Even the most experienced master chef is always willing to learn new things about the culinary arts. Using the proper techniques can change an ordinary meal into a fabulous event that will be well-remembered. By applying these tips to your next cooking endeavor, you will find yourself with loads of good food.
Get a cookbook with easy recipes or a specific theme you find interesting to get you started. Try looking online or to your local library or bookstore. Try some recipes and be patient as you develop your skills.
Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. Go past the usual pale tan color and take them to a caramel gold. This golden color means that the sugar has caramelized, leaving a sweet flavor.
A lot of preparatory work can be done ahead of time in order to speed up time spent cooking. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.
Try to add the oil into your pans from the sides, so that by the time it touches the food, it will be hot. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.
If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. Don’t worry; the sauce will taste delicious after being frozen in an ice cube tray!
Slicing meat into thin even strips is easier when the meat is partially frozen. If you are cooking an exotic dish that requires thinly sliced meat, this is the best way to do it. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. To ensure that the meat cooks properly, be sure it is completely thawed before cooking.
Do you find it tough to know the right amount of grilling time for different cuts of meat? It’s always good to use a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure you correctly cook the inside. If you’re working with a particularly thick slice of meat, you can cut back on grilling time by closing the lid of the grill.
Always taste test what you are cooking to check the seasoning. Different cuts and types of meat have certain spice mixtures that work best for them. After you add your seasoning, don’t cook the whole thing. It is a good idea to cook a small portion of the meat first. Then, you could either cook it like that or add more seasonings accordingly.
When storing sugar, baking mixes, or flour in your kitchen, use containers that are airtight. Reducing exposure to air and insects will allow food to remain fresh and edible for longer periods of time. They can be purchased just about anywhere and are a worthwhile investment.
If you’re cooking food for an important person, such as a new date or even your boss, you should make sure you are cooking food you are experienced at. Avoid trying to cook something new. This can lessen the stress of your cooking.
When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. That tasty chicken stock is very versatile and can be perfect for your next stew, casserole or soup. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
To prepare a pumpkin for baking, you should first prop up the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, use a large knife to bisect it evenly. Place them on individual baking sheets, cut side down. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. If the recipe calls for water, switch it up by using a broth, juice, or cooking liquids. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Adding different and interesting liquids to a recipe can help the dish become more interesting and nutritious.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. You should brush a thin layer of vegetable oil over the grill before you begin cooking. This will keep the food from becoming stuck to the grill surface.
When making a big dinner for family and friends, start the preparations for the meal the day before. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed on the day of the dinner. Before you head to bed at night do your best to cut up vegetables and onions, marinating meat, or making some sauce. This will result in less stress the next day, and you will be more than ready to begin the cooking process.
When you store things like flour, baking mixes and sugar, you should use containers that are airtight. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren’t exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. They can be purchased just about anywhere and are a worthwhile investment.
You can make dried tomatoes yourself. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. The dried tomatoes can be put in plastic bags and frozen. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. The broth will add to the flavor of the vegetables and cut back on the amount of oil that is typically needed to saute them. You will thoroughly enjoy this way of preparing your vegetables.
If you prefer to use spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a cool, dark place, so their freshness and flavor is preserved. If you keep herbs and spices in an area that is close to the stove, they will lose their flavor very quickly and just be a waste of money.
Try different liquids in recipes calling for water or milk to add some new flavors to your meals. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. The next day when you have to cook your meal, all you need to think about is assembling and cooking the dish.
Seasoning should be applied in small amounts throughout the cooking process rather than all at once. As such, you are getting the best flavor, and not wasting any of the seasoning.
Even a simple sandwich is a chance to wow your diners. To craft a perfect sandwich, spread the condiments evenly across the entire surface of the bread. People usually just slap the mayo in the center and are done with it. If you cover the bread, each bite of the sandwich will have a delicious flavor.
Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Cut the leftover meat and put it away in airtight containers. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.
A good kitchen requires good knives. You will be more efficient when you do not have to deal with dull knives; in addition, sharp knives are safer to use than dull knives. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.
When cooking, wash dishes and tools as soon as you’re done with them. To make it easy, just have one sink filled with soapy water and fill the other side with rinse water. 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.
There are some ways to properly take care of a cutting board made of wood. If you don’t keep your wooden cutting board moderately dry and in a cool place, you may find that it warps or cracks. The board has to be washed, but just lightly go over it with soapy water. Don’t submerge the board in the dishpan. If you need to restore a board that is damaged, regularly apply an oil that is formulated for wooden cutting boards. Make sure you let your board dry before using it again.
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Measure out one-fourth of a cup and place it to the side. Put in some of the water when you mix the pasta and the sauce. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.
Be careful to neither over-bake nor under-bake your cake! There are recommended cooking times, which are guidelines only. These times can be a bit misleading because there are factors, such as your elevation, that help to determine the cake’s cooking time. A tried and true method is to insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If the toothpick is clean and dry, your cake is done. If it is covered in batter, leave it in a little longer.
If you saute a food, don’t overload 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. Remember, sauteing is always done at low temperatures.
There is not just one kind of potato, and each kind works best in different recipes. Some potatoes are waxy and are great for making things like boiled potatoes or potato salad but are not so good for french fries, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.
You can properly heat up tortillas in a couple of ways. You can place tortillas right on the rack of a 350 degree oven until crisp. An alternate method is to hold a tortilla over a gas flame. A hot, fresh, crunchy tortilla is within reach when these simple techniques are used.
Even though you might want to really impress guests with a fancy dish, never try out a recipe for the first time when cooking a meal for an important event. Whether it’s a loved one, in-laws or a boss, you still want to give off a good impression with your cooking. It is much better to show off a meal that you have had success with before.
Use an oven timer as well as a watch timer. If you use a watch or a cellphone as a timer, you will be sure to hear the alarm go off even if you are out of the kitchen.
A good cooking method when working with poultry is to first brine the bird. Soak chicken, turkey and game poultry in salt water for an hour to create a more flavorful dish.
By using beef or chicken broth or stock in the place of water, you can really boost the flavor of many foods. Bouillon cubes can also add flavor to those meals that call for water. Your food will have the right balance of moisture but with a fuller underlying flavor.
Instead of using water, you should consider using beef or chicken stock. This helps add flavor to all types of foods including mashed potatoes. Another option is to add in a couple of bullion cubes into the water as well. The food that you are making will then have the moisture it needs while being infused with a bit of flavor.
So using the tips and hints that have been provided here, you should now be much more confident about your cooking abilities. With improved culinary skills, not only will you eat better, the people around you will eat better as well. You may be the next Julia Child.
Be considerate to those who will be consuming your meals by reserving many spices for later addition. Choose from a variety of spices, including garlic powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper. When it comes to spices, people have different tastes. Make these available for customization after you cook the meal, instead of adding them during cooking. Each person can then bring the food to their enjoyment level.