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.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. Save time by doing the prep work before you begin cooking the meal. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.
When you decide to cook with skewers there are a few strategies to keep in mind. If you are choosing to use a metal skewer you can choose from round or flattened skewers. Skewers that are not round will better hold food in place on the skewer.
You can boil away all of the health benefits of many vegetables. To preserve their healthy reputation, choose quick cooking methods such as sauteing or steaming – or better still, enjoy them in their natural, raw state.
Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. Do not start cooking until the prep work is done. Having a deadline for an important meal or event can become quite stressful when you are starting from scratch. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.
Do you enjoy preparing dishes that contain fresh basil? Put a bunch of fresh basil in a glass. Make sure the stems are covered with water. Leave it on your counter and it will stay fresh for a very long time! Even if the water is varied on occasion, the basil will still grow their roots regardless. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.
When you are seasoning meats, try cooking a small piece first and testing it out, before making all of it. Certain foods like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs have certain kinds of seasonings. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. If that piece turns out well, you can continue with the rest. If not, you can make adjustments to the spices.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. Prepping before you cook can make even advanced recipes fun and accessible.
Every cook needs access to a set of sharp knives. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. With a dull knife it is easy to slip and cut yourself because it is harder to slice the food, but a knife that is sharp makes much smoother cuts.
If you’ve made a big pot of sauce, freeze the leftovers by pouring the extra sauce into ice cube trays. When you’d like to make a quick and easy meal later on, you just have to pop out a few cubes of sauce and reheat them in a pan. Nothing to worry about as the sauce will be fine even after it’s been sitting in ice cube trays.
Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. Cooking vegetables in chicken broth is a low-fat, flavorful option. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.
Read the nutrition facts, even for raw ingredients you purchase. The reason you want to do this is because many supplies that pop up in a lot of recipes can have ingredients in them that are not good for your health. Make sure the food does not have a lot of salt or sugar, these can both be harmful to your health.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Take some fresh basil and put some of it in a glass. Next, put water on the stems until they are covered. This will help to keep it from going bad for quite a few days. By changing the water every so often, your basil will develop roots. Occasionally trim the basil, which will encourage more growth, and you will be able to have the benefits of fresh basil for quite some time.
When cooking pumpkins, set the pumpkin so the top is facing up and slice it in half down the middle. Lay the cut halves on individual baking pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle a little bit of water onto the baking sheets, then bake for about one hour.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Wipe off each mushroom with a clean wet cloth to prepare them for cooking.
If you have a recipe that requires water or milk, you can change out the liquids to create a whole new flavor. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.
After you make sauce, pour the leftovers into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. Take them out to use on another night when you’d like a no hassle home cooked meal. Simply reheat the sauce cubes slowly in a medium pan on your stove top. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
When using garlic in your cooking, always purchase the freshest garlic possible. When garlic is fresher, it will not taste as bitter. Fresh garlic will have firm skin and will not be bruised or soft to the touch.
Anytime you are cooking a dish that calls for substantial seasoning, try to add spices gradually throughout the process rather than all at once at the very start. This technique will give you a lot more flavor for the same amount of seasoning, giving you tastier food without wasting ingredients.
You should consider drying your tomatoes on your own. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. The dried tomatoes can be put in plastic bags and frozen. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. You can then freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock bags. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
After Thanksgiving or any other time you cook turkey, save the leftovers. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. You can use the turkey later to make into sandwiches or a casserole.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. Herbs and spices that are stored in cabinets above or beside a stove or in similar locations that may become warm or moist will lose much of their flavor, consequently costing you money.
A wooden cutting board requires a certain amount of care. Stressors, like heat or extremes in humidity, can warp or split a cutting board made of wood. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, instead, clean it using a sponge and warm water. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. Before using it again, make sure the oil is completely dry.
Wrapping the turkey together with string is trussing. This process tucks the legs and wings closer to the bird’s body, which allows everything to cook more evenly. Otherwise, the meat found in the legs and wings tends to become dry and tough during cooking.
Many of the vegetables and herbs give off a strong odor which tends to leave your cutting board smelly no matter how hard you try to scrub it off. Mark one end, or side, of each cutting board so that you know which is which.
If you have the time, always reheat oily dishes in the oven as opposed to the microwave. This will keep you from having a greasy mess. Because oil tends to get hot quickly, a microwave’s concentrated heat causes it to become separated from the rest of the food. The result of this will be a dish that is no longer as flavorful as it was in the beginning. Baking, in contrast, keeps this from happening.
While cooking or baking, wash the dishes as your sauce simmers or your cookies bake. Keep soapy water on one side of the sink and use the other side to rinse your dishes. It will be much more effective to wash bowls as soon as you are finished with them, leaving them available for the next task.
Use beef or chicken stock in the place of water in soups, mashed potatoes and more. This will add a great deal of flavor. Try using boullion cubes and water if you do not have chicken stock. This will give your food the required amount of moisture and it will also add flavor as well.
Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. It is a little known fact that foods should rest for a short period after the cooking process. This is especially true of meats. Many are tempted to quickly serve food hot off the grill or stovetop. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. You always want the meal to sit or rest for a short time.
If you want to use up your leftover meats and veggies, put together some fried rice. Using day-old cool rice is best, however, if you have to make it fresh, make the rice drier by cutting down on the water a bit. Fry your vegetables and meat in some oil. Once you’ve done this, add rice and any seasoning you want with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and other spices.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and chop and measure them in advance. When the time comes to make the meal, all you need to do is put it all together and cook it!
If you are aware that tomorrow is going to be extremely busy for you, you should plan your dinner that night in advance. You can cut down on stress, save time, and still provide a wonderful family meal by fixing lasagna or preparing a stir-fry a day in advance and keeping it in your refrigerator.
Use a generous amount of salt in your pasta water when making pasta. This allows the seasoning to soak into the pasta, which will retain its flavor. When you salt your pasta after cooking, the flavor is not as full.
To take the stress out of cooking time, pull out all of your ingredients beforehand. You don’t want to get halfway through a dish and find out you are missing a crucial ingredient. It takes much less time to plan everything out in advance than it does to stop in the middle of cooking to search for that necessary ingredient.
Try grilling some fruit! Consider grilling your favorite fruits on a skewer. Grill the fruit until you start to see grill marks. Use the grilled fruit as a topping for ice cream or a grilled pound cake.
Now that you’ve read this article, take this advice, and apply it to your meals. Once you try them and experience how good your dishes taste, you will begin to love cooking even more! Preparing attractive, tasty meals may even become a hobby you enjoy. You will look forward to trying new recipes and cooking techniques. Try out some new cooking techniques and start enjoying the process!
Preparing healthy dark green leafy vegetables can be annoying if you don’t know how. Stems on these vegetables are often tough, making it difficult and time consuming to remove the stems. To make it easy, fold the leaf lengthwise and remove the stem through the middle. You could also cut the stem from the folded leaf using a knife. Once you unfold the leaf, your greens will no longer have a stem, but will be in otherwise-perfect condition.