How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
When you are baking pastry crusts, try increasing the cooking time a bit. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. This indicates the sugar has turned to caramel. Your crust will have a sweeter and crispier flavor.
Be sure to keep your spices in an area that is cool and dark. Common kitchen conditions, such as heat, light, and humidity, will destroy the flavor of herbs and spices. Spices and herbs that are ground usually retain their flavor for close to a year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. If the spices are stored properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period.
In order to make it easier to slice meat into thin strips, you should first marginally freeze the meat. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. When the meat is frozen slightly, cutting it is easier because the fibers in the muscle do not tear or stretch when slicing. However, the meat strips should be thawed to assure even cooking.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. The color on your pie signifies that the caramelizing process is complete in your crust, yielding a scrumptious dessert.
When you season a piece of meat, try it out before you start to cook it all. Certain foods require special care when seasoning. Hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs are examples of foods that need to be carefully seasoned. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Instead, make a small patty out of a little piece and cook that first. After you do this you can either completely cook it or add more seasoning as you see fit.
As with many other things in life, one of the keys to making great meals for your family is preparation. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients available. Get out everything that you’ll need including the ingredients and utensils a day ahead of time. Doing so allows you to focus on the cooking itself.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. The somewhat bland taste of cauliflower helps it to blend seamlessly with your potatoes while picking up the other ingredients. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
Eat a piece of meat when experimenting with seasoning before cooking all of it. Many meats require seasonings that are carefully chosen. Never prepare the full amount after its initial seasoning. Rather, cook a small piece first and taste it. If that piece turns out well, you can continue with the rest. If not, you can make adjustments to the spices.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Store the basil in a jar. Make sure the stems are covered by an adequate amount of water. It will remain fresh for a good amount of time just sitting on the kitchen counter! If you occasionally change the water, the basil will eventually grow its roots under water. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.
When you are cooking an important dinner you want to whip up something you know how to cook well. This is not the time for testing new recipes or new ingredients. You will have a more relaxed and less anxious cooking experience.
Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. A lot of the preliminary work can be done a day before you cook the meal. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
Always use airtight containers to store sugar or flour. Not only will these containers make sure your foods aren’t contaminated by bugs, the lack of air will keep your goods fresher for longer. They can be bought in lots of places, and it is an investment worth making.
It’s important to include beans and tofu in your diet if you’re trying to increase your protein intake. The vast majority of grocery stores stock both of these products. Pan fried tofu, lightly sprinkled with your favorite seasonings, is a delicious substitute to meat. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
When you are planning to use skewers for your cooking, always soak wooden skewers for at least thirty minutes in water prior to use. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
Take the time to investigate the ingredients for your recipes. Potentially unhealthy ingredients lurk in typical cooking supplies. You must make sure that your ingredients are not high in either sodium or sugar because these may cause health problems if consumed in large amounts.
Sauteing vegetables in a small amount of chicken broth is a healthy and delicious way to cook. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.
When you are cooking roast and do not have a lot of time, leave in the bone. This will allow your meat to cook faster as the bone will warm up the inside quicker. Cut the meat around the bone before serving.
Always get the freshest garlic available when you have a recipe that calls for it. For the most part, this ensures you will be getting the sweetest-tasting garlic. Fresh garlic is very firm to the touch and has an intact, taut skin. The individual cloves are also plump and firm, not shriveled and shrunken.
After Thanksgiving or any other time you cook turkey, save the leftovers. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.
Do not use wine for cooking that you have not tasted. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. Cooking wines are available.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. You can mark your cutting boards with permanent marker to tell which one or which side is for each type of food.
Every cook needs some method for organizing his cooking supplies. If they’re not organized, you’ll waste time looking for needed items. Try keeping similar items in one area. As an example, parsley and basil are spices, so they should be stored in a cabinet together with all of the other spices.
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. If the spices are too old, they are going to lose a good bit of their flavor. If you buy too much of a spice, give it to someone you love!
While you are cooking, it’s a great idea to clean the dishes as you go. Fill one section of your sink with soapy hot water, and use the other side for rinsing. 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 purchase fruit that is still green and want it to ripen quickly, put it in a plastic bag with perforations. As they ripen, they will create ethylene gas. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.
Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. Each type of meat has a minimum recommended internal temperature to be considered safe for consumption. Bacteria can easily survive in meat, so unless it is thoroughly cooked, this bacteria can stay in the meat and make you ill.
As a habit when cooking, make sure you wash the dishes after you are done using them. With a two-bowl sink, you can keep one side full of hot suds and run clear water for rinsing in the other. Washing your dishes is easier if you do not wait until the food gets dry and sticky. Make sure you wipe your dishes and put them away for the next meal.
Trussing is the method of using string to bind the wings and legs of the turkey. This helps keep the bird’s legs and wings close to his body, helping it cook more consistently. If it isn’t trussed, then the extremities are more likely to burn.
Creativity in the kitchen can be exciting. You need not follow a recipe exactly. Give the recipe your own personal twist by leaving an ingredient or two out, substituting, or adding something. These little changes can result in an exceptionally good dish that is better than the original recipe! That is how a real cook gets it cooking!
Don’t tr out new recipes when you are cooking for someone you want to impress. Your date, boss or family will be impressed with your cooking if you prepare something great, not if you try a complicated recipe you are not mastering. Find out what kind of food they like and prepare something you are comfortable with.
When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. With too much in the pan, you will find some foods steaming as opposed to sauteing, which destroys the intended integrity of the dish. This should be done at a lower temperature, too.
Set a timer on your watch or cellphone in addition to the oven. Carry the second timer with you so that you will hear the alarm anywhere in the house.
Buy a cooling rack that is able to be stacked. If you do not have this, your cooking area will be cluttered with cooling cookies and baking pans. Stackable cooling racks help you use the available space most efficiently. If you use cooling racks that can stack up you will have more working space.
Fresh herbs and different types of natural seasonings can add a kick to the traditional dish. Dried ingredients, like herbs, are acceptable if you are making a complex dish of many flavors. Fresh herbs produce a better flavor. If you love to cook, create an herb garden, which will provide you with a variety of quality herbs any time you choose.
If you want to reheat a greasy dish, bake it again instead of making a mess in your microwave. Because oil heats the quickest, the concentrated heat of the microwave can cause the oil to separate from other ingredients of the dish. When you use the oven to reheat a dish, the heat will come slower and more consistent, which will keep the ingredients cohesive and the dish flavorful.
Use the tips you just learned the next time you prepare a meal. After you have given a few new dishes a try, you might just understand that cooking isn’t so awful after all! You may begin to look forward to it, and eventually you may discover you’re eager to try new recipes and dishes. Try out some new cooking techniques and start enjoying the process!
If you want to make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, try using a potato with a thick skin. Red or new potatoes have too thin of a skin to hold the filling.