Cooking is an invaluable skill to possess. Learning how to do it well will benefit you in many ways. Not only is homemade food tasty and nutritious, it also helps you economize.
Slicing meat into thin even strips is easier when the meat is partially frozen. This is best for Asian meals such as Thai or Chinese dishes. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.
All of the prep work can be done ahead of time. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. Cooking with a deadline to meet can become stressful. By doing all of your preparation in advance, you avoid the stress and just enjoy your meal.
Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. Using a slow cooking method is sometimes suggested, but the results are less nutritious and don’t taste as good. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.
To make it easier for you to slice meat into thin strips, you should partially freeze it. This is great for various Oriental meals, such as Thai or Chinese dishes. When the meat is partially frozen, you get a much cleaner cut and the meat fibers are less prone to stretching or tearing. For even cooking, let the strips of meat thaw completely before you start to cook.
You can even put it on things besides meat. Add it to seeds and nuts, or even scramble it with eggs. You will have everyone asking what the secret spice is!
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. An easy way to prevent such scents from adhering to your skin is to rub exposed areas on the stainless steel of your sink. It both cleans your hands and helps to avoid transfer the odor to other foods.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.
If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. You will then have it readily available for when you need to make a quick and easy meal. All that needs to be done is to warm it up in a pan. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!
Vegetables should be cooked rapidly to obtain peak results. If you slow cook your vegetables, they will lose their nutritional value. These cooking techniques tend to preserve the health benefits of vegetables in general. So in summary, cook your vegetables for the shortest amount of time possible.
Finding the correct amount of time to grill certain meats is a science that not many of us know how to do. A good quality, digital, meat thermometer is a good investment for your kitchen as it can tell you precisely the internal temperature of the meat, and this will let you know when it is cooked to perfection. If you have thick meat, more than a inch and a half, close the grill to make cooking time shorter.
Complete many steps when cooking something ahead of time. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. There are many recipes where you can do the prep work the day before you start cooking. This makes preparing even more complex recipes fun and fast.
When you plan on using wooden skewers for cooking, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. If you do this, the skewers won’t burn on the grill. You can prevent food from sliding off skewers by using parallel skewers for twice the support of the food.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
When cooking with pumpkins, you will need to place the pumpkin upright then slice it in half right down the middle. You then want to get two baking sheets and put the halves on their cut side down. Sprinkle your baking sheets with a little water, and roast the pumpkin halves for an hour at 350 degrees.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. To prevent this in the future, brush a bit of vegetable oil onto the grates before adding the food.
If you want to cook a roast, yet you don’t have much time, don’t take out the bone. The bone holds heat and helps cook the interior of your roast, speeding up the entire process. When the roast is done, slice it around the bone.
Beans and tofu contain a lot of proteins. Both can be purchased at just about any grocery store. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. You can store dried tomatoes in an olive oil filled jar. Add fresh herbs for seasoning. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
Measure the amount of cooking oil you are using! Make sure you measure out your oil to cut some of the fat that you cook with; do not pour it straight from the bottle. By carefully doling out the oil, you will know the true amount of fat you getting when you cook.
After eating turkey, whether for Thanksgiving or otherwise, do not throw away the leftovers. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
Always get the freshest garlic available when you have a recipe that calls for it. When garlic is fresher, it will not taste as bitter. You can tell whether garlic is fresh or not by checking for bruising and making sure the skin is still firm and not shriveled.
Many veggies and herbs leave strong scents and plant oils on your cutting board that are very difficult to remove completely. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
When cooking a roast in a short amount of time, it is important to keep the bone in the meat. The meat will cook more quickly due to the heat transfer into the roaster caused by the bone. Cut the meat around the bone before serving it.
Be sure to refresh your spices every few months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose 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.
It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. To be able to dry them yourself, cut the tomatoes half an inch thick, or you should cut Romas lengthwise in half. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. Dried tomatoes can be placed into a jar that is filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
Always begin your cooking with utensils that are spotlessly clean. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. This can also spread harmful bacteria.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Store similar items together in the same place. For instance, spices can be placed in the same compartment.
Put your fresh herbs together in a bunch and use kitchen shears to cut them all at once. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. You do not have to follow a recipe word for word. There are times when adding or subtracting things from a recipe can take the taste to new heights when compared to the original. That’s how real cooks do it!
If you are going to make macaroni and cheese, follow the instructions. By doing so, your macaroni should come out perfect, and the way the cheese tastes like melted velvet spread on top of the noodles should prove an exquisite sensation. Serve it with a solid spoon to get all the cheese from the pot to the plate. Spice up the macaroni with some pepper!
When you are sauteing a food, make sure you do not add too much to the pan. The extra moisture creates steaming which will prevent the food from attaining the crispy texture that sauteing is known for. Always saute over a low flame or low setting on your stove-top.
“Pay as you go” dishwashing is easy to do. This way you avoid ending up with a big pile of dirty dishes to do after the meal. Have your sink full of soapy, hot water one side, and use the other side to rinse. Your utensils and containers wash up easier the sooner you get to them, and washing them as you go also allows you to re-use them while preparing the same recipe.
Find a spot that is dry, cool, and dim to store herbs and spices. If your spices are exposed to light, moisture and humidity, they may lose their unique flavors. This only exposes the spices to the elements which make them lose their flavors.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Group ingredients, verify that you have all necessities on hand, and do all measuring and chopping tasks that can be done ahead of time. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.
A good way to cook is with brine. Soak chicken, turkey and game poultry in salt water for an hour to create a more flavorful dish.
If you want to make salsa for later, make sure you clean your diced onions thoroughly. Fresh onions emit sulfenic acid when cut and this turns into a gas. Sulfurous gas can detract from fresh salsa and ruin the flavor. Rinsing in cold water and drying the onions first will eliminate this gas.
Use a thick-skinned baking potato for firmer-shelled twice baked potatoes. Red potatoes are not suitable, because their skin is not thick enough and the filling may break through.
There are lots of great ways to cook oysters. Conventionally, oysters are served raw with a small drizzling of lemon juice, however, there are lots of other ways that you can present them. Place the oysters in a broiler pan, being careful not to remove them from their shells. Add cream to each oyster. Next, give them a healthy sprinkling of freshly-cracked black pepper, some Parmesan cheese, maybe a little bit of parsley, and let them broil until they’re lightly browned and bubbling. You can also saute oysters. Coat the oysters with seasoned flour, then fry them up in butter for around two minutes, or until the oysters are golden. Oysters should be baked in their shells. Put them into a casserole dish, and place a small amount of butter and breadcrumbs across each oyster. You can then bake them for around five minutes at 425 degrees. Whenever the juices and butter are bubbling hot, you can then serve it alongside a toasted baguette.
Using these tips, you can cook healthy and enjoyable meals at home very easily. You will become a better cook the more you practice. Often times, home cooked meals are more nutritious, resulting in a better life for everyone at the dinner table. Take the leap and use these tips to become a happier, healthier cook.
Use flavored butter spreads to add some zest to corn or rolls at dinner time. Make sure that your butter is room temperature by either leaving it on the counter for a while or softening it in the microwave. Then mix in herbs, spices or sauces to add an extra burst of flavor. Honey, lemon juice, chipotles or BBQ make a great combination with butter.