Is cooking one of your New Years Resolutions? Then it’s time to get cooking basics 101.
Novices, professionals, beginners, and experts all have one thing in common. They all cook food. For them, cooking is easy or difficult, depending on their experience and knowledge. For you however, cooking can be easy, if you follow the helpful advice that is provided in the article below.
Cooking Basics 101
Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
If you are wanting to make a good sandwich, make sure you put the mayonnaise on from corner to corner. You don’t want to rush this step. Doing it this way will ensure that every bit is full of flavor. This will make the whole sandwich that much more tasty.
Sharp knives are an important component of any kitchen. Dull knives don’t get the job done, but in addition, are actually dangerous. If you use a dull knife you will need to exert more force to get the job done and run the risk of cutting yourself, whereas with a sharpened knife you can do your prep work easier and quicker.
Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.
One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.
Flour or any other dry goods stored too long, tend to attract bugs and make them either hard to use or not suitable for cooking. Lay a whole bay leaf in the container (and possibly also in the cupboard) and your goods and storage areas will be bug free forever.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.
When you have taken enough celery off the stalk for your recipe, place the rest of it in aluminum foil and then place it in the refrigerator. The celery will stay fresh for at least a week by following this method and it will still have the same taste as when it was first bought.
For an easy meal to put together, save the sauces from other meals you had earlier in the week. Put them in an ice cube tray. You can reheat the cubes in a sauté pan for a quick sauce. Add some veggies and you will have a yummy meal.
Choose local seasonal ingredients as a showpiece for your dish when you are cooking on a budget. Ingredients that are in the peak of their season are also at the height of their flavor and affordability. The flavors from these peak ingredients will allow you to take an inexpensive item and turn it into a star.
Avoid overcooking pasta when you boil it. Overcooked pasta loses some of its important health benefits, as well as its flavor. When you overcook pasta, the noodles absorb too much water and become swollen and limp. It is better to slightly under-cook it to retain the best texture and flavor.
Use your hands to cook the perfect steak. Pressing the fleshy pad at the base of the thumb, when your hand is making an OK sign, will give the same resistance as steak will during cooking. Start with the index finger OK sign and the thumb base will resist at “rare” temperature. Moving towards the pinky you will register medium-rare with middle, medium with the ring finger and well-done with the pinky. Look for the resistance in your steak to match the resistance when pressing your hand.
In order to become a good cook, you should learn to use simple measuring devices. It is very important to know how to get the right quantities because many tried and true recipes require very specific amounts of this and that. Learn to measure and you’ll be licking your chops in no time!
For important meals or dinner guests, stick with cooking what you know. Whether you are cooking for a new significant other or your boss, use a recipe you have cooked before. You can change it up a bit with a new a new ingredient or two. However, never ever try a new recipe with an ingredient with which you are not familiar – the results are unknown!
Furthermore, people of many skill levels, from novice to expert, cook food. Whether their cooking experience is easy or difficult depends on knowledge and experience. If you follow the sound advice found in this article, you too can cook and gain the experience and knowledge that will make cooking easy for you.