How to improve your cooking skills is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.
Learning the basics of cooking can take years, but understanding the right techniques can shorten this process. Dedication and practice will help you make small improvements over time. Remember, small improvements can add up to a big difference over time.
How To Improve Your Cooking Skills
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Their flavors will be weakened when they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Usually, a freshly ground spice or herb will keep its flavor for around a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. They’ll last longest when stored properly.
To prevent the crust of your filled pies from getting soggy, coat the dough with egg white first and then bake it for about five minutes to allow it to set. You should then fill and bake as you normally would. This will stop your crust from absorbing too much of the filling during baking and becoming soft and wet.
The smaller the item you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature should be. Baking something delicious does not have to involve leaving food in the oven for hours. If you are baking something small, set the oven temperature higher. Just make sure you leave it in the oven for less time.
Understand that the smaller the item, the higher temperature that you are going to need to cook at. This will help to maximize the way that your food tastes during the meal. Cook your smaller foods at very high temperatures and larger foods at lower temperatures for the best results.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.
Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for almost any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.
If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.
When working with poultry, use this useful tip to let your poultry shine. Soak the poultry in a brine solution composed of salt and water overnight before cooking the poultry. Soaking the poultry in brine will help to unlock the flavors buried in the meat and make the poultry succulent and moist, creating an incredible poultry dish.
This is a great tip to use when making salad dressings. If you want to make a dressing that is creamy and rich, but without adding all of the fat, simply use a mixture of half mayonnaise and half greek yogurt. The greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to using all mayonnaise as there is less cholesterol.
Have you ever had to eat a cauliflower that was more off white then actually white? It can make people turn away from this wonderful vegetable. To keep that white color in your produce, add some milk to the water when cooking. This will not change the taste, just the look.
When cooking any meat you want to make sure that you reach the temperature that is high enough to kill any transferable bacteria. If this bacteria is not cooked high enough for whatever the certain meat calls for, people can become very ill or even get worms that were in the meat.
To save time when cooking for a big event like Thanksgiving, do all the prep work the night before. You can also make desserts a day or two before the dinner. This will give you more time to focus on what needs to be done and the day will be a lot less stressful.
If you want a creative and efficient way to store your sauces, pour them in ice cube trays and leave them to freeze. That way you can choose how many cubes you need to make the right amount of a particular sauce, dinner or soup, plus they can be easily reheated.
Avoid limiting yourself to white potatoes in your cooking. They are very high in starch and have the least amount of nutritional content of any of the potatoes. Try varieties that come in blue, red, yellow, and orange. You can substitute almost any root vegetable as your usual white potato.
Cook fish on a plank! Use a cedar plank to replicate the taste you get in expensive restaurants right on your campfire. Clean your freshly caught fish and split them open so they are less than one inch thick. Tack the fish to the board and position it beside the campfire so it absorbs the heat of the fire but is not so close that the whole thing catches fire!
If you have stale bread, implement it in a recipe. Don’t just throw that stale loaf of french bread out to the birds. If the bread is still good, add it to a recipe. Crumble it up and use it in a seasoning. You can even make it into croutons for a salad.
There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.