A lot of people view cooking as an unwelcome task. The following article is filled with hints and tips to turn your dread of cooking into eager anticipation.
Prepare as much of your recipe as you can ahead of time. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.
Here’s a way to turn that thin sauce around. Put a small amount of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly with two tablespoons of water to add to your sauce. Add the mixture into sauce and set to simmer in order to thicken it. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.
When you season a piece of meat, try it out before you start to cook it all. You may have to use caution when you season foods such as meatballs, meatloaf or hamburgers. You do not want to try cooking the whole thing right from the get go. A better way is to form a patty with a little bit of meat, then cook it. Once you see how it tastes, you can determine to either cook the remaining meat or adjust the amount of seasoning.
Certain types of cooking such as boiling, can strip vegetables of their valuable nutrients. Allow your vegetables to keep their nutritional benefits by cooking them quickly, or eating them raw!
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.
Do you know that guilty feeling you get when you throw away fruit that has mold? Do you think it is accepted practice to salvage the fruit by removing the rotting parts? It is not possible to save rotting fruit. Rid yourself of this fruit. The mold can run deep and can make you sick if eaten.
For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Taste and nutritional value suffer when vegetables are slow-cooked. Speed cooking vegetables also retains the best texture and nutrition. If you learn to cook vegetables for the right amount of time, it will help to keep them tasty and preserve nutrients.
When storing baking ingredients, such as flour and sugar, be sure to store them in air-tight food containers. Keeping your food in sealed containers will keep them fresher longer as the air can’t reach them. These containers can be bought at just about any store.
Do you plan on cooking with fresh basil? Place several sprigs of fresh basil into a glass container. Submerge the stems in water. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. Switching out the water from time to time will cause the basil to grow, as well. 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.
A great cooking tip to employ is to cook your vegetables in 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 is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.
To make the cooking process easier and faster, many preparatory steps can be completed ahead of time. Recipes should be examined and items that won’t spoil that can be prepared a day or two ahead should be done first. Do the prep work the day before. This takes a lot of the stress out of even the most complicated recipes and dishes.
Always read the labels of what you buy. Many common items contain unhealthy hidden ingredients. Make sure anything you buy does not have too much sugar or salt or it can hurt you.
Avoid cooking with a wine that you ordinarily would not find palatable to drink. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.
If you are overwhelmed with making dinner for the family, you should try doing some of the preparing the night before. For example, you can chop any vegetables and herbs you will need and store them in the refrigerator, as well as marinating whatever meat you will be preparing the next evening. You won’t be as stressed when you prepare the meal the next day.
You should use chicken broth when you are cooking your vegetables. Using chicken broth will prevent the vegetables from sticking in the pan as well as add some tasty flavor at the same time. Chicken broth can be bought at almost any grocery store, and is so inexpensive.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. Ethylene gas is produced when fruits ripen. When they are placed in a perforated bag, the air can circulate, which ensures the ethylene gas is absorbed, so the fruit retains its great taste.
If you are trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol, try to decrease the amount of fat in your diet. Many oils and butters have a high concentration of fat. Try cooking with a cooking spray so that you will use less oil but the same effect.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
Be sure to read nutrition labels when purchasing ingredients. May times common cooking supplies will contain some hidden ingredients which are unhealthy. You want to make sure that the product is not too high in sugars or in sodium as both can cause extreme health problems if over consumed.
To add more flavor to your dishes, try adding some stock that you have prepared. Make a lot at once, so that you can divide it into batches and store it in the freezer. By making the stock in bulk, there will always be some available for your soups and other dishes. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.
When cooking, get into the habit of washing your dishes as soon as you finish using them. Make sure that one side of the sink always has soapy hot water in it and the other side has clear water for rinsing in it. Utensils that have been used recently, will be easier to clean if you leave them in this water.
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. They make wines that can be used only when you’re cooking food.
There are a few ways you can heat tortillas properly. One way is to preheat the oven temperature to 350, then place the tortillas on the rack. If you have a gas stove, you can also put your tortilla on the burner. These ways of cooking tortillas make them taste fresher.
After your Thanksgiving meal, don’t throw away turkey leftovers. Place the remains in a container and store in the freezer for preservation. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
Pick a place that will not compromise the quality of your cooking spices; try somewhere that is non-humid and light free. Flavor loss occurs when they are exposed to heat, light and humidity. This will only expose your spices to elements that will make them less flavorful and aromatic.
When preparing a meal, make it part of your routine to wash dishes as you use them. Make sure one side of the sink is filled with soapy hot water while the other side can be used to rinse. Utensils and mixing bowls can easily be washed immediately after they are used. They will then be ready to use again immediately.
Save some time on the preparation step of cooking. You can get many of the ingredients for future meals ready ahead of time. There are many occasions where longer prep times actually lend a more flavorful touch to your meal. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
There’s an art to the simplest meals. For example, spreading mayonnaise evenly over bread improves the quality of your sandwiches. Often, through rushing, many people just put a smear of mayo on the bread. An even spread helps keep the taste consistent from bite to bite.
The are many varieties of potatoes, and some cannot be used as substitutes for other varieties. Waxy potatoes are great for boiling and potato salads while other potatoes are better for making french fries, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes are best suited for baking or mashing, or for making french fries.
Use only a very small amount of fat when sauteing a food. The extra moisture will steam the food instead of sauteing it and will not add that little bit of crispness that sauteing is good for. Be sure that you do this when the temperature is low too.
Use a stackable cooling rack. When you are making large quantities of baked goods, they can quickly take up all the available space when you take them out of the oven to cool. Stackable cooling racks mean far more efficient use of your space. A vertical cooling rack will cool cookies and give you more working space.
Here are two better ways to warm tortillas. The first is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and put the tortilla directly on the rack until it is the desired crispness. Another good way to heat up a tortilla is right on your gas stove on a grill. Either of these methods will result in a more crispy and tasty tortilla.
Use beef or chicken stock in place of water in recipes to make food tastier. You can also use the required amount of water and add bouillon cubes. Each of these suggestions provides the proper amount of moisture for your food while still giving it a bit of extra flavor.
Keep your seasonings in a cool, dark, moisture-free place. Spices will rapidly lose flavor if exposed to heat, light or humidity. This just exposes them to the elements and degrades their flavors.
When preparing meals for large gatherings, stress is a natural part of the game. The most important step, however, is to plan out everything in advance; many preparations can be completed the night before. Ingredients can be measured, vegetables chopped, and marinades mixed well in advance of the start of the main cooking process.
Do not bake a cake too long or to short of a time. Recommended baking times are just that, recommendations, and can sometimes be misleading because simple things like elevation can change the baking times of the cake. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. 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.
If you already know that your next day is going to be extremely busy, try to prepare a few components of your dinner the prior night. Assembling meals in advance, like cutting up veggies beforehand, can ease the stress that sometimes comes with cooking great meals.
As you’ve read, there are a variety of ways that cooking can be made fun and exciting, and not just a chore. You can become engrossed in something that you once thought of as boring.
Make sure you have everything you need before beginning to cook a dish. By doing this, you’ll never be at a loss for an ingredient when half way through the recipe. Collecting all items needed before cooking doesn’t require any additional time, and it can save time and needless effort later on.