With just a little knowledge, anyone can learn to cook. All you have to do is buy some ingredients and follow your recipe. Is your kitchen full of cooking equipment and utensils that you never use? If so, cooking is clearly within your realm of capabilities! Make use of the tips below to make excellent food that anyone would envy and add a star to your chef ranking.
Herbs and spices should be stored in an area of your kitchen that is cool and dark. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. They should be golden caramel in color instead of pale blonde. This golden color means that the sugar has caramelized, leaving a sweet flavor.
When you are seasoning meats, try cooking a small piece first and testing it out, before making all of it. Careful seasoning is especially require in meatloaf and meatballs. Hold off on cooking the entire dish until you have checked the seasoning. Cook a small amount in a pan and taste it first. Once you have tasted your creation, make any adjustments needed to the seasoning.
Many apples are purchased for cooking in winter and fall, but they will rot in a short period of time if they are not properly stored. Apples will rot if they are stored in warm, dry air, so make sure to keep them in plastic bags in a cool place. Make sure to check on them regularly, as one rotten apple means the rest are soon to follow.
It is extremely important that your knives are always sharp. Dull knives make it harder to cut and are more dangerous to use. If you have to work on forcing a dull knife to go through something, you’re much more likely to accidentally cut yourself in the process than with the one quick, clean cut of a sharpened knife.
Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. When you do this, making a quick meal can be accomplished by simply reheating by using a saute pan. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.
Do you enjoy flavoring your food with fresh basil? Place some basil in a clean glass. Next, put water on the stems until they are covered. 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. Periodically prune the fresh basil; this will stimulate the plant to continue growing for a week or so.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, casseroles and more. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.
If you want to begin losing weight and improving your diet, you should reduce or eliminate the amounts of cooking oils that you use. Butters and oils frequently contain unnecessary fats. A great alternative to oils is a nonstick cooking spray. Not only does it provide the same results as cooking with oils, it also contains less unhealthy ingredients.
If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. Don’t worry; the sauce will taste delicious after being frozen in an ice cube tray!
Saute vegetables in some chicken broth for a healthier option. The chicken broth will make the vegetables taste a lot better, and you will be able to avoid using other oils that may add fat and calories. This is a great and delicious way to cook vegetables.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.
To prepare pumpkins for baking, cut the standing pumpkin in half through the center. Take each half cut side down and place on different baking sheets. Sprinkle a little water on to your baking sheets, then you can bake your pumpkins for an hour in a 350 degree oven.
Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. If you do this, the skewers won’t burn on the grill. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
It is crucial that you buy new spices around every six months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you have spices that you don’t intend to use any time soon, give it as a gift to someone who will use it.
When adding seasoning to any dish, it is important to add the seasoning throughout the cooking process rather than all at once. If you season your food this way, you can bring out the flavors of your ingredients a lot better.
If you have purchased unripened fruits, put them into a plastic bag that is perforated. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. When you keep these fruits in aerated bags, the gas that might normally build up and be trapped is released and allows the fruit to maintain freshness longer.
As a habit when cooking, make sure you wash the dishes after you are done using them. Have a sink of hot, soapy water on one side and rinsing water on the other. Cookware is easier to clean right after it has been used, and it will be ready for another use immediately.
Buy fresh cloves of garlic and mince them yourself for use in recipes. Older garlic tends to smell and taste woody, while fresh garlic ensures a sweet, yet savory flavor. Fresh garlic is firm and lacks bruises.
Make sure that you maintain your wooden cutting board. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. Cutting boards should never be immersed in water, but cleaned with a soapy sponge and rinsed off. If you need to restore a board that is damaged, regularly apply an oil that is formulated for wooden cutting boards. Be sure to let your cutting board dry completely before you use it again.
Don’t mix unfamiliar wine into your food. Wine that you don’t like or haven’t tried can ruin the way you feel about the food. There are cooking-specific wines available at the supermarket.
A meat thermometer should be used to check that the meats have been properly cooked. Each meat has minimum internal temperatures that are recommended so that it is safe to eat. There is a lot of bacteria that lives on meat, so cooking it to a high enough temperature to kill it off is important to avoid food borne illnesses.
If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. Store extra stock in bags in the freezer that are resealable. This way you will always have flavorful homemade stock on hand when you want to make soups or other dishes. Making the stock yourself will allow you to know that you are using a stock that is not loaded with preservatives.
Enhance the flavors in a simple dish by using fresh ingredients, herbs and seasonings. It is fine to use dried herbs when the dish will involve varied flavors due to complexity. Fresh herbs though, are optimal to use if you want a more natural taste when consuming. A good way to always have herbs on hand is to grow a little garden. Even a few pots in the window sill can give you a lot of fresh herbs on demand.
Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. It’s safer to cut with a sharp instrument than it is to with a dull one, and you will also save some time. More accidental cuts occur when using a dull knife, instead of a good sharp one.
When cooking with fruits and vegetables that you have never used before, gather as much knowledge about them beforehand as you can. A little research can show you a whole new world of different foods. The better prepared you are before you start, the better your kitchen experiences will be.
Cooking can be a hobby, a skill, and a profession. Food can be prepared in many ways, taking advice from those who are skilled at a particular technique will be very helpful. Consider these suggestions next time someone wants you to cook them a meal!
Not all potatoes are the same, and if you substitute one type of potato for another, your dish may not come out like you expected. For example, there are waxy potatoes that are ideal for making potato salad and boiled potatoes but are a poor choice for french fries, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes. For those applications, you want to use fluffy potatoes like Russets.