Cooking might be something you do in order to prepare your food for your daily meals, but the truth is that cooking is much more than that. Cooking is a way to show creativity, scientific knowledge, and people skills all at once. Enhancing your cooking skills means enhancing your life. Try these tips, and make your meals, and life, that much better.
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
To prepare for the meal that you are going to cook, make a comprehensive list of everything that you are going to need to cook your meal when you go to the supermarket. This will allow you to stay as organized as possible so there is no part of your meal that you leave out.
Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.
One of the best ways to store green vegetables so that you can increase the lifespan that they have, is to store them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. This will keep the nutrients in them and retain the freshness that they need to remain tasty.
When making homemade salad dressings it is a good idea to use extra-virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavor that really adds to a salad. Extra-virgin olive oil can be somewhat expensive so it is important to buy it when it is on sale or with a coupon to make it more affordable.
When a recipe calls for vegetable shortening, coconut oil is a healthy alternative that should be used. Coconut oil can be difficult to find in the typical grocery stores so you may need to look in a healthfood store to find it. It is important to read the label to make sure it is true coconut oil.
When cooking with a sauté pan, turn the handle of it in the opposite direction of you. Keeping the handle facing you increases the chance of bumping into and spilling your food. This is also a safety concern because you can burn yourself if the pan tips or falls over.
When picking out a melon for purchase, make sure that it is still fresh. Many times, people get sick from melons that have gone bad. You can check its freshness by checking the part of the melon that was connected to the vine. If it is soft, then the melon is still good.
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.
Taking on cooking is a great way to make yourself feel better about your food choices. You can see what you put into a dish and then be rewarded by the tastes and flavors you’ve tailored to you specifications. Getting a few recipes from close family members or magazines are great places to start.
When shopping for meat, always get the freshest cuts available. If you are shopping for meat at the butcher shop the meat is being fresh cut or ground. However, when shopping at the grocery store try to find out when the store typically cuts meat for the day and try to arrive near that time. Otherwise ask at the meat counter for a fresh cut or grind if you do not know the time of the last cut.
When cooking, be creative. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, add a few steps of your own. Sometimes if you add a little extra, or refrain from using an ingredient you do not really enjoy, you can turn an ordinary dish into something extravagant. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.
Don’t skimp and use cheap olive oil. More expensive olive oil is not only fresher, it often has a richer flavor. High-quality olive oil can draw the flavor out of all your favorite dishes, including pizza, pasta and many types of fish and meat. Even a small drizzle of more expensive olive oil can make the difference that takes your meals from drab to fab!
To add a little extra special flavor to a plain vanilla or yellow cake mix, use the liquid from any canned fruit that is packed in water instead of the plain water called for when making the mix. Most every variety of canned fruit around comes packed in syrup or water. Choose a water-packed can of fruit your family loves to make a plain cake extra tasty. Frost the cake using vanilla or butter cream and add the fruit chunks as decoration on top.
Cook perfect rice every time. When cooking plain white rice, follow these simple steps. Put 1 cup of long-grain rice into a heavy-based saucepan, with a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water. Put a lid on the saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Check the rice at this point: there should be no water left, and small steam holes should have appeared in the rice. Replace the lid, and let the rice sit for 2 minutes. Enjoy!
One of the fun things about cooking is that it is always new. There are always new recipes to try, new skills to learn, and new ways of doing things. You can truly enjoy the art of preparing a meal and it’s something that you get to do every day of your life.