Have you ever eaten something at a five-star restaurant and wanted to buy the secret recipe? Maybe you’ve fantasized about being able to cook that well at home. Read the following article to learn tips on how to create your favorite dinners or come up with new ones for any occasion. Culinary arts can be an enjoyable and entertaining hobby for almost anyone.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.
You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Spices that are not ground can keep their flavors for 3 to 5 years. If spices are stored properly there is a better chance that they will stay fresher for a longer period of time
Making a meal for someone important, such as a romantic partner or a boss, is not the time to experiment with new dishes. You can avoid stress by sticking to familiar recipes and food you enjoy. This will help you feel less stressed when preparing your meal.
Are you using basil? Put a bunch of fresh basil in a glass. Then cover the stems of the basil with water. Keep on the kitchen counter so it’ll be fresh for weeks! The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. Trim or cut the basil periodically to provide for added growth so you can partake in some fresh basil for a while!
Freezing meat will make it more solid, and easier to cut into thin strips. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. If the meat is partially frozen, its texture is maintained nicely, even when sliced into thin strips. Make sure that you let the meat thaw before cooking, so the meat is cooked evenly.
If you’re using wooden skewers to cook, try soaking them in water for half an hour first. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. To ensure that the food doesn’t fall off the skewer, use two skewers for each item.
For crispier French fries, put raw potatoes into cold water and let them sit there for about half an hour before frying. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.
If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. Most grocery stores stock these items. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.
Meat is not the only use for this seasoning. Scrambled eggs taste delicious with it, or you can create a tasty snack by sprinkling it over roasted pumpkin seeds. Everyone will ask what you used for spices.
You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. Then, at a later date, it is a simple process to reheat the cubes on your stove top in a pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Using cheap or unfamiliar wine puts the flavor of your food in danger. Look for wines that are specifically used for cooking.
If you are big on using spices and herbs, store them in a cool and dark place to preserve their flavor and freshness. Storing these items in warm locations will lead them to lose their flavor quicker.
Optimize your efforts when making your own chicken stock. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. Just like with anything you do, the more organized you are, the more productive you will be. Being disorganized can make it quite easy to make it impossible to find things when you need them, which makes you miss out on the goodies that you could be indulging in.
Avoid using too much cooking oil by measuring it! A simple way to reduce fat when you cook is to measure your oil, rather than pour it straight from the bottle. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.
When cooking with fresh herbs like parsley or dill, bunch them together and cut them with a pair of scissors. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
Whenever you are cooking a recipe that calls for garlic, seek out the freshest possible garlic available. Older garlic tends to smell and taste woody, while fresh garlic ensures a sweet, yet savory flavor. You will also find that fresh garlic has firm skin and is free of bruises.
If you are planning a complex meal, reduce your stress by doing the prep the night before. Gather all your ingredients together, chop what needs to be chopped, measure out all the required herbs and spices and make sure you have everything that you need on hand. You will only have to get everything put together when it’s time for you to cook.
If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. Let people add what they want to their salad. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.
Wow your family or guests with something as simple as the perfect sandwich by making sure to spread mayo smoothly and evenly from corner to corner on the slices of bread. Don’t just plop the mayo in the center because you are pressed for time. However, if the mayonnaise is evenly spread across the bread, every bite of the sandwich will be flavorful and delicious.
Do not forget to replace your spices twice a year. What happens a lot is that spices are kept in a household for far too long and lose a lot of their flavor. If you buy a certain spice and you know that you are not going to use it all before it goes bad, give half to a friend or family member.
If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. With too much in the pan, you will find some foods steaming as opposed to sauteing, which destroys the intended integrity of the dish. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.
Pick a place that will not compromise the quality of your cooking spices; try somewhere that is non-humid and light free. Humidity or heat can ruin your herbs and spices quickly. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
If you buy unripened fruits, keep them in a plastic bag fitted with holes. Fruit produces ethylene gas as it ripens. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.
Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. It is sometimes possible to do some preliminary tasks in the days preceding the actual meal preparation. A longer cooking time can yield a more flavorful meal. Once you get used to prepping ahead of time, you will always do it.
When you are cooking, wash the dishes as you use them to reduce clean-up time later. Fill one side of your sink with hot soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. Utensils and mixing bowls are easiest to cleaned directly after their use, and can be used again during the same meal preparation.
While you may wish to present them with something elaborate, avoid testing new recipes when you are making a meal that really matters. Regardless of who it is, you will want to try and impress them. Ensure that they enjoy their meal by cooking a dish that you are familiar with.
Let your food rest a bit before sitting down to eat. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.
You should use two timers, one on a watch and one on the oven. By using a timer that you can hear anywhere you are, you’ll be guaranteed to hear it.
One great cooking tip is just be flexible and creative; do your own thing. You do not have to follow a recipe word for word. You can add a little of one thing, or take out something else, to suit your tastes and enhance the recipe. You will not become a real cook by just following what cookbooks say.
When you are making cookies and you are combining the butter and sugar, be sure that the butter has been softened first, but not melted. If your butter melts completely, then put it back in the fridge to let it solidify again. You can also refrigerate the resulting dough. Chilled dough prevents the cookies from spreading out too much.
If you don’t plan to eat your salsa within half an hour, and onions are on your ingredient list, run cold water over the onions and then use a paper towel to blot the water off. There is a sulfurous gas in freshly cut onions. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. If you rinse off the onion and then dry it, it will get rid of the gas.
Always use silicone or rubber spoons when you cook on nonstick cookware. The harder metal or wooden utensils can gouge or scratch the coating, which both reduces its effectiveness, and allows its coating to flake off into the food. Not only will this not taste very good, but it can be hazardous.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Make sure you saute foods on a low temperature.
Grilled fruit is a particularly savory treat. Try slicing peaches, nectarines, or melon and threading them on a skewer. Cook them on a grill that is clean until you are able to see grill marks. Serve the fruit atop ice cream or a grilled cake.
You’re now on the way to becoming a great home chef. Be creative and experiment with a wide variety of recipes and meals. The world is your oyster in regards to what you can cook from now on!
Ketchup can be used to batter foods before they are fried. You can either dip your food in ketchup once it is cooked, or before adding breadcrumbs. By using ketchup as a base for your fried foods you will add another unexpected layer and tang to your food.