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.
Remember, the smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. Small cookies will bake on a higher temp than a full cake would. Make sure to double check your recipe to find out the exact temperature it needs to be. You don’t want to prepare a perfect item only to have it burn or be under cooked.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Make sure that when you are making your pasta, not to use oil in the water upon cooking. This will reduce the risk that the pasta will stick to the sauce, which can ruin the quality of your meal. Avoid oil in water when you are cooking pasta for maximum results.
When cooking your next large pot of spaghetti, add a drop of oil to the boiling water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together and improve the taste. Your boiling time will remain the same and there is no extra work added by using this method.
If you plan to let your chicken sit in the oven for a while after it is baked, then subtract a few minutes from its baking time. Since chicken continues to bake even after it is taken away from a heat source, it can dry out quickly in an oven that is still hot.
Check what you have at home and bring any new recipes with you when you go to the store. When you have the recipe with you, you’ll have a handy list of what you need to buy. If you don’t check what you already have, you may ending up buying more than you need. If you don’t bring the recipe, you may forget something that you won’t be able to cook without!
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.
If you are making a dish where you will need thin strips of meat (fajitas, Chinese) freeze your meet for about 20 minutes before cutting. This will allow you to slice the meat very thinly with ease. You may think this sounds a little strange, but it will definitely do the trick.
If you plan on making an elaborate meal for dinner, prepare a few elements of the dish that can be refrigerated or left out the night before you want to cook. This eliminates stress and frenzy in the kitchen so you can focus on giving your family a meal worthy of the finest five-star restaurants.
Does your family love roasted vegetables? They taste wonderful but can get dried out and too crispy when roasted in the oven or on a grill. A little known secret is that vegetables will roast well in their own juices when placed in a crock pot. Hard root veggies like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and more, will roast to perfection when placed in the crockpot for 6-8 hours (depending on quantity) on low heat. You can add a little bit of salt and seasoning and a tablespoon or two of olive oil if you like, but they also roast perfectly well just in their own juices. Your vegetables will turn out delicious and healthy!
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 chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This adds flavor and keeps the herbs on the board. You don’t need to add extra salt to the food you are preparing. This will over-salt the dish. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
After cooking, always let your meat rest before serving it. This is especially true when you pull meat from a hot grill. Moisture that keeps your meat tender is sealed within it. When you cut steaming hot meat, the steam that rises is actually the moisture leaving the meat. When you let meat “settle” for at least 15 minutes prior to serving, the moisture and tenderness is preserved.
Use high-quality utensils to cut with in the kitchen. It will help you to save time if you have cutting utensils that are not dull and it also adds safety to your kitchen because dull knives can cause you to cut yourself accidentally. More accidental cuts occur when using a dull knife, instead of a good sharp one.
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.