When you’re thinking about taking up a hobby, consider cooking. Cooking is often overlooked because you are probably doing so much of it, but the truth is that cooking can be a wonderful source of relaxation for the home chef, as well as a way to create and explore. Here are a few tips to help your cooking exploration.
Preparation is a very important part of cooking. You want to make sure you have every item you might need. You also want to make sure you have all the supplies you might need. You don’t want to be in the middle of a dish and find out you are missing something important.
To improve your level of convenience in the kitchen, one of the things that you can do is to freeze the excess sauces that you create, in ice cube trays. This will allow you to reheat them when you need sauce again and also to save money on the excess sauce that you kept.
Since you are going to be using a lot of sharp knives in the kitchen to cook your meals, you will want to maintain precautions at all times. Instead of simply putting your knife in the drawer, make sure that you put a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.
When storing ingredients that you will use for cooking it is a good habit to stock them in large quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. This will make preparing food easier and faster. For example, when preparing vegetables, you can just pull them out of the freezer and simply boil them.
When you are chopping onions for a home cooked salsa make sure you rinse them. Rinse your onions immediately after you cut them then blot them dry with a napkin. This will remove the sulfurous gas and will make your salsa taste better. This works well for other recipes too.
If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.
When you feel like your dish is missing something but it isn’t salt, consider something acidic. Lemon, wine, and vinegar can all be great ways to add acid to a recipe. Healthy acidic balances out the flavor of anything sweet. It can also be a wonderful way to add a “salty” flavor if you’re on a low salt diet.
When storing items in your kitchen, you will want to make sure that they are stored in containers that are airtight and closed tightly for two reasons. While most foods will go stale having constant exposure to air, another big fear is that the product will be taken over by bugs.
An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.
Don’t use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.
Next time you make a dressing at home, swap half of the amount of mayo with an equal portion of Greek-style yogurt. This increases not only the richness of the dressing, but it gives it the creamy and smooth texture that we all love to see on our salads and other dishes.
Treat your herbs like fresh flowers. If you are tired of your fresh herbs going to waste before you can use them all, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, trim the stems and place them in a vase in which you would like to keep freshly cut flowers. You will keep the herbs alive and healthy much longer.
A great cooking tip is to spray your pan with oil before you cook with it. Spraying the pan with oil will make it so that the food doesn’t stick to the pan. Trying to clean a pan with food stuck on it can be very frustrating and time consuming.
To sear a rib-eye, T-bone, strip or other steak to perfection even when you can’t fire up the outdoor grill, flip a cast-iron skillet over and broil the steak in your oven. Heat the skillet in a hot oven prior to placing the steak on its surface, and cook to your preferred level of doneness.
Use a paper towel to blot dry, any meat that you are browning before you put it in the hot oil. This prevents the release of moisture when your meat hits the hot oil. When you are browning meat, you want it to sear, not steam. Moisture-rich meats will steam and the brown crust that you seek from browning, will prove elusive.
Carrots are a tasty and inexpensive staple that can be used in many ways. Raw carrots cut into strips of convenient sizes are great snacks and popular with many kids, but can also be baked in popular dishes like carrot cakes, tossed into salads, or blanched and glazed with honey.
For a more flavorful fried fish coating, replace the usual crackers with your favorite kind of chips. Salt and vinegar chips crush up just as nice as crackers while adding more depth to the final flavor of fish. You can also replace the usual milk dip with dressing for another pop of unexpected flavor.
Take these tips and use them in your dishes to make them come alive. Serve them to guests, bask in the compliments and then do it all over again. The wonderful thing about cooking as a hobby is that you can always recreate or create anew; you’ll always need something to eat!