Tastes Like Homemade: Some Classic Kitchen Secrets

Being an excellent chef can be simpler than you probably realize. Cooking is the perfect opportunity to refine skills, experiment with new techniques, and discover what dishes really suit your talents. These tips will help you expand your cooking expertise and allow you to try new things. Use the following advice to quickly help you get better at cooking.

Always store your spices in a cool and dark place. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Do not expect your spices to last more than a year. Whole spices can retain flavor for about three or five years. Keep spices fresh for the longest time possible by storing them correctly.

TIP! Spices and herbs should be stored in a dark and cool area. Exposure to excessive heat, humidity, or light will affect the flavor of dried seasoning.

A cool and dark location is best for storing spices and herbs. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.

When cooking for someone that you want to impress, it is a good idea to cook foods that you are comfortable with cooking. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. That way, cooking will cause a great deal less stress.

TIP! If you have a meal that is important, like for a date or your boss, try cooking one of your better dishes so that you are familiar with it and know it tastes good. Don’t attempt a dish that is new or very far out of your experience level.

Corn Starch

Cooking with apples in autumn and winter is popular, however they must be stored correctly to prevent spoiling. Warm dry air causes apples to rot, so put them in plastic bags with loose ties in a fridge or cool basement. Make sure you watch them, though, because if even one is rotting, it can cause the whole lot to spoil.

TIP! Many people like to cook with apples towards the end of the year, but if they aren’t stored properly they can spoil. You can keep apples fresh by storing them in a cool basement or refrigerator as warm or dry air makes them rot.

Here’s a way to turn that thin sauce around. Put a small amount of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly with two tablespoons of water to add to your sauce. Simmer the sauce, and slowly stir the corn starch mixture in. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.

They are known to soak up water like a sponge. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.

TIP! Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Instead of this, you should use a clean, wet cloth, and proceed to wipe the mushroom off by using your hands.

For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.

Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. You can use a brush to apply some vegetable oil to the grill and make it to where nothing will stick to it.

TIP! Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. You can use a brush to apply some vegetable oil to the grill and make it to where nothing will stick to it.

Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. With slower cook times, the overall value of the vegetables is decreased, mainly taste and nutrition. A plus is that faster cooking methods usually yield vegetables which are, generally, simply better for you health. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.

When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. For a tasty bean dish, simply boil them with your favorite herbs.

TIP! Soy products and beans are a wonderful place to get protein if you need to add some to your diet. Both can be purchased at just about any grocery store.

If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. 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. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.

Sauteing veggies in a bit of chicken broth is a healthy way you can prepare them. The broths adds some additional flavor, and reduces or eliminates the need to use cooking oil to prepare them. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.

TIP! Sauteing vegetables in a little chicken broth is a healthful way to cook them. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing.

It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. Investing in a top-notch meat thermometer, such as an ultra-precise digital one, will let let you make sure that the meat is cooked correctly inside and out. If the meat is greater than 1.5 inches in thickness, you should close the lid of the grill in order to decrease your grilling time.

Always make sure to read labels on any ingredients you are purchasing for a recipe. Some cooking supplies will contain unhealthy ingredients. Make sure the food does not have a lot of salt or sugar, these can both be harmful to your health.

TIP! When purchasing ingredients for a particular recipe, read the labels. This will help you avoid unhealthy ingredients.

If you are serving a salad with a meal where you have guests, do not pour the salad dressing on the salad, keep it on the side. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. Offer your guests a variety of dressings.

That way, fruit can stay crisp and fresh all year. This will help you to have fruit whenever you want it, even when it is out of season.

TIP! Not all fruit freezes well, but this way, you can prolong the freshness of certain fruits and enjoy them later. You also have the added benefit of having fruits out of season whenever you want them.

If you have a tight deadline to cook a roast, leave the bone in the piece of meat. The roast will need less time to cook because the bone transmits heat inside it. As soon as your roast has finished, simply slice around the bone before you serve.

Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. The taste of the wine will be reflected in your meal. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.

TIP! Don’t use bitter, sour, or tasteless wine in your recipes. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire.

If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. If you use a kind of wine you’ve never tasted before, you may mess up the flavor of the dish you’re working on. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.

You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Cut Romas tomatoes in lengthwise halves, or slice ripe regular tomatoes into half inch slices for drying. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Dried tomatoes could also be put in a jar with fresh herbs and topped up with olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.

TIP! You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick.

If you’re feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, consider doing much of the prep work the evening before cooking. Chop veggies, prepare a sauce, or marinate meat before heading to bed. Doing the prep work ahead of time will decrease stress, and increase your enjoyment of finishing the meal.

Keep your spices and herbs stored in a dark, cool place so that their freshness and flavor is maximized. 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.

TIP! In order for herbs and spices to remain fresh and flavorful, they need to be kept in an area that is cool and dim. If you put them above the oven, or in another warm place, the spices and herbs will not retain their flavor.

Be sure to save your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner as opposed to pitching it. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. Turkey can be used later for many delicious casseroles and salads, since it can last in a freezer for long periods of time.

Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. Frozen turkey will keep for weeks in the freezer and can be unfrozen and used for a variety of dishes.

TIP! There’s almost always leftovers after serving turkey. Freeze cut turkey in a tightly sealed container.

Try out the tips provided and see how well your cooking abilities improve. Experiment with each of these ideas at least once. Put these ideas into practice and you’ll be able to perfect your cooking techniques. You can quickly improve your chef skills if you take the time to try these tips.

Spices should be replaced every six months. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.

TIP! Replace your spices twice a year. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor.