Many people want to learn to cook like a pro, but the time and effort required to do so can seem overwhelming. You will be able to cook a great meal in little time, if you just go slowly and take it step by step.
When preparing stir-fry meals, cut the meat on the bias and keep it thin. This is rather difficult to do, and can take a lot of time. Remove the meat before it is frozen, but still firm, and slice it at 45 degrees against the grain.
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Though if you have whole spices, you will notice the flavors are strong for 3-5 years. When spices are stored in the correct manner, they will stay fresh for much longer.
A great tip to follow if you use oil to cook is to put it on the sides of the pan while cooking, so it’s already heated by the time it reaches the food. Doing so will maximize the flavors of the food you are cooking by keeping them inside the food.
The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. Gather all of your ingredients well in advance. Along with the ingredients, you need to make sure you have the correct utensils for cooking the next day. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
The longer the cooking process, the more nutrients that you lose from most vegetables. In order to retain their most important attributes, opt for steamed, sauteed or even raw vegetables.
Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
A lot of people usually use apples for cooking things in the winter and fall months, yet a lot of people store them incorrectly and they spoil quickly. Store them in your fridge or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied, as they tend to spoil in dry warm areas. Cull bad apples from the bag to avoid rotting more of them.
To make the cooking process easier and faster, many preparatory steps can be completed ahead of time. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. This makes preparing even more complex recipes fun and fast.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
Finding the correct amount of time to grill certain meats is a science that not many of us know how to do. Use a good meat thermometer (a digital one is more accurate) so that you can ensure the inside is cooked correctly. For extremely thick cuts of meat you should cook it with the lid closed to reduce the amount of time it needs to cook.
Are you planning to use freshly picked basil in a recipe? Take a bunch of it and place in a glass. The stems should be thoroughly covered in water. It will remain fresh for a good amount of time just sitting on the kitchen counter! With some care, you may even be able to encourage the basil to grow roots. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!
Use extra virgin olive oil when necessary instead of oils that are high in saturated fat. Substances such as oil and butter contain unnecessary fat. Using a nonstick spray is a good alternative as it has the same effects without all the calories.
If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. The way to prevent this is to coat the grill with some vegetable oil prior to putting any food on the grill.
Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. Spices do not last forever. They will eventually lose their flavor. If you know you can’t use as much as is in the package, give some to a family member or friend to keep from wasting it.
You should think big when preparing chicken stock. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
Prepare the meal the night before to reduce any stress when you’re going to have a complicated meal. Start by getting all of your ingredients in one place to make sure you have whatever you need. Have all ingredients chopped and measured. 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.
When you will be cooking a pumpkin, stand it up and then slice it down the middle. Place each half on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some water on both baking sheets, then at 350 degrees bake the pumpkin for about an hour.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Measure out one quarter cup of water, and put it to the side. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.
By doing this, you will find that you will have fresh fruit for a much longer time. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy out-of-season fruits when no one else can!
Prior to cooking, gather everything you need. This is the best way for you to prevent any accidents or waste in the kitchen. Oil should not sit in a pan for too long, or it could cause a fire. Having everything ready to go will help you to be able to monitor what is going on in the kitchen, and not create a hazardous area.
If you are cooking with garlic, you want to use the freshest clove that you can find. As a rule of thumb, garlic will taste sweeter the fresher it is. For you to figure out if garlic is still fresh make sure it isn’t soft, shriveled or bruised and it has firm skin.
It important to neither overcook or undercook a cake. The recommendations on the package are only guidelines, because many factors, including oven variations, can impact the finished product. Instead, test the cake periodically by inserting a toothpick into the middle. The cake will be done when the toothpick comes out without any batter attached; if it doesn’t, bake it longer.
If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. For an even more considerate touch, provide different kinds of dressings.
When cooking a meal for someone important, don’t attempt a new recipe–even if you want to impress and cook a fancy meal. You don’t want to send your extended family, your new date, or everyone in your department at work running and screaming from your bad cooking. Guarantee success by preparing something you could cook with your eyes closed.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. If you cook with an unfamiliar wine, you run the risk of disliking the taste of the wine and having it ruin your food. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.
Here is a fresh take on oysters. While oysters are for the most part eaten raw with a bit of lemon lemon juice on top, there are many other ways for you to prepare them. Place halved oysters, still in their shells, onto a broiler pan, then cover them with a dollop of cream. Add a touch of Parmesan cheese and freshly grated pepper then broil it until it bubbles. Another tasty method is to take the oysters and saute them. The oysters can be dredged in a seasoned flour, then fried in butter for two minutes until they become golden brown. You can also bake oysters while still in their shells. Put them in a casserole-style dish, add a little butter and breadcrumbs to the top of each oyster, and cook them in an oven heated to 425 degrees for approximately five minutes. Serve your oysters once the butter starts bubbling.
Spices should be stored in a cool, dark area so that they stay as fresh as they can for as long as possible. Storing these items in warm locations will lead them to lose their flavor quicker.
The ability to cook will always come in handy, whether you want to feed your family or romance a prospective beau. Sitting with family and friends to share good food is an activity that is enjoyed the world over. Using what you’ve learned through this article will allow you to become a better cook!
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. This is a meal that will freeze really well so you can enjoy it again later. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.