner, try doing a little preparation work before hand, perhaps on the night before you plan to cook the dinner. Try slicing up some vegetables and onions, then make a sauce or marinate the meat before going to sleep. With this done, you will have a major portion of the meal ready for the next step, which means less stress for you.
Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Chicken broth is an excellent base to use when preparing vegetable dishes that helps keep them from sticking and gives them some flavor. Chicken broth is economical and widely available.
Some ingredients can leave a rather strong odor on your cutting board. Mark one end, or side, of each cutting board so that you know which is which.
To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.
You should be as organized as possible when cooking to avoid burning food and other mistakes, which could be costly. Being organized with your cooking station can make it more productive. Unorganized cooks can easily make mistakes, lose or overlook buying important ingredients, and waste good money and food that could be used.
Stay organized in the kitchen to avoid easy mistakes, like overcooking or burning your food. You can be more productive, if your cooking station is well organized. Being disorganized can make it quite easy to make it impossible to find things when you need them, which makes you miss out on the goodies that you could be indulging in.
Before you cook any ground meat, blot up any excess moisture. It’s always a good plan to blot away wetness that is on ground meat. When ground meats are cooked, excess moisture can be released. The moisture will start to sizzle and steam away when it hits the heat of the pan. This will make the meat steam, instead of sear like you will want it to.
When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This will keep the herbs drier and lighter than chopped with a knife.
To add another dimension to homemade pasta sauce, use a little leftover pasta water. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. Before adding the sauce to the pasta, mix in the cooking water. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.
Tortillas can be heated up in several ways. The first way is to have a preheated oven, at 350 degrees, and bake the tortillas to your liking. Another suggestion is to place the tortilla directly over the burner above the flame on top of a gas stove. These methods make delicious and fresh tortillas.
Any ground meat that you buy should be blotted prior to cooking. It’s always a good plan to blot away wetness that is on ground meat. If you just let the moisture sit, it will affect how the meat cooks. This creates a sizzle on the surface of the meat. This causes your meat to be steamed, instead of seared the way it is intended.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you are cooking your meats properly. Each meat has minimum internal temperatures that are recommended so that it is safe to eat. If meats are not properly cooked, any bacteria present can grow and could possibly make you very sick if not killed during the cooking process.
Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. Doing this not only adds some flavor, but it also ensures that the herbs are right where they need to be, which is on the board. Remember to use moderation; you don’t want to add too much salt to your ingredients. The salt will stick to the herbs, adding some extra flavor to your dish.
You need to make sure that you cook a cake until it is thoroughly cooked. The time recommended on the box or in a recipe is a guide to be used with caution, because many factors, such as high altitudes, can have an effect on the actual time needed. A better way is to test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center 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.
Quality cutting utensils are a good investment for the kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. Dull knives cause more cuts and accidents than sharp ones.
Make it a habit to cook with fresh seasonings and herbs whenever possible. Dried herbs aren’t quite as conspicuous in more complex or layered dishes. If at all possible, however, go for the ones that are garden-fresh in order to enhance the flavor and impact of these things in your meals. One way to guarantee you will have fresh herbs is to have a herb garden.
Be sure not to overfill your pan when sauteing foods. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn’t allow it to saute or get crispy. Always saute over a low flame or low setting on your stove-top.
If you want to cook with a vegetable or fruit that you haven’t used before, take time to learn more about it. Do some research, and you might be surprised at how versatile the new food is. By taking the time to educate yourself, you will have fun, and also prevent any disasters in the kitchen!
Brine is an easy, handy method of cooking. Any poultry can be put in a brine for roughly an hour, to greatly improve the flavors in your meal.
Use beef or chicken stock in place of water in recipes to make food tastier. Or if you are using water, you can add some bouillon cubes for flavor. This gives the food you are cooking the necessary amount of moisture while also adding another level to the taste profile.
Set the oven timer as well as a watch timer. If you use a watch or a cellphone as a timer, you will be sure to hear the alarm go off even if you are out of the kitchen.
You might be very stressed out about preparing for an important family meal. Do not leave your preparations to the last minute and expect a miracle. Prepare your ingredients as far in advance as the foods will allow for, making sure to store them properly upon completion. You can put out all the ingredients you are going to use, and have your measurements and marinades all ready to go.
As you’ve read in the text above, it’s easy to transform what you once thought of as a chore into something rewarding and entertaining. Use this advice to start cooking creatively, you will find that it’s actually fun!
If you are working with foods that have strong odors, such as fish, garlic or onions, remove the smell from your hands by rubbing them on something that is stainless steel, prior to washing them. The stainless steel will help to remove the offending odor restoring your hands’ freshness. You can find stainless steel on your kitchen sink basin, on cutlery or even in specially designed stainless-steel soap bars.