Cooking in your kitchen at home can seem rather redundant and uninspiring. Enhancing your cooking knowledge can really invigorate you to try new things, and help your kitchen to inspire you, rather than bore you. Eventually, you start to spend more time in the kitchen, excited to try your next creation while sharing it with others who are just as eager to try it. The following tips can give you a start toward becoming an excellent cook.
If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Cooking might take a while to master, as it requires perfecting certain techniques.
Stir-fry recipes require meat to be sliced very thin and at an angle to the grain. This can take time and be tricky. When the meat is not quite frozen, take it out of the freezer and slice it against the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Do you feel bad when you throw away fruit that has gone bad? Can you cut out the rotten areas or moldy areas and still eat the fruit? You can’t save a piece of fruit that has begun to rot. In fact it is best to throw away the fruit. Mold can grow much deeper than the eye can see, and eating it could potentially make you very ill.
To add oil to food already cooking in a skillet, carefully pour it along the sides of the hot pan so that it has a chance to heat through before touching the food. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.
You can use this on a variety of foods, not just meat. Add this seasoning to roasted pumpkin seeds for a great snack or to scrambled eggs for your breakfast. It will add a little bit of mysterious flavor to your meal.
If you are having guests over for dinner, cook a meal you are confident making. Never try to cook a new recipe or use a new ingredient that you have not tried before. This will ensure that your cooking experience is stress-free.
People often use more apples in fall and winter, but they will spoil if not stored properly. Heat and oxygen spoil apples, so place them in plastic bags in a cool spot. Your fridge is ideal. Sort your apples carefully before storing them, as one bad apple will end up spoiling the rest.
When cooking pumpkins, stand the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, cut it down the middle. Put the halves down on the baking sheets. Sprinkle the baking sheets with a little water and allow the pumpkin to bake for an hour at 350 Fahrenheit.
Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. 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. 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.
Not all fruit freezes well, but this way, you can prolong the freshness of certain fruits and enjoy them later. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy out-of-season fruits when no one else can!
When you store flour, sugar or any type of baking mixes, always use airtight containers. These containers keep your food safe from pests and help your items stay fresh by sealing out the unwanted air. These containers are affordable and are available at most grocery stores.
Get the most from garlic by buying only the freshest bulbs you can find. A rule of thumb for garlic: Fresher means sweeter. Check the freshness of garlic cloves by inspecting the skin. If it is bruised, soft, or shriveled, it is not fresh.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use. This stock is a popular base that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles and much more. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Instead, slice up the remaining meat, put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and store it in your freezer. This will keep the turkey fresh for a month or more, and can be easily thawed to use in sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Every cook needs some method for organizing his cooking supplies. If you do not organize them, you will be scrambling around to find where you put everything. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
There are many herbs that have a strong smell that will stay on your cutting board. Use a permanent pen to make a mark so you know which side you are using.
To minimize the effort involved with cooking, clean the dishes you use as you move throughout the cooking process. Have one sink prepared for washing, hot and full of soap. Set the other aside for rinsing, warm and clean. It is much easier to wash cooking utensils right after using them, and in some cases, you’ll need the same utensil again later in the cooking process.
Dab away excess moisture from ground meat before cooking it. Always fully drain your ground meats and blot them dry. If your meat is soggy before you sear it, then it will be soggy afterward. The sizzling effect will burn off the moisture. Instead of being seared as it should, the meat may very well steam.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. The ease of cutting with a sharp knife will save you time and is more safe than using a dull knife. More accidents and cuts happen due to dull utensils than properly sharpened ones.
Sprinkle salt liberally into the boiling water that is used to cook pasta. Adding salt at this stage will ensure that the pasta absorbs it completely. Salting pasta after cooking is often unsuccessful because the pasta will not absorb the salt then, it will only sit on top of the noodles.
