Great Strategies To Being A Successful Cook

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Becoming a better cook can be accomplished with a little time, patience and following a few simple steps. The basics of cooking are easy to master and accomplish. In order to cook meals and dishes that will make your friends and family say “Wow!” you need to try these simple steps and you can be on your way to being the best cook you can possibly be.

Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Spices that have not been ground may still be worth using for three years or a little more. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.

Do not be afraid to experiment. There is no rule that says you need to follow a recipe exactly. If you do not care for an ingredient, leave it out. If you think a different ingredient would taste better, substitute it. If you think the dish is missing a little something, add it.

Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.

If you are always in the kitchen cooking, invest in a knife sharpener. This will ensure that your utensils are sharp at all times, which will give you the ability to maximize the quality of your cuts. Keeping your utensils up to par is very important when cooking in the kitchen.

For pasta that is cooked perfectly all the way through, do not place it the in water until the water is boiling. Pasta cooks from the outside in, so to keep your pasta all one texture you need to cook it at the same consistent temperature from the beginning to the end.

Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Take a few twigs of the basil and place it in a small container or glass. Now fill the glass with water to just above the stems. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. If you provide the basil with fresh water, it will eventually root in the water and sprout a new plant. Cut or trim the basil occasionally to encourage additional growth and you can enjoy fresh basil for some time!

To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.

When you broil a steak, heat your broiler to the appropriate temperature before putting the steak in. The result will be a seared steak on the outside, with a very juicy inside. The broiling process should also be quick, but will vary depending on how well done you want your steak to be. Over cooking can lead to a dried out end result.

Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.

If you have a lot of pets around the house, they should not be with you in the kitchen, if the stove is near the ground. This can present a safety hazard because you want to reduce any risk of your animals getting hurt. Keep all animals and small children away from hot ovens.

Cinnamon should be added to foods for extra antioxidants. Cinnamon is a tasty spice that can be added to applesauce, diced apples, yams, or even oatmeal. It adds great flavor to just about any fruit and is great for using when baking. It is also very affordable and can be purchased at any grocery store.

When you are cooking clarified butter, first slowly melt butter that is unsalted over very low heat. Do not stir the butter, and do not let it comes to a boil. This process will separate the milk solids from the liquid butter into three layers when finished. The clarified butter will be in the middle layer.

To preserve more of the nutritional value of your vegetables don’t cook them for too long. As you cook a vegetable, its nutrient content diminishes. Good techniques for quickly cooking vegetables are steaming and stir-frying. Slow cooking has its place, but don’t neglect the quicker techniques with their greater nutrition.

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.

While your cooking it is important to be passionate and interested about what you are doing. With cooking, the taste you get out of your food isn’t only linearly connected to the effort put in, it’s exponential! If you don’t put effort into your food while cooking it, you will get something you don’t even want to eat or feed to anyone!

After trying these steps, you should be well on your way to being a much better cook. The great thing about these tips is that if they don’t work the first time keep trying and you are sure to get better. You should notice the difference right away and your friends and family will thank you.

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