The time to eat is nearly everyone’s favorite. It’s even better when there’s a skilled chef in the kitchen. This article should provide some tips that can help both the novice and the expert cook.
Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Herbs and spices that are ground usually remain flavorful for a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Another little known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. If spices are stored properly there is a better chance that they will stay fresher for a longer period of time
If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. When you are making stir fry Asian dishes, this technique for thinly sliced meat is ideal. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. Make sure that you let the meat thaw before cooking, so the meat is cooked evenly.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. Try rubbing your hands on the inside of a steel sink after you work with the garlic or other potent ingredients. Doing this cleanses your hands and won’t allow the aroma to transfer to whatever you handle next.
Tough Root Vegetable
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. 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. Allow the stock to cool, then split it up into heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags.
It’s very important to have good, sharp knives for 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. Attempting to force a blunt blade through a tough root vegetable is much more likely to lead to an accident, than quickly dicing and slicing the same tough root vegetable with a sharp blade.
When trying to add protein to a diet, you need to remember that beans and tofu are great sources. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.
Going through a long cooking process like boiling removes many important nutrients that are found in vegetables. To retain the healthy nutrients, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables, or even better, eat them raw.
Preparing healthy vegetables can be easy if you choose to saute them in chicken broth. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat. This makes for a delicious way to prepare veggies.
Do you know that guilty feeling you get when you throw away fruit that has mold? Are you tempted to just cut off the moldy part and save the rest for your meal? There is no way to salvage fruit that has begun decomposing. If you see that fruit is starting to rot, just throw it away because even if some parts look healthy, the mold has most likely already spread throughout.
The simplest way to prepare a pumpkin for cooking is to half it by cutting the pumpkin in half. On a baking sheet, put one of the halves face down. Use a different baking sheet for the other half. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the baking sheets, and then bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around an hour.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
Do not dress your guests’ salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.
It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. It is always wise to utilize a good meat thermometer (a digital one is best to give you an exact reading) to ensure that the inner portions are cooked correctly. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.
If you’re pressed for time and are making a roast, it helps if you fix a bone-in roast. The bone holds heat and helps cook the interior of your roast, speeding up the entire process. When the cooking is complete, just serve by cutting around the bone.
Keep those turkey leftovers after the big meal. The efficient thing to do is put the turkey in a plastic container and freeze it for later. The turkey will remain fresh this way for a couple weeks, and you can use it for sandwiches and salads.
When you store flour, sugar or any type of baking mixes, always use airtight containers. When you transfer these foods to airtight containers, you are not only protecting them from bugs and bacteria, you are also helping them remain fresh longer. It is possible to buy these containers almost anywhere and they are well worthwhile.
Make a habit of washing your dishes as you use them when you cook. If you have a double sink, keep hot soapy water and clear, fresh rinse water in each side of the sink. Utensils that have been used recently, will be easier to clean if you leave them in this water.
Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using. This way, they won’t burn while cooking. Also, use two skewers through your food to help secure it, so it doesn’t end up on the ground.
Leave your meal to sit for a short while before serving. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. Many people are tempted to rush food to the table when serving a meal. However, your meal could be much more enjoyable if you wait. Therefore, it is always best to allow the juices to redistribute by allowing for a cool down period.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. Amount and type of dressing are personal tastes, so let your guests dress their own salad. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.
If you are including raw onions in a salsa that you aren’t going to be serving right away, use cold water and a paper towel to rinse and blot the onions. Onions that are fresh have sulfurous gas. Salsa will not taste good with the aura of sulfur. By rinsing the onions and blotting away the excess water, the gas is removed.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Start by slicing a ripe tomato one-half inch thick, or you can cut Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Next, lightly salt the open sides and place them salt-side up on a wire cooling rack. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. You can also store them in jars packed with herbs and olive oil. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
When you barbecue, get your grill ready before you start. The grill should be prepared 30 minutes before it is used for cooking. They will be perfect when they are ash covered and giving off medium heat. This is the optimal temperature for grilling.
Unripened fruits should be placed into a plastic bag with holes in it. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.
High quality cutlery and knives are worth the expense. You can save time not having to sharpen or deal with dull knives and sharper knives are safer to use. Dull knives actually cause more cut fingers and accidents than sharper ones.
When cooking with fresh herbs like parsley or dill, bunch them together and cut them with a pair of scissors. By using this technique you can chop many herbs in a short amount of time, and they will be much lighter and fluffier, without the wetness that you get when using a knife.
When sauteing food, don’t put too much oil in 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 do this at a low temperature as well.
Be creative in your cooking. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, add a few steps of your own. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. That’s the true indication of a skilled chef!
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. Trussing keeps the good stuff inside your bird and also accommodates more consistent cooking. If it isn’t trussed, then the extremities are more likely to burn.
Fresh herbs and other kinds of seasonings can help spice up even the simplest dish. A more complex dish will still be delicious if you use dried herbs and seasonings. Fresh herbs tend to be better if you want to have a fresher and stronger overall taste. Maintaining a miniscule herb garden can be a fabulous way to make sure you can always have some fresh herbs available.
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. Onions that are fresh have sulfurous gas. Obviously, the gas from raw onions can do a real number on your salsa, practically ruining it. You will remove the gas once you rinse them and dry them off.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. It is sometimes possible to do some preliminary tasks in the days preceding the actual meal preparation. In some cases, the longer preparation times can make some very flavorful creations in the end. You will find that preparing ahead will become a habit that you greatly value.
Always take good care of your wooden cutting board. Wooden cutting boards can warp and split if they are exposed to heat and moisture or if they are stored in an excessively dry area. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. If your board becomes damaged, use an oil consistently that is made for wood boards. Make sure that your board is completely dry before you use it.
A good cooking method when working with poultry is to first brine the bird. Let poultry soak in brine for one hour before you prepare it for more flavor.
There is nothing that compares to sitting down to a delicious meal, where the first bite has your mouth watering. It doesn’t take years to know how to cook, just the proper amount of knowledge and practice. There is almost nobody who cannot learn the art of cooking. This article should have inspired you to get cooking right now.
Using a cooking rack is good, but using a stackable cooking rack is better. If you are baking six dozen cookies, they can consume all the available space when you cool them. If you need more room, buy some cooling racks that can be stacked. This will save your kitchen space and give you some breathing room.