Many consider cooking to be both rewarding and relaxing. Deliciously tempting scents emanating from the kitchen will put a smile on just about any face. Finding unique recipes and suggestions for dishes can make cooking even more enjoyable. This is the first step in learning to make a fabulous meal.
You must prep well if you want to cook a large, festive meal. Save yourself time and trouble by having all your ingredients ready. Plan your meal a day in advance to make sure you have everything you need. This will limit the amount of stress you experience when cooking the meal and help to ensure that you are able to cook the masterpiece you want.
When you shelve an herb or a spice, make sure it’s dark and cool. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Spices that are whole will retain flavor longer, closer to 3-5 years. Store your herbs and spices correctly, so that they will stay fresh and keep their full flavor!
Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. When you cook using knives that are dull, you create more work for yourself because they make cutting more difficult. It is also a safety hazard to use them. You’re less likely to cut yourself chopping up a vegetable with the clean, fast strokes of a sharp knife, than when you are forcing and wiggling a dull knife.
A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing. Be patient, and try several recipes. Like any skill, cooking can take practice.
If you do any lengthy cooking process like boiling, many of the nutrients will be cooked out. You can keep all those healthy nutrients by using a quick method of cooking like steaming or by eating the vegetables raw.
Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. Rather than pale blonde, they should have a golden caramel color. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.
If you are cooking a meal for some important occasion, stick with a tried and true recipe. Avoid cooking with new ingredients or a new recipe that you have never used before. That way, cooking will cause a great deal less stress.
Always keep your spices away from light in a cool place. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. These fresh spices will help add flavor to your meals, making them tastier!
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
Using smaller amounts of cooking oils will help you lose weight and make your diet healthier. There is a lot of unnecessary fat in butter and oil. You can use a cooking spray rather than butter or oil to cook your foods just as easily, and the important bonus is that it is healthier for you.
Make sure that the knives you are using are very sharp. Only the dull-witted use dull knives, as they are both ineffective and dangerous. You can cut yourself so easily trying to force dull knives through something than it is to make a simple cut with a sharp one.
When you season food add a little at a time every few minutes rather than adding it all at one time. You can be sure that you are not cooking away the extra flavoring, but instead are making the desired impact that you want your spices to have.
Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. You can keep apples fresh by storing them in a cool basement or refrigerator as warm or dry air makes them rot. Watch them, because it will only take one rotten apple to ruin the others.
Always measure your oil when you are cooking. If you want to get rid of some of the fat in your recipe make sure to measure how much you’re using instead of just pouring it into the pan. You’ll be able to carefully account for all of the oil that you use.
Avoid cooking foods in excessive oil when you are trying to become healthier or drop a few extra pounds. Many foods can be prepared in an alternative way that does not involve frying in oil. These types of foods contain many unnecessary fats you can live without. Consider using a nonstick cooking spray as replacement for oil.
Make sure that prior to cooking, your utensils are sparkling clean. If there is any food left on the dish after you wash it, it could contaminate the next dish you use it in. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
When cooking pumpkins, first set the pumpkin upright; then slice it down the center, cutting it in half. Put each half, cut side down, on a separate baking sheet. Dash a little water onto the sheets, and then bake the vegetable for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This is preferable to chopping the herbs because they will be less moisture laden, making them lighter and fluffier.
Think about making your own stock for more flavor. Making it in huge quantities can allow you to store the leftover in some resealable bags in the freezer. Then when you make a soup or other dish that calls for stock, you always have some right at your fingertips. An enormous benefit of cooking your own soup stock or broth is that you know and control the ingredients in the stock.
Accurately measure the amounts of cooking oil you use! If you want to lower the fat in your home cooked meals, you need to carefully measure any oil that you are going to use rather then just guessing. You’ll want to make sure to only use the amount of cooking oil that you need.
When boiling water to cook pasta, be sure to add a generous sprinkling of salt. This allows the seasoning to soak into the pasta, which will retain its flavor. Salt and seasonings do not necessarily stick very well to cooked pasta, so seasoning it while it boils is your best bet to enhance the flavor.
If you really like to use a lot of herbs and spices, you need to keep them in a dark and cool place so they can retain their freshness and flavor. Cabinets located above stoves or other warm corners of your kitchen are bad places to store spices and herbs, as doing so will sacrifice both taste and eventually dollars.
Spreading the mayo evenly and smoothly on the entire surface of the bread will make perfect sandwiches that will impress your friends and family. Too many sandwich artists hurriedly put a glob of mayonnaise in the center of their bread. When it is spread out evenly, each bite of the sandwich will be delicious and full of flavor.
As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.
Do all your cooking prep work well ahead of time. This will keep you from being distracted while the food is cooking. It can be dangerous preparing ingredients while hot oil is cooking on the stove, for instance. Having everything ready beforehand is safer and less stressful.