You can become a great cook with less effort than you may think. Part of the process is being willing to experiment and discover your own style. The following advice is exactly what you need to become a better cook and increase your repertoire of dishes. Follow the steps here to enhance your abilities in the kitchen.
There’s a neat trick you can use to save your sauce. You need to mix 2 tablespoons filled with water and 1 tablespoon filled with corn starch in a bowl. Use this solution to instantly thicken any sauce. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. This color means that the sugar has caramelized within the pie crust and will have a crunchy and sweet flavor.
Having knives that are very sharp is essential when cooking. The duller the knife, the more difficult your kitchen task will be. You are also in danger of cutting yourself if you choose a dull knife. Cutting vegetables with dulled blades can be difficult, and can result in the knife slipping, and cutting you instead.
Cooking methods like boiling tend to destroy a lot of the nutrients that are in vegetables. To retain these nutrients, rely on cooking methods that don’t take a lot of time, including steaming or sauteing. You can even eat them raw if you have the taste for it.
Do you feel bad for getting rid of fruits that are moldy? Is it possible to save at least a portion by getting rid of only the bad part? It is unfortunate, but it is not safe to save fruit that is partly rotted. Get rid of them quickly, as mold can develop and cause health problems.
In order to have plenty of fresh fall apples for cooking, store them properly to keep them from spoiling. Dry warm air rots apples, so keep them cool in a basement or loosely wrapped in the fridge. However, if even one apple becomes rotten, it will quickly spoil all apples in the same bag.
Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? Gather a small bunch of freshly cut basil and place it in a glass. Make sure the basil’s stems are covered in water. Put it on the counter of your kitchen in order to maintain its freshness for many weeks. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. Picking the leaves from time to time will cause the basil to put out new growth, so you will have a constant supply!
Complete as much of the preparatory work as possible for your meals ahead of time to speed up the process of cooking. Look through your recipes and determine whether or not certain steps can be completed beforehand. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. This can turn even the most complex recipes into quick, fun and fast cooking jobs.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.
Be sure to read nutrition labels when purchasing ingredients. There are many hidden, unhealthy ingredients put into common cooking preparations. Be sure that the ingredients you are buying do not contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, as these both can cause health problems if overdone.
You should think big when preparing chicken stock. 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. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.
Replace the standby liquids of milk and water in recipes to mix things up. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.
Instead of adding all the seasoning in one rapid burst at the beginning, add it in increments over time to give it a better flavor. By doing it this way, you are giving your food the most flavoring you can and you are making the most out of your ingredients.
Read labels when shopping for recipe ingredients. There are ingredients that may be unhealthy. Make sure anything you buy does not have too much sugar or salt or it can hurt you.
If you are cooking with garlic, you want to use the freshest clove that you can find. Usually, fresher garlic will have a sweeter taste. Fresh garlic is free of bruises and firm to the touch.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Instead, get some airtight containers, cut up the leftovers and freeze them. This will allow your turkey to stay fresh for weeks. You can use the leftovers in sandwiches, salads, soups and your other favorite meals.
The stress of making dinner can be alleviated by prepping certain ingredients the night before. You can dice, slice and otherwise prepare vegetables in advance. Stir up some sauce prior to your bedtime for a stress-free pasta dish the next evening. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.
Many veggies and herbs leave strong scents and plant oils on your cutting board that are very difficult to remove completely. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.
Let your meal sit for a while. It is a new idea to many, but allowing your food to rest can be quite beneficial. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. You are not serving your food at its finest if you do this. Always wait a awhile before eating your meal; allow it to cool slightly before digging in.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As the fruit becomes ripe, it will emit ethylene gas. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
Use a generous amount of salt in your pasta water when making pasta. This is the most effective time to season pasta. If you try to salt the pasta after it is already cooked it will not hold the seasoning as well.
When you are making pasta you need to be sure to add a liberal amount of salt to the water. This helps to add flavor to the pasta while it is boiling. When you salt your pasta after cooking, the flavor is not as full.
Explore creativity when you cook. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. When you’re comfortable with the recipe, play within it to see what can be reduced, increased, or added for a better taste or texture. You will not become a real cook by just following what cookbooks say.
You should let your cooking wait until all the necessary preparations are complete. This keeps you safe, and saves you money. Working with hot pans and stoves while you are distracted with prep tasks is a recipe for injury, and you tend to leave burners and ovens on longer if you are still preparing ingredients.
Reserve some pasta water for use in your pasta sauce. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. The pasta water contains starch, which will infuse your concoction with the thickness and body you are looking for.
Keep close watch when baking to avoid under cooking or overcooking a cake. 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. Use a toothpick to tell if it is done by inserting it into the cake. If the toothpick can be removed without any batter sticking to it, the cake is finished baking. If not, it needs to be cooked longer.
Before you start cooking, it is best to have everything you will need already prepared. This way, you can prevent distractions like hot oil in pans or other distractions. You can also save on gas and heat by not turning on appliances before you are ready.
The are many varieties of potatoes, and some cannot be used as substitutes for other varieties. Waxy potatoes are best for potato salad and should be avoided when making mashed potatoes or french fries. Russets, and other less dense potatoes, tend to work best for baking, frying and mashing.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. The grill should be prepared 30 minutes before it is used for cooking. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. Grilling at this temperature is ideal.
There are a number of delicious ways to prepare oysters. Try preparing your oysters differently if you are tired of the usual drizzling of lemon juice. Crack open some oysters, leave them in their shells, place them on a broiling pan, and pour a little cream over them. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper and broil until oysters bubble. Another thing you can do is saute them. You can dredge them with flour that has been seasoned. Melt butter in a pan and fry the oysters until they turn 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. Whenever the juices and butter are bubbling hot, you can then serve it alongside a toasted baguette.
Get cooling racks that you can stack. With a large number of baked goods coming out of the over, the ones laid out to cool can use up all the counter space that you otherwise need. Without the stacking cooling racks, you will not have enough room to work. Making use of the vertical space allows your cookies to cool but still give you enough space to continue working.
Buying quality knives is an important investment in your kitchen. Dull knives waste time and can mash food instead of cleanly slicing. Sharp knives are safer to use, too. Dull knives cause more cuts and accidents than sharp ones.
If you want your time in the kitchen to be free from stress, create a list of all the ingredients you will need and make sure that you have everything on the list in close arm’s reach. This will help you go through the preparation easily and not have to run to the store for additional ingredients. It might take a little longer to do this prep work ahead of time, but you will save time in the cooking phase and eliminate the stress of having to do it while cooking.
There are some ways to properly take care of a cutting board made of wood. Excess moisture, heat and dryness may cause a wooden chopping board to split and warp. It is never smart to immerse your board in water. Instead, sponge clean it with soapy, warm water. When a cutting board shows signs of wear and tear, there are special oils that can rejuvenate them. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
Dark greens are really healthy. However, they can be hard to prepare. Removing stems is laborious and time consuming. Make it easy by folding the leaf lengthwise in half and then break out the stem. You can use a knife as well to trim the stem from the folded leaf. Once the leaf is unfolded, a perfect de-stemmed leave remains.
Use these tips and see how much they help your cooking skills. Try any of the ideas that appeal to you at least one or two times. Figure out the ideas that work best for you. Come up with a few tricks of your own. You can become the best cook in your family if you set your heart on it.
To measure sticky food easier, you should use some cooking oil. Take the measuring spoon, dip it into a lightly flavored oil, like canola, and then pour on the substance to be measured. The foodstuff will easily move from the spoon once measured and cleaning up will be a lot easier. This works perfectly for measuring honey or peanut butter.