While some people prefer to indulge in delicious, savory dishes, there are millions more who derive far more pleasure from learning how to prepare those perfect appetizers, desserts, and main courses. With the information in this article, you can get a head start on your path to becoming the next best chef!
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months under normal circumstances. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. Storing spices in glass containers with a tight-fitting lid will keep them best.
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
Keep track of ingredients when baking. Sometimes, when you are adding a lot of dry ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s easy to lose track. An easy solution to this is to place each ingredient in a different part of the bowl. That way, every dry ingredient you add can be seen and counted.
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy.
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.
Try to cook when you have a clear head so that you can maximize the quality of your food. If you are currently having emotional problems, do not put yourself in a dangerous situation where you can get hurt. Always have a clear conscience when you are planning to cook a meal.
You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.
When you are going to the butcher to get meats or fish, do not be scared to ask to smell the product before purchasing it. Sometimes the meat or fish is bad and the butcher does not even know it, which is why it is important for you to smell it.
No matter what kind of cheese you may have in your refrigerator, be sure that air cannot enter it by wrapping it tightly. Air contributes to mold growth on cheese. If your cheese does happen to have a little bit of mold on it, you can still use it by just cutting off the part with mold.
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.
A great grilling tip to improve flavor and consistency is to try to cut similar foods into the same size pieces. This ensures that foods stay moist and grill evenly. A nice side benefit is that it also makes your workload a little easier. By cutting out the hassle of constantly monitoring foods for doneness, you have the peace of mind of knowing your foods will all be ready right about the same time.
For important meals or dinner guests, stick with cooking what you know. Whether you are cooking for a new significant other or your boss, use a recipe you have cooked before. You can change it up a bit with a new a new ingredient or two. However, never ever try a new recipe with an ingredient with which you are not familiar – the results are unknown!
Tenderize meat before cooking it. Especially tough portions of meat are best tenderized or braised, due to the stringy consistency of the meat. Identifying the correct cut of meat and matching it with the correct method of cooking can be very important, as you may end up with an extremely stringy “roast” steak.
When you are deep frying foods, try not to fry too much food at once. Overcrowding the deep fryer, will cause the oil temperature to drop and the food will not be as crispy. The key to successful deep frying is to keep enough oil around the foods to keep up the temperature.
Roasted meat with vegetables is a versatile and easy meal. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. In a large mixing bowl, combine seasonings of your choice and olive oil or melted butter. Add meat pieces and coarsely chopped vegetables. Coat evenly. Pour mixture into roasting pan, cover and cook for about an hour. Enjoy your one pan meal!
Now that you have added some useful and creative cooking tips to your arsenal, you should be able to start pursuing your dream of playing chef. Whether you want to make a living from cooking or simply want to serve delicious meals to your family, remember these tips for culinary glory.