There are some ways to properly take care of a cutting board made of wood. Your cutting board can split or warp if it is exposed to excessive moisture, heat, or extreme dryness. It is never smart to immerse your board in water. Instead, sponge clean it with soapy, warm water. If you have a damaged cutting board, you should purchase an oil product that is designed for cutting board restoration. Make sure that your board is completely dry before you use it.
Reserve some pasta water for use in your pasta sauce. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. When your sauce is also ready, add in the water before tossing or topping the pasta. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
Find a spot that is dry, cool, and dim to store herbs and spices. Light and humidity can diminish the flavor of spices, as can heat. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
Rinse diced onions with cold water if you are planning on making salsa and serving it later. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas in them. Sulfurous gas can detract from fresh salsa and ruin the flavor. Rinsing the onions allows the gas to be removed.
Be sure to care for your wooden cutting board properly. Cutting boards made of wood can often warp due to climate. A wooden cutting board will be ruined if it is placed into water. If your board becomes damaged, use an oil consistently that is made for wood boards. Make sure that your board is completely dry before you use it.
Eat your oysters in new and exciting ways. Most people eat oysters raw with lemon juice, but you can serve them in other ways. Place oysters that have already been opened in a broiler pan. Cover them with a small amount of cream. Add some Parmesan cheese along with some fresh pepper, then broil until it bubbles. You can also saute oysters. To saute oysters, dredge oysters through seasoned flour and place in a pan of hot butter and fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown. You can also keep the oysters inside their shells, then bake them. If you bake oysters put butter and breadcrumbs on each oyster and bake them in the oven at about 425 degrees for about five minutes. Once the juices are sizzling away, serve hot with crunchy, toasted baguette bread.
There are a few ways you can heat tortillas properly. An oven preheated to 350 degrees will make quick work of crisping up your tortillas. Just place the tortilla directly onto the rack and wait until it reaches the desired level of crispness. Another way would be to use the top of your gas stove, then place the tortilla right on top of the grill over the flame. These techniques will result in a more authentic and flavorful tortilla.
Cooling racks that stack on top of one another can be a handy thing to have in your kitchen. Your whole counter top can quickly be covered when making cookies in large batches. These cooling racks will help you keep your space open for use. Using an area of vertical space rather than every available flat surface gives your cookies the space they need to cool and gives you the space you need to work.
When cooking an easy recipe, you should always use fresh seasonings and herbs. For dishes with complex flavors, dried herbs will work. However, fresh herbs produce an overall better taste if added at the end of the cooking cycle. To keep yourself always supplied with herbs you might want to grow some of your own.
If you want to avoid the greasy mess that you can get when you warm up leftover food that is oily, try baking it rather than microwaving it. When you cook foods in the microwave, there is a huge surge of heat, which will cause the oil (that heats the quickest) to start to separate from all of the other ingredients. However, baking reheats the entire dish, retaining the flavors and keeping the ingredients together.
To save time in cooking, do your prepping ahead of time. It’s possible to get and mix ingredients in advance of upcoming meals. Try getting the ingredients together a few days in advance. There are many occasions where longer prep times actually lend a more flavorful touch to your meal. Advanced preparation of your food can help to improve your overall body of work as a chef.
When you are preparing potato skins or twice baked potatoes, consider using a baking potato. A red potato’s skin is too thin to hold together if you are using a dense filling.
Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of variation among different types of potatoes. Waxy potatoes are good for potato salad or boiled potatoes but aren’t good for making french fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes are more suited to those applications because of their fluffy texture.
Use these ideas for generating your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your very own special recipes. Taking up cooking is not only good for you but great fun as well. Good luck in your future culinary efforts.
If you think you’re going to have leftovers of a dish that includes oil, use an oven instead of a microwave. This will mean less grease when reheating the dish. In a microwave the oil will heat up rather quickly, causing it pool together while the rest of the dish is still relatively cold. Try to avoid microwaving oily dishes. Conversely, baking cooks the food slowly, which allows it to retain all its juices and flavor.