Cooking and meal preparations are skill sets that are convenient to have for multiple reasons. A meal at home is fresher and more delicious. But, not every person can cook as well as they might like to. As your cooking abilities grow, you can be confident in attempting to make more difficult dishes.
For the most beautiful homemade chocolate chip cookies, do not add all of the chocolate morsels into the mix! Save about a quarter of what your recipe calls for until after the cookies are all arranged on the cooking sheet, then add them evenly to the tops of the dough drops to create bakery looking, perfect chocolate chip cookies!
It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.
Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthy, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with a low-fat Greek-style yogurt. This will make the dressing much healthier.
Damp paper towel and a plastic bag can extend the life of your greens. If you wrap your fresh herbs or fresh greens with a damp paper towel and then place them in a plastic bag, they will last longer. They will normally stay fresh three to four days longer if you do.
When it comes to cooking a good habit to do after preparing garlic is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will remove the unwanted odor from your hands. Washing them less than 30 seconds will not take all the odor away.
If you have a family, you will want to implement a process for cleaning up after you cook your meal. This is very important as you will want to conserve the excess food that you do not eat for future servings. Post meal cleanup is just as important as pre-meal preparation.
To get professional-looking results when dipping candy in melted chocolate, use a toothpick to dip the soft candy. Push the toothpick into the candy piece about halfway, ensuring not to go all the way through the candy. Dip the candy, drop it on waxed paper to cool, and quickly drop a tiny bit of the melted chocolate over the hole created by the toothpick. The toothpick hole is now cleverly filled with chocolate.
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.
If you plan on making an elaborate meal for dinner, prepare a few elements of the dish that can be refrigerated or left out the night before you want to cook. This eliminates stress and frenzy in the kitchen so you can focus on giving your family a meal worthy of the finest five-star restaurants.
Prepare as much of the food as you can the night before. The cooking process will go much smoother when you can concentrate on the more difficult parts of cooking instead of worrying about the mundane tasks. Many dressings and vegetables, for example, will stay in the refrigerator quite well.
After you have cut up meats on your counter, be sure to thoroughly wipe the counters and chopping boards down with a disinfectant. You need to disinfect knives also. Keep separate chopping boards for uncooked and cooked foods. Many people get salmonella poisoning each year because they ingested food that was prepared on an unclean counter or chopping board. This is especially important if you prepare food for children or the elderly.
If you are sauteing vegetables and require more oil, add the oil to the outer part of the pan. This way the oil is heated by the time it reaches your vegetables. By doing this you eliminate extra cooking time and you never have to worry about your vegetables getting soggy or getting splattering hot oil.
To make the very best bread stuffing, check out your grocer’s day-old bakery section. You should be able to find a wide variety of different types of bread there, from tasty Italian and French breads to scrumptious sourdoughs and hearty rye breads. The trick for great bread stuffing is not only the seasonings used, but also the type of bread used. Different breads provide for many different flavors as well as textures in your home-made stuffing.
Don’t overcook cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. While lightly steamed cabbage that still retains its crunch is delicious, particularly in dishes like coleslaw, and lightly steamed broccoli is great in salads, when either are overcooked, they liberate stinky sulfur compounds and lose a lot of nutritive value and texture.
Rice is a great carbohydrate and very inexpensive. Pasta and bread are three times as much per pound than rice. Investing in a rice cooker is well worth it. Use rice as you would orzo or other short pastas.
Save your carrot peelings, the ends of onions, parmesan rinds, and celery leaves in a container in your freezer. The next time you roast a turkey, a chicken, or bone-in beef, place the bones or carcass into a stock pot with your frozen veggie parts and cover with enough water to cover it all. Let this simmer as long as you can stand it (up to 8 hours) for a rich, flavorful stock that you can use in recipes or as a base for soup.
As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!