The economy is not in the best shape right now, which may be preventing you from going out to eat as much. Chances are, however, that you still crave and enjoy a variety of foods that you have only experienced in a restaurant setting. Use the tips below, to learn how to create dishes to fulfill your cravings and budget!
Save time by cooking large quantities, and freezing the extra. When you are planning an elaborate or time consuming meal, prepare extra servings. Making more won’t increase your cooking time much, and these extra meals can be frozen, providing a fast and healthy alternative to the typical frozen TV dinner.
When your pasta is done and you are finished draining, pour some Parmesan cheese on top, which will give your sauce something to latch on to. This will make things much easier for you when you are creating your meal and allow you to layer the levels of your pasta.
When cooking steak, make sure the pan you are using is really hot so that it sears the outside of the meat and keeps all of the juices inside. This will make your steak taste great, and it won’t be dried out, since all of the flavor is still sealed inside of the meat.
If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.
Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.
If you are following a recipe take extra caution to make sure that you don’t skip a step, or that you are reading the measurements correctly. Especially in baking, a small mistake can completely ruin a dish. To avoid this just check the recipe a couple of times before adding in the ingredient to the mixture.
It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.
You should use applesauce when baking if you want to cut back on the amount of calories the baked good contains. The applesauce will not change the texture or flavor of the baked good. It will cut back on the number of calories that are in the baked good. It will also add fiber to the food.
Keep dental floss handy in the kitchen to cut or slice soft foods or ingredients. Unflavored dental floss works better than a knife when it comes to cutting soft cheeses, cake, pie or other soft foods or ingredients. Just unwind a length long enough to allow you to stretch it across the item to be cut and apply even, downward pressure for clean, neat cuts.
Do not keep your spices above your stove. They need to be located in a cool, dark area; if they are exposed to either warm conditions or a light source, they will not taste as good and your cooking will suffer as a result. Think about using one of the cabinets near your refrigerator as a storage space.
Make your own dried tomatoes. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in your freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.
If you are going to buy mushrooms, make sure that you get them before they are opened. When the stems and the caps of a mushroom are tightly attached, this means means that they are really fresh. If the cap is opened, chances are the mushroom is not too fresh.
When cooking with raw meat or eggs, it is very important that you keep your hands and cooking station very sanitary. This is because the raw form of these materials can spread illnesses, such as salmonella, to you. If you do contract an illness, you will be very sick and won’t be cooking for a while!
Make washing dishes part of your cooking routine. Put some hot soapy water in a fresh sink on one side and keep clear water you can use as a rinse on the other side. It is much easier to wash cooking utensils right after using them, and in some cases, you’ll need the same utensil again later in the cooking process.
Avoid overcooking pasta when you boil it. Overcooked pasta loses some of its important health benefits, as well as its flavor. When you overcook pasta, the noodles absorb too much water and become swollen and limp. It is better to slightly under-cook it to retain the best texture and flavor.
Keep vegetables fresh longer by covering them with a wet paper towel and then putting them in an airtight bag. They will stay fresh for several more days if they are kept slightly damp. Refrigeration and lack of air will also keep them fresh. It is important to get the most out of your vegetables by sealing them tightly and storing them away immediately if you do not plan to use them.
Do not let the economy make you despair! The tips above, will help you become a better cook so you can prepare all sorts of dishes, meals and desserts! You do not have to go to culinary school, in order to cook delicious, economical meals for you and your family.