Becoming a great chef is easier than you might think. When cooking, it’s fine to experiment with different things, so that you can discover your strengths and weaknesses. The following advice is exactly what you need to become a better cook and increase your repertoire of dishes. Use the following advice to quickly help you get better at cooking.
When not in use, put your spices in an area that receives the lowest amount of light and heat. If the spices become too hot, or moist from humidity, it can shorten their shelf life. Too much light exposure also does this. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Better tasting meals are the result of the ingredients you use, including the freshest spices possible.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. This deeper color is evidence that the sugar has caramelized in the crust for added sweetness.
Stick to recipes you are comfortable with when you are cooking for important company. Never try to cook a new recipe or use a new ingredient that you have not tried before. This will take the stress out of the cooking.
Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Leaving your spices out will expose them to moisture and light, which will diminish their quality. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.
Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Mix together a solution of one tablespoon corn starch and two tablespoons water. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.
Cooking veggies improves the quality of them. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. Vegetables cooked in these ways make healthier side dishes and ingredients in recipes. Cooking vegetables as quickly as possible is key to preserving their nutrients.
Partially chill meat so it becomes easier to slice into thin strips. For Asian meals, such as Thai and Chinese dishes, this technique creates strips that are particularly ideal. If you freeze the meat, it will make it easier to cut into strips as the meat fibers will not stretch or tear as easily. However, be sure to allow the meat strips to thaw before cooking them, for even cooking.
Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. If you have a stainless steel sink, simply rub your hands vigorously on the inside of it, when you are finished handling the garlic. The steel will clean your hands and remove the smell. You can buy stainless steel “soaps” at your local kitchen store to keep on hand.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. You can use your favorite spices and seasonings to enhance the naturally delicious flavor of scrambled eggs and roasted pumpkin seeds. People will wonder how you’ve managed to add such amazing flavor to simple dishes.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. Once your stock is finished, cool it and put it in heavy freezer bags.
When making a meal that needs milk or water, try a different substitute to make the dish taste different. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.
Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Use fresh ingredients as often as you can; they offer more flavor and tend to be less expensive as well.
Whenever you are cooking a recipe that calls for garlic, seek out the freshest possible garlic available. Garlic that is fresh is sweeter than garlic that is not. You can tell whether garlic is fresh or not by checking for bruising and making sure the skin is still firm and not shriveled.
You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. Do the prep work the day before. Prepping before you cook can make even advanced recipes fun and accessible.
Prepare some of your food the night before to save time and headaches. Cut up veggies, marinate your meat or make a sauce the night before. You will feel much relief the next day, and cooking will be more of a pleasure.
Saute vegetables in some chicken broth for a healthier option. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. This is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. If you purchase a spice that you don’t use very often, give some of it to friends or relatives.
Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. If you don’t organize your supplies, you’ll constantly be wasting time looking for what you need. Group similar items together, and keep them in the same area. Keep your herbs and spices together and follow this grouping rule with other supplies as well.
To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
Before you begin to cook, your utensils should be clean. Any leftover food post-washing can ruin whatever you plan on cooking next. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
When cooking, get into the habit of washing your dishes as soon as you finish using them. If you have a two-bucket sink, put soapy water on one side and keep the other side for rinsing your dishes. It is much easier to wash out prep dishes that have just been used.
Organization is key to cooking efficiently and not letting anything burn. When your cooking area is organized, you will be more productive and avoid errors. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.
You should let your meat rest prior to serving. Lots of people don’t take advantage of this important step for food. It may be tempting to get the food to the table as quickly as possible. If you do this, you will really be missing out. Always allow your meal to rest and cool down a little.
Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. Many people do not realize that it is important to let a meal rest. It is highly tempting to serve the food as soon as you take it off the grill. If you do this, you will really be missing out. Always allow your meal to rest and cool down a little.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. Sometimes adding or taking away a little extra of this or that can alter the taste so much, that it exceeds the original recipe itself. That’s how real cooks do it!
Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. This will add some flavor and the herbs will stay on the board. Just make sure you don’t add salt to your dish afterwards as the herbs already contain it. The salt will stick to the herbs and make their flavor stronger.
A simple sandwich can often be a perfect one, if you pay attention to details such as covering the bread entirely with a smooth and consistent layer of mayonnaise. Sometimes, people who are rushed just plop some mayonnaise down on the bread and call it good. With evenly spread mayonnaise over the entire piece of bread, every bite of the sandwich is flavorful and perfect.
Even a simple sandwich is a chance to wow your diners. To craft a perfect sandwich, spread the condiments evenly across the entire surface of the bread. Often, through rushing, many people just put a smear of mayo on the bread. If you cover the bread, each bite of the sandwich will have a delicious flavor.
Trussing refers to the method of tying a turkey up with string for baking. Trussing keeps the legs and wings close to the body of the bird, so that cooking happens evenly. If the turkey is not trussed, the turkey’s extremities, including the wingtips and feet, can burn before the whole turkey is cooked.
The are many varieties of potatoes, and some cannot be used as substitutes for other varieties. Different potatoes have different tastes and textures, making them ideal for some very different recipes. When cooking those foods, try using fluffier potatoes, including Russets.
If you plan to make salsa ahead of time and it won’t be eaten immediately, you should rinse raw onions off and make sure to dry them off. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas. This can end up ruining your batch of salsa. When you rinse and dry the raw onions, it removes the gas.
Planning and preparing a large meal can feel completely overwhelming. To lessen the stress, it is best to start your planning and preparation well in advance. Completing all the prep work will decrease your stress and give you time to enjoy the day with your family.
Store all spices and herbs in dry, dark and cool conditions to get the maximum amount of flavor from them. Being exposed to humidity, heat, and light will cause your spices and cooking herbs to lose some of their potency. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
Grilled fruit is surprisingly delicious. Consider grilling a skewer of fresh, sliced melons, peaches or other juicy fruits. Then, lay them on your clean grill till you see grill marks. Serve the fruit atop ice cream or a grilled cake.
Double up by setting a watch timer in addition to the oven timer. Using your watch’s timer or wearing a stopwatch will ensure you that you will hear the signal regardless of your location.
Potatoes should be mixed with hot milk (not boiling) when they are ready for mashing. This causes the potatoes to become lighter and fluffier, compared to using cold milk. Nobody wants to eat lumpy, bland mashed potatoes.
If you want to make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, try using a potato with a thick skin. Red potatoes are not ideal for a dense filling.
It’s important to keep breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes heated until you are ready to serve them. Keep your oven preheated to 300 degrees. Place the waffles or pancakes on an oven safe plate inside the warm oven as you cook.
Utilize these suggestions to build up your skills in the kitchen. These ideas should be experimented with at least one time. Figure out the ideas that work best for you. Come up with a few tricks of your own. You’ll become much better at cooking in a short amount of time when you apply these tips in your kitchen.
Use the proper potatoes for your recipes. Potatoes are classified as all-purpose, waxy or mealy. The type of spuds that make for ideal mashed potatoes are the mealy varieties. Russet potatoes are a familiar mealy potato. For a general use potato, you can’t do better than the Yukon gold variety. Potatoes that are considered waxy are good for steaming and boiling because their shape is held. Regular white or red potatoes are the most common waxy varieties.