Cooking is a beloved pastime for countless individuals, and is something that most anyone can learn to do well. Knowing how to cook is something that can serve you well for your entire life and bring great enjoyment. By using the tips that follow, you can can soon become an expert in the kitchen.
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!
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
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 you are cooking for your family, try not to stick to one style. If you cook the same meal over and over, it can get boring and your family will become jaded with the dishes that you make. Change things up every night so that you can introduce new meals and cuisines to your family.
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.
There is an easy way to peel garlic. There are many tips and techniques for peeling garlic, but there is a simple way that doesn’t involve any fancy gadgets. Take a rubber jar lid gripper and lay it on the counter. Place a clove of garlic on it and fold it over. Using a little pressure, simply roll the garlic clove around a few times inside the rubber gripper, and the skin will instantly be removed.
When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.
When you are cooking pasta, follow this useful tip. Instead of strictly following the instructions given on the pasta box or package, try cooking the pasta one minute less than the time indicated. Then finish off the pasta by cooking it in a pan with sauce for the final minute. Doing so will give the pasta more flavor.
Make sure eggs are still fresh before using them. Eggs that are no longer good can cause salmonella poisoning among other deadly diseases. You can test an egg’s freshness by lowering it into a bowl of water. If it settles horizontally, it is still good. If it rises to the top, it is bad.
If your family tends to eat a lot of chicken and often, remember to always brine the poultry as it will lock in flavor. Otherwise you are left with a dry piece of chicken that merely has whatever spices and herbs you chose coated on the outside rather than penetrating every bite.
Make sure that you let cookies cool down completely – at least 15 minutes – before removing them from the cookie sheet. Otherwise, they are more likely to stick to the sheet and break apart. Also, by eating them while they are still hot, you could possibly burn your mouth.
Pesto cooking tip! When you are using pesto sauce, make sure you never heat it up! If you want to have it in a pasta or soup dish, it is best if you cook the food first – then add the uncooked pesto. This is important because cooking pesto will make the basil have a bitter taste.
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.
There can be no doubt that cooking provides great pleasure to many, and can also serve as a wonderful creative outlet. Acquiring skills in the kitchen can be rewarding for you, not to mention your friends and family, and is well worth the effort. Putting these tips to work will set you quickly on the path to culinary mastery.