Not everyone knows how to cook, but everyone eats! This article offers a variety of useful tips and tricks for becoming a better cook. Don’t be afraid to try new things in your kitchen. Cooking is an essential skill that can serve as a relaxing and exciting stress-reliever. You should have fun with these tips and should not worry about making an exquisite mess in your kitchen every so often.
When cooking a large meal for a family gathering or dinner party, preparation is key. Take an inventory to be sure that everything that you will need is available. Assemble utensils and other needed equipment before you start to cook. Taking the time to prepare yourself will guarantee that the meal will be a success.
Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
Has it ever seemed like you were wasting food when you threw away fruits that were moldy? Can you save the rest of the fruit if you cut away the moldy, rotten part? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. You should dispose of any rotten fruit, as mold penetrates further than the naked eye can see. Rotting food can carry a number of pathogens, so it is best to avoid the risk.
Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. It may be difficult to do. Retrieve the meat after it has firmed a bit, and cut thin slices across the grain, holding your knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board.
Will you be making a meal using fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Make sure the stems are submerged in water. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. Change the water once in awhile, and before long roots will even form on the basil. While the basil is alive and thriving, make sure you trim the leaves in order to progress the growth of the plant. You will have plenty of fresh basil on hand.
Invest in a knife sharpener to make cutting any ingredient simple. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. Use a sharp knife and it will glide right through the items you wish to cut, without you having to put a great amount of force behind the blade.
Always read the labels of the ingredients you buy. The reason you want to do this is because many supplies that pop up in a lot of recipes can have ingredients in them that are not good for your health. Look for products with a low level of sodium, fat and sugar to make sure you are cooking a healthy dish.
Does pitching moldy fruit into a trash can upset you? Could you instead just cut off the mold and eat the rest like you can with cheese? Sadly, there really isn’t a healthy way to save fruit if it has begun to rot. Any rotten or moldy fruits should be discarded immediately, even if it just looks like surface mold. Mold can actually be deeper in the fruit, even if you can’t see it. When you consume it, it can cause a number of illnesses.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.
Garlic may be a tasty addition to your meals, but the smell that stays on your hands is a bit of a downside. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. This serves to both clean your hands thoroughly and prevent the odors from seeping into any other food you are going to handle.
Don’t throw a huge helping of seasoning in all at once. Try to spread it out, and taste after each application. By doing it this way, you are giving your food the most flavoring you can and you are making the most out of your ingredients.
When preparing a large family dinner, do some prep work the night before to decrease stress and leave time for you to enjoy everyone. Start cutting up your ingredients the night before to gain time. This way, your stress levels the next day will be a lot less, and cooking a lot more fun.
A healthy way to cook vegetables is to saute them with a little bit of chicken broth. The broth adds flavor to them, while reducing oil that is usually used for sauteing. This is a great and delicious way to cook vegetables.
Save the delicious taste of summer by drying tomatoes yourself. Drying them is easy – simply cut Roma tomatoes in half, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Place on a cooling rack, cut-side up and lightly salt them. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. Keep the tomatoes fresh by storing them in freezer bags. You can also store them in jars packed with herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks, and should be refrigerated during that time.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
It is necessary for all cooks to organize their cooking supplies. Disorganization will have you rushing around the kitchen in a frenzy looking for your equipment, ingredients and utensils. Keep certain similar tools in one area. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.
Whenever you season your food, try seasoning it slowly rather than all at once. Then the foods absorb the seasonings rather than being caked with them.
The best way to prepare fresh herbs, like parsley or dill, is to bunch them together and cut them up with scissors. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.
Prepare the meal the night before to reduce any stress when you’re going to have a complicated meal. Gather your ingredients, chop and measure the herbs or spices and double-check that you have everything you need. When you are ready to start cooking, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and cook them.
If you find that making a whole dinner at once is too much work, do parts of your food preparation the night before. Easy ways to prep in advance include cutting up any ingredients that needs chopping, throwing together the ingredients for any sauces or marinades or assembling a casserole before you head to bed for the night. Doing the prep work ahead of time will decrease stress, and increase your enjoyment of finishing the meal.
When cooking, be creative. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. Sometimes making minor changes can make the dish taste even better than it did when following the original recipe. That is the mark of a real chef!
After eating turkey, whether for Thanksgiving or otherwise, do not throw away the leftovers. Instead, cut it into smaller pieces, and place in the freezer in airtight containers. The turkey will stay fresh for quite a few weeks if you follow these tips. It is a great way to ensure you can have sandwiches for weeks to come.
To give your pasta sauce some additional flavor, use some of the water that the pasta was cooked in. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. While mixing the sauce and pasta, add the pasta water into the mix. Starches present in the retained water can contribute to a creamier sauce when combined.
It is important to buy new spices at least every six months. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. You can save time not having to sharpen or deal with dull knives and sharper knives are safer to use. You are less likely to harm yourself with a sharp knife than a dull one.
To avoid mistakes like burning your food while you are cooking, it is of the utmost importance to stay organized. Being organized with your cooking station can make it more productive. A lack of organization in your kitchen work areas can cause you to lose focus, among other things, and can easily result in wasted time, money, and food.
Use only a very small amount of fat when sauteing a food. Too much food adds extra moisture and will lead to a steaming effect that will defeat the purpose of sauteing, which is to create a little crispness in the food. You need to make certain you are sauteing items at a lower temperature.
Follow the recipe exactly when you are making macaroni and cheese. This allows the macaroni to come out just as delicious as it was intended to with the cheese melted perfectly over the noodles. Stir the cheese sauce into your perfectly cooked noodles. Spice up the dish with a bit of salt and black pepper.
Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. Different kinds of meat must be heated to a certain temperature inside to be safe to eat. Since bacteria is all around us, especially on meat, it is important that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill off this bacteria and therefore prevent you from getting sick.
Allow meals to rest before serving. Many people do not realize that it is important to let a meal rest. It has become almost habit now to serve up a meal as it comes right off the stove. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. Let your meal sit and cool off for a couple minutes before serving.
Try not to overcook or undercook a cake. The cooking times suggested in recipes are good guidelines for an inexperienced baker, but these suggestions can be misleading; other factors, like elevation, can have an effect on how long it actually takes a cake to cook. Sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake is a time proven test for doneness. If it comes out clean, the cake is done; if batter comes out with it, the cake needs to be baked longer.
Be creative in your cooking. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, add a few steps of your own. Give the recipe your own personal twist by leaving an ingredient or two out, substituting, or adding something. These little changes can result in an exceptionally good dish that is better than the original recipe! That is really a creative cook!
Do prep work first to save time when cooking. Some preparations can be done as much as two days in advance of the meal. For certain meals, it is imperative to engage in longer preparation times to yield the best flavors. Getting your meals ready ahead may be a habit that lasts for a lifetime.
Cooking is not a secret art only reserved for the few. Preparing food for yourself is not only fun, but it will help you save money and it is more healthy than eating out. Take what you have learned from the tips in this article to the grocery store, your kitchen, and finally to your plate. Celebrate your accomplishment and stick with cooking at home!
To make your next cooking session a snap, gather up all the ingredients you’ll need before you start. This will prevent you from being midway through preparing a meal and discovering that you’re missing a critical component of the recipe. It actually works faster to set your ingredients out beforehand rather than grabbing them while cooking, and it can also avoid headaches and hassles while cooking.