Cooking is one of the finest skills to study on your own. Cooking well can improve your health, save you money and be fun. Better yet, cooking is a skill you can always improve. Even the greatest kitchen veterans can learn a little something new. Here are a few handy tips for getting better results out of your kitchen:
One of the things that you will need to realize when you are making meats or fish is that you need to spread your seasoning evenly. Adding too much seasoning in one area of your food can reduce the flavor or lead to a tangy taste that will reduce the quality of your meal.
Always add oil to the side of the pan when sautéing. If you find that you need more oil in your pan while you are cooking, never put it right in the middle. Add it to the side of your pan. That way, it will be sufficiently heated by the time it reaches the food.
When heating oil on the stove top to use for frying, use a low setting and slowly turn the burner up to reach the desired temperature. Most foods do not require much more than 350 degrees, for the oil to fry it to a nice golden brown and not end up burnt to a crisp on the outside, while raw on the inside. If you crank the temperature setting knob to its highest point, you not only run the risk of spattering and burning yourself, as well as the food you are trying to fry, but you are also wasting time while you wait for the oil to cool down enough to use. Oil heats up quickly, but it is very slow to cool down, once it has gotten too hot.
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.
When cooking, many people forget about proper care for the spices that they use to season their food. All spices should be stored in a cool dark place and never above a stove. The reason for this is because storing spices in areas where there is a lot of heat, light, or humidity will cause them to lose their flavor.
Cooking tip “? sweet treat for smelly fingers! Cleaning fish or shrimp is a messy task and leaves a distinctive smell on your hand for at least a day. There is an effective way of removing the smell. Squish a few fresh strawberries between your fingers for a couple of minutes and rinse your hand with soapy water. The smell will disappear instantly!
You should cook chicken stew if you need to make a quick meal. Take a carton of chicken broth and put it in a large stock pot. Add cooked shredded chicken, diced potatoes, carrots, green beans and onions to the pot. Season to taste and cook for three hours on low. It is a tasty meal that does not take a lot of work.
When you are cooking pumpkin seeds, first, cover the raw seeds in melted butter, olive or vegetable oil. Then spread them out evenly across a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with your favorite seasonings. Bake the seeds at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about forty-five minutes or until golden brown.
Place fruit that is not quite ripe in a plastic bag with a few small holes to allow it to ripen. The plastic helps retain the gases used by ripening fruit while the holes allow fresh air to circulate across the fruit. This also helps you keep your fruit fresh longer!
Here is a great tip to use when you have to deep fry foods. While deep frying, hold the food with a set of long cooking tongues as you place them into the oil. Before releasing, hold the food for five seconds just below the oil, then release. This will prevent the food from sticking to other food or the side of the fryer by sealing it.
One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.
When you are making casseroles, roasts, and other things that may stick to the bottom of a baking sheet, you should line the bottom of the pan with foil. This is a good idea because after you are done cooking you can throw the foil away and you will not have a lot of cleaning up to do.
Use cast iron pans when you cook your meat. Cast iron imparts the best flavor to the meat and avoids any chance of sticking. You also get the added benefit of your meat having a higher iron content from using the cast iron. Sometimes old fashioned ideas are the best.
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!
Hopefully, some of these ideas will prove useful to you. Not only is cooking a field in which there is always something new to learn, it is a very personal skill set. You retain full control of what you learn and how you apply it. Keep your eyes peeled for more tips that you can use to cook the way you want to.