How often do you enjoy cooking? If you’re like most people, cooking can start to get boring after a while. Why? Because you are likely doing it multiple times a day. It’s not hard to fall into a rut where you’re eating the same things and cooking the same things. Here are a few tips to help you spice up your cooking.
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Try your hand at some of the recipes, remembering that patience is key during the learning process.
If you are cooking for someone special, do not try a recipe that you have never tried before. Because you are trying to impress this person, you want to make sure you make a satisfying meal. Try something you are very familiar with, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to make it.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
You can avoid sticky rice by removing the starch. To do just that wash the rice several times until the water coming from the rice is crystal clear. Remove all the water, and let the rice sit for 20 minutes. Adding a few drops of lemon to the water before cooking also helps to separate the grains.
Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.
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!
If you are going to braise meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. By doing it this way, the meat will stay tender and it will retain its juiciness, which in turns, leaves the meat tasting good. Cooking it a high temperature can dry the meat out.
Every good cook recognizes the importance of keeping a well stocked pantry. You should have quantities of flour, salt, oil, sugar, and spices on hand at all times. Good cooking depends on it. There is nothing more frustrating than to get down to that final step and find you are missing a necessary spice.
Avoid limiting yourself to white potatoes in your cooking. They are very high in starch and have the least amount of nutritional content of any of the potatoes. Try varieties that come in blue, red, yellow, and orange. You can substitute almost any root vegetable as your usual white potato.
Cauliflower is white when you first place it in water, but it has a tendency to sometimes turn a grayish or yellowish color. To prevent that from happening and keeping your cauliflower perfectly white you should try adding a little bit of milk to the water while it is cooking.
Put vegetables in cold water after you blanch them. Blanching – also known as boiling – a vegetable can be a tasty way to prepare them. Unfortunately, it can quite literally “blanch” your veggies. While this is only an aesthetic problem, it can be easily avoided. By putting the vegetables in cold water after blanching, they will retain their green color.
Store vegetable trimmings in the freezer for a tasty vegetable stock. Save money and increase the flavor of your dishes by making your own vegetable stock. Throughout the week or even month, place vegetable trimmings and peels into plastic bags and store them in the freezer. When you have a spare afternoon, throw them in a pot with some water and let simmer. Once strained, you will have a flavorful broth that can also be frozen for later use.
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.
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.
Use these tips to rekindle your love of cooking. Cooking is done every day, but that means that every day you have a new opportunity to make something great out of an everyday occurrence. Fall in love with cooking again, or for the first time, and make meals great again.