Turn Any Meal Into A True Gourmet Experience With These Simple Tips

It is very easy to be a great cook! The next time you’re cooking a meal, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. The tips will give you the guidance you need to have confidence when cooking and to try new and interesting things. Use this advice to greatly improve upon your cooking skills.

You should do the prep work for your meals in advance. It is quite important that the preparation is done well in advance of the cooking process. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.

TIP! When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking.

If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. If they are exposed to light, heat or humidity, they will lose much of their flavor. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.

If you’re trying to start making more food yourself, try looking at basic cookbooks in your local library or bookstore. Focus on one recipe at a time and give yourself enough time to improve your cooking.

TIP! In your journey to cook more meals yourself, utilize the library or local bookstore in acquiring cookbooks. Target simple books with simple recipes that make you comfortable.

When you are making stir-fry dishes, make certain the meat is thinly sliced on the bias. This may take some time and effort. When the meat is firm, but prior to it becoming completely frozen, remove it from the freezer. Slice the meat across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

To make a delicious beef stir-fry, slice your meat thinly and across the grain. It can be difficult to slice the meat, and it takes some time. Then take the meat of out the freezer when it has firmed up a little, but has not frozen yet, and cut the meat at 45 degrees with the grain.

TIP! Slice your meat very thinly for stir-fry dishes. This is not easy to do and could take some time.

There’s a neat trick you can use to save your sauce. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 tblsp water and 2 tblsp corn starch. Stir this solution into your simmering thin sauce until it thickens. Be sure to gradually stir in the solution, and frequently stir the sauce so that it does not become too thick.

Always keep a set of sharp knives in your kitchen. 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. Use a sharp knife and it will glide right through the items you wish to cut, without you having to put a great amount of force behind the blade.

TIP! Having sharp knives when you are cooking is very important. Dull knives are more dangerous to use and they are less productive as well.

Dull Knives

Cooking methods like boiling tend to destroy a lot of the nutrients that are in vegetables. To retain their nutritional value, saute or steam them. Better yet, eat them raw.

TIP! Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. To retain the healthy nutrients, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables, or even better, eat them raw.

Sharp knives are essential to cooking. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. 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.

While it may be tempting to show off your culinary talents when entertaining a new love-interest or your boss, you will do best if you keep to a menu you are familiar with, and has already garnered rave reviews. Don’t attempt a dish that is new or very far out of your experience level. Cooking will be less stressful.

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. You can avoid stress by sticking to familiar recipes and food you enjoy.

Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest French fries. Cold water will allow the sliced potato to retain its internal fibers, meaning that they are less likely to completely break down when cooked at a high heat.

Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.

TIP! If you want crispier and crunchier French fries, then soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water for a period of at least half an hour before use. The potatoes need to soak because the fibers will be reinforced through the cold fluids which in turn makes them fry better.

Nutritional Value

To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.

TIP! Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland.

When cooking vegetables, cook them as quickly as possible to keep their nutritional value. Taste and nutritional value suffer when vegetables are slow-cooked. These speed-cooking techniques usually produce vegetables that are more nutritious overall. Adapting the principle of faster cooking times is a crucial element in serving better quality vegetables to your family and friends.

Do you plan on cooking with fresh basil? Store the basil within a glass. Cover its stems with water. You can put it on the kitchen counter and keep it for weeks. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.

TIP! Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Next, ensure the stems are covered with water.

If you love using fresh basil, try growing it on your own to always have it on hand. Place some basil in a clean glass. Pour water in the glass until the stems of the fresh basil are completely covered. Place it on your kitchen counter to keep it fresh for weeks! If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. Trim or cut the basil regularly to encourage growth and you will be able to enjoy fresh basil!

You can also use this seasoning on foods other than meat. For example, sprinkle it over roasted nuts or seeds, or use a dash when cooking eggs for breakfast. Simply sprinkling on these kinds of seasonings can turn your dish into an instant hit.

TIP! You can use it on other types of food besides meat. It can be put on pumpkin seeds for a yummy snack, or even in scrambled eggs for a zesty breakfast.

Do you ever have difficulty determining how long you should grill your meat? A reliable meat thermometer can help you ensure that the meat is properly cooked on the inside. For the most accurate readings, invest in a digital thermometer. If you’re grilling especially thick slabs of meat – anything thicker than an inch and a half – bring the lid down on your grill to speed up the cooking process.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. Not only will the flavor be enhanced, but they will be lower in fat without the need for oils and butter. This is a delicious, simple way to cook fresh vegetables.

TIP! Sauteing vegetables in a small amount of chicken broth is a healthy and delicious way to cook. The chicken broth will cut down on the fat in your vegetable dishes while enhancing their flavor.

Always store baking supplies such as baking mixes, flour, and sugar in airtight containers. Putting your food in these kinds of containers will prevent insects from getting into the food and prevent them from going bad from air exposure. You can buy these nearly anywhere, so they’re a worthwhile investment.

If your time is short when making a roast, speed up the process by leaving in the bone while cooking. The bone helps the heat distribute on the inside of the roast, which helps it cook faster. When the roast is done, slice it around the bone.

TIP! Keep the bone in the roast if you want it to cook faster. The roast will need less time to cook because the bone transmits heat inside it.

Optimize your efforts when making your own chicken stock. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. You can use the stock as a base for all kinds of soups or even casseroles. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.

Protect your investment in herbs and spices by storing them correctly – in a cool, dark space. Storing spices and herbs in cabinets above the stove or in other warmer locations will result in a loss of flavor and a loss of money.

TIP! Store spices and herbs in cool and dark areas so their freshness and flavors are preserved. Storing these items in warm locations will lead them to lose their flavor quicker.

Reduce the amount of cooking oil you use if you are looking to lose weight and make your diet healthier. Oil or butter add more fat than necessary to your dishes. Try cooking with a cooking spray so that you will use less oil but the same effect.

Make the most of your holiday feast by reusing the leftover turkey. Instead of tossing out the leftovers, store them in a container that is airtight and place in the freezer. This will keep the meat fresh for a couple of weeks. When you are ready to use it, you can make sandwiches or have it in a salad.

TIP! After you eat turkey, do not just toss the leftovers in the garbage. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later.

Cooking Skills

Everyone who cooks needs to have good kitchen organization. If they are not properly organized, you will wind up rummaging around to find what you need. Keep certain similar tools in one area. For example, keep all of your spices in one cabinet. You can even organize them further by grouping them according to color, flavor, type or any other effective method.

TIP! It will be very helpful to have all cooking supplies nicely organized. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute.

Use the tips you just read about to help you improve your cooking skills. Try each tip once or twice to see if it’s something you can use. The more frequently you put these ideas to use, the more quickly you can refine your cooking aptitude. Improve your cooking skills significantly in under a week by adding these tips to your arsenal of kitchen tricks.

New spices should be purchased every six months. When spices are stored for too long, their flavor degrades, resulting in a less potent spice. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.

TIP! New spices should be purchased every six months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor.