Becoming a better cook can be accomplished with a little time, patience and following a few simple cooking skills and techniques. The basics of cooking are easy to master and accomplish. In order to cook meals and dishes that will make your friends and family say “Wow!” you need to try these simple steps and you can be on your way to being the best cook you can possibly be.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
Cooking Skills And Techniques
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
Make sure to prepare your dishes the night before. Create marinades and allow your meat to sit in the refrigerator overnight. By doing most of the prep the night before, you make a delicious tasting meal. You also lower the amount of stress when making the meal before your guests arrive.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.
When shaving vegetables for dishes such as a vinaigrette or a salad, use a coarse microplane, also known as a grater or zester, to grate them into smaller pieces. The flavors of the vegetables are truly unlocked when grated with the microplane.
If you are making french fries, you want that crispy outside. A trick to getting this is to let your raw potatoes sit in cold water for at least thirty minutes before you put them in the fryer. That will give you that lovely golden crunchy outside, and the soft inside that is favored.
If you and your significant other love cooking, then consider taking a cooking class for couples! Couples cooking classes can help you explore new cuisines, enjoy each other’s company and also learn more about working together in the kitchen. A well-kept secret is that the guys enjoy these classes as much as the ladies ”
and it often leads to the fellows taking a greater role in cooking at home.
When you are cooking any dessert that has strawberries in it, add a small amount of aged balsamic vinegar. The vinegar gives the dessert a sweet taste and it helps to enhance the strawberry’s taste. If the dessert is something bigger, such as a strawberry cake, add a touch more balsamic vinegar.
Keep a supply of chopped onions all ready to go, in your freezer. It is easy to be dissuaded from cooking a particular recipe because you don’t want to go through the tears and smell of cutting up onions. When you are cutting one onion, you might as well take the time and cut up several of them. Put them in a baggie and freeze them!
Store herbs and spices in your cabinet or pantry if they offer a cool, dry area. Many people keep their spice rack out near the stove or on the wall over the stove. These locations offer too much light, humidity, and heat, which can deplete the flavor of the seasonings. Avoid these exposed areas, and look for an optimal location out of sight.
Do not use oil when boiling pasta. You may hear many sources tell you that oil in your water when boiling pasta will keep it from sticking when it is drained. This may hold some truth, however, the oil can not only break the pasta down prematurely, it will also prevent your sauce from sticking to it. Use salt in the water to achieve a faster boil and rinse cooked pasta with warm water to prevent sticking.
To make perfect deviled eggs, ensure the yolk is evenly centered within the egg by spinning the egg on a flat surface before boiling. Place an egg, lengthwise, on the top of the kitchen counter and gently spin it a couple of times. The spinning action helps center the yolk within the shell. This method helps create perfectly-formed deviled eggs.
Don’t use citrus in your meat marinades. When you marinate meat with citrus juices, it often produces a mealy, grainy texture. If you still want to have that mild citrus taste, use a small drizzle or squeeze of lemon or lime juice right before serving the dish. This still provides a zesty citrus flavor, but makes sure your meat is tender and not grainy feeling.
Roasted meat with vegetables is a versatile and easy meal. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. In a large mixing bowl, combine seasonings of your choice and olive oil or melted butter. Add meat pieces and coarsely chopped vegetables. Coat evenly. Pour mixture into roasting pan, cover and cook for about an hour. Enjoy your one pan meal!
After trying these steps, you should be well on your way to being a much better cook. The great thing about these tips is that if they don’t work the first time keep trying and you are sure to get better. You should notice the difference right away and your friends and family will thank you.