Cooking is a handy skill to have in your repertoire. It’s true that people love to eat, especially dishes cooked by friends or family members. That said, some people’s cooking skills are not up to snuff. This article can help you improve upon your cooking!
Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. Try to have the prep work completed before cooking; this is important. Of course, cooking under a strict deadline can really increase stress levels. You can save yourself a lot of stress by doing as much preparation ahead of time as you can.
Cut your meat as thin as you can if you are using it in a stir-fry. This can take a lot of time and be hard to do. You should take the meat out when it reaches a firm state yet not frozen, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Spices should be kept somewhere cool and dark. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
Here is a way to save your sauce and use it in your recipes. You need to mix 2 tablespoons filled with water and 1 tablespoon filled with corn starch in a bowl. Stir this mixture into the sauce while it’s simmering and this will make it more thick. When adding, do so gradually and continue to stir so as to avoid making your sauce too thick.
If you are going to use oil, make sure you add it at the edge of the pan so it can warm up before getting to the food. Doing this will give you maximum flavor when your meal is finished cooking.
There is a secret to thicken up your weak sauce. Take one tablespoon corn starch, and combine with two tablespoons water in a mixing bowl. Add this mix to the sauce little by little until it becomes thicker. When adding, do so gradually and continue to stir so as to avoid making your sauce too thick.
Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. If you try to cut using a dull knife, you will have a lot of difficulty, and it can also a very dangerous. You will be more apt to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife, as you’ll spend a lot more time trying to force that dull knife through the food you are cutting.
Long cooking processes, like boiling, can “zap” nutrients from foods, like vegetables. Keep them healthy by choosing fast methods of cooking such as steaming or sauteing, or better yet, learn to love them raw.
You can use it on other types of food besides meat. A little on seeds or eggs can liven it up. Just be sure not to use too much seasoning, because you don’t want to completely overpower the natural flavor of your food.
Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. If you slow cook your vegetables, they will lose their nutritional value. These methods usually create healthier vegetables. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
Whatever you may be cooking, using fresh foods is always better than canned, dried, or frozen. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
When you do this, the mushroom will become absorbent and soak up the water. You should wet a cloth and wipe the mushrooms off, rather than soaking them.
Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. Prevent softer food from falling into the coals by using two parallel skewers rather than a single one.
Use extra virgin olive oil when necessary instead of oils that are high in saturated fat. There is a lot of unnecessary fat in butter and oil. A nonstick cooking spray will suffice and is not as unhealthy.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. They are also easily located at almost every grocery store. Tofu can be seasoned and pan-fried, and then served in lieu of a meat dish. For a tasty bean dish, simply boil them with your favorite herbs.
When you are purchasing food to make a recipe, read your labels. There are many hidden, unhealthy ingredients put into common cooking preparations. You want to produce a product that is not high in sugar or sodium.
If you love to use herbs and spices, make sure you keep them in a dark, cool place to keep them fresh. Keeping your spices and herbs stored above your stove or in high cabinets where warm air collects will dry them out and destroy their flavor.
The ideal way to cook a pumpkin is to first place the pumpkin upright on the cutting surface. Cut the pumpkin in half, then down the middle. Put each half on a separate baking sheet, upside down. Moisten each sheet with water, then place the pumpkin halves in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes.
If you decide on using fresh herbs, gather them in bunches and snip the stems with scissors. This is perfect for flavorful herbs like dill and parsley. This results in light and fluffy herbs, and prevents the wetness that can occur when you chop them.
This will safely preserve them for up to a year. You will also have fruit handy that is not normally available during that season.
After you cook a meal, immediately wash all dishes used during preparation. If you have a double sink, be sure to keep one half filled with hot, soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. Dishes clean best immediately after use and by washing them immediately, they will be ready to prepare the next ingredient for your meal.
If you have to season food while cooking it, add some in timed intervals rather than all of it at the start of cooking. This will allow you to make your meal more flavorful, and will prevent you from adding too much seasoning.
You’ll find that cooking a big, complicated meal is less stressful if you handle some of the preparation ahead of time. Use this time to gather all needed ingredients, chop veggies and measure seasonings. Make sure 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 serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. Amount and type of dressing are personal tastes, so let your guests dress their own salad. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt you put on the board will stick to the herbs and add a bit of flavor.
Spices should be replaced every six months. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. When you know you’re not going to be using a spice for a long time, give it away to someone in your family or to a friend before it loses its flavor.
Before you begin to cook, your utensils should be clean. Any residual food matter missed during washing can spoil the dish you intend to cook. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.
If you make salsa with raw onions and you will not be eating it within 20 minutes of preparation, you should rinse the onion pieces first, then blot them dry completely. Raw onions have sulfurous gas. Your salsa will be ruined if you use raw onions. By running water over the onions and then drying them off, you get rid of the gas.
Having the prep work done a day in advance will make the cooking process less stressful. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and chop and measure them in advance. When you are ready to cook the meal it will be quick and easy because you will just have to throw the ingredients together and cook.
When food is being sauteed, make the pan is not overloaded. With too much in the pan, you will find some foods steaming as opposed to sauteing, which destroys the intended integrity of the dish. Use a low temperature while doing this, too.
Complete your prep work before you start cooking a meal. Doing this will allow you to focus on putting the dish together. You won’t waste electricity by letting something cook just a little longer, so you can prep the ingredients for the next step, or be distracted when cooking with hot oil.
There are two good ways to warm tortillas. You can place tortillas right on the rack of a 350 degree oven until crisp. You can also use the burner on your gas stove by placing the tortilla above the flame directly on the metal guard. These preparations will allow for fresher, better tasting tortillas.
Proper care for a wood cutting board. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. If you have to clean your cutting board, use a sponge rather than immersing it in soapy water. To restore a damaged board, oil it on a regular basis, using a product specifically designed for wood cutting boards. Make sure that your board is completely dry before you use it.
There are many different kinds of potatoes, and they cannot be equally substituted for each other. There are potatoes that are good for mashing, and there are others that are good when used in potato salad; it really does matter what variety they are. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.
An excellent way to cook is to use brine. Soaking turkey, chicken, duck or goose in a brine for an hour prior to prep can help accentuate its flavors.
A cooling rack that can be stacked is a useful tool for any kitchen. When making several batches of yummy cookies or other treats, the finished batches can use up all your counter space while cooling. This is why you should use these cooling racks so that you can have more space. Instead of taking up horizontal space on your countertop, the cooking racks use vertical space and stay out of your way.
Rather, use both your watch and oven timers. If you wear a stopwatch on your neck or use the timer on a watch, you will make sure that the beeps are heard no matter your location.
As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!
If you want to make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, try using a potato with a thick skin. You cannot use red potatoes because their skin is too thin to hold up to a dense filling.