Cooking can be one of life’s great pleasures. Whether you’re baking or grilling, you can always find something new to create for a meal and can always use tips. Here are a few tips for you to keep in your arsenal and use when you’re looking for great cooking advice.
Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.
Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.
Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.
Make sure that if you are planning a party with friends and family, to have each course planned out in advance. You should have an appetizer course, salad course, main dish and dessert. Breaking your meal into courses will give people a chance to digest and appreciate what you have cooked for them.
Don’t substitute romaine lettuce when making caesar salad. Romaine has the perfect texture and flavor to stand up to the strong ingredients in a classic caesar dressing, such as garlic, anchovies and parmesan cheese. Select romaine that has dark green outer leaves that curl away from the center. To store, leave the head whole and unwashed in the refrigerator, and tear off leaves as needed.
One of the greatest things that you can do is to cook with family members or friends. When you cook with someone else, you will be able to pick up on tricks that they implement and will be able to better yourself as a cook. Talk to them to see how their thought process works, to elevate your expertise.
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!
Don’t be afraid to over season your meat. Most people actually under season, because the cooking process will weaken the flavor of some spices. With the exception of salt, most seasonings will better enhance the flavor if you use about twice as much as you think you should.
Beans stored for a longer period of time need to be checked for insect damage or mold. Instead of visually looking at each bean put them in a bowl of cold water. Use only the ones sinking to the bottom as those floating are either suffer from insect damage or mold.
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.
When baking, here is a tip for eggs and butter. Let your eggs and butter set out overnight at room temperature. Doing so will soften the butter which will make it easier to spread, melt, and mix with other ingredients. The eggs will be easier to beat, and foaming egg whites will be easier as well.
Make sure you thoroughly clean your utensils before starting to cook. If there is food leftover after washing, this could ruin whatever you are going to cook. This can also spread harmful bacteria.
To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.
In addition to staples, condiments and seasonings, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy convenient foods and quick-fix items. A no-stress kitchen should include eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables, breads, baking products, canned and bottled items, grains, refrigerated and freezer items, and condiments. When you run out of a product, don’t forget to make a note of it, so you won’t be caught out if you need it in the future.
Whenever you make stock for soups or stews, make it in large quantities, and freeze the extra. That way, the next time you want to whip up a quick soup or stew, the most time-consuming part is already done. You just have to pull a bag from the freezer for a quick and delicious meal.
It’s important to be creative while cooking. Following every recipe to the letter will give results, but it won’t make you a great cook. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Sometimes that’s the best sort of cooking!
Make homemade vinaigrette dressings instead of purchasing them from the store. Your homemade dressing not only tastes better, but it uses fewer ingredients and is often healthier. You can easily whip these up by just dumping all the ingredients into a sealed contained and shaking it up vigorously, and voila! You have delicious tasting dressing for marinades and salads.
These tips are just a few of the many cooking tips available for those who love to cook. Use them as is or to inspire ideas of your own. The great thing about cooking is that nothing is ever wasted. Every idea is a good one in the kitchen.