You’ve probably cooked thousands of meals in your lifetime. Did you enjoy it? If not, why not? Cooking can be a great way to de-stress and a fun way to express your creativity. Here are a few cooking tips to spark excitement so that every time you step in the kitchen, you’ve got something new to try.
Mushrooms discolor fast and they don’t look too appetizing when you serve them. You can prevent discoloration by following this technique. Squeeze the juice of a quarter lemon onto a paper towel and wipe the cap of each mushroom with it. This cleans the mushroom and prevents it from changing its original color.
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.
Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.
Instead of approaching cooking as an analytic process, you should try to maximize the amount of fun that you have in the kitchen. Put the music on loud and dance from time to time to enjoy what you are doing. Keeping something fun and casual will reduce errors from anxiety.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to over-heat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
Cooking is all about preparation. To take the edge of cooking, whether it is a small appetizer, simple dish, full nine course meal, or elegant dessert, prepare for your cooking a day or two ahead. Plan what you are going to make and for how many people you are going to make it for. Gather your ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you won’t have to rush.
You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is very easy to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
When you are preparing food that you must season, do it a little at a time instead of all at the beginning. Doing this gives your food more flavor and you can get the most from your ingredients.
Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.
If you need to cook a roast quickly, do not remove the bone. The meat will cook more quickly due to the heat transfer into the roaster caused by the bone. Once cooked, carve the bone out and serve the meat as normal.
Use cast iron pans when you cook your meat. Cast iron imparts the best flavor to the meat and avoids any chance of sticking. You also get the added benefit of your meat having a higher iron content from using the cast iron. Sometimes old fashioned ideas are the best.
Try cooking stock ahead of time and freezing it. It is always handy to have chicken, beef, or vegetable stock handy when you are boiling vegetables or want to make a quick soup. It is also easier this way because it is less mess the day you are having your meal!
Save on cooking time by prepping ahead of getting started. Many ingredients can be prepared a few days before you actually cook the meal for which they’re needed. Some ingredients even benefit from advance preparation, developing a better flavor that will enhance the quality of your meal when you cook it. Getting your meals ready ahead may be a habit that lasts for a lifetime.
For a make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast, try breakfast burritos. On Sunday night cook up a pan of scrambled eggs and bacon. Use whole-wheat tortillas and fill them with the eggs, bacon, and top with cheese. Wrap in foil and refrigerate them and you will have breakfast ready for the whole family through Wednesday!
Experiment with different breadings for everything from chicken to vegetables to appetizers. To add an extra dimension of flavor to breaded foods, try using coatings other than the usual breadcrumbs or panko. Get creative! Cereals like corn flakes, toasted o’s, and crispy rice work well too. Don’t forget to try crushed crackers and cookies as well.
To easily remove the veins from shrimp use the sharpest knife that you have and slit down the back of the shrimp where the vein is. Place the knife at the top of the vein once slit and lift it out then rinse the rest out of your shrimp with cold water.
When freezing foods like soups, vegetables, and sauces, place the foods into resealable freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer. When the foods freeze, they will remain flat, allowing you to easily stack them and maximize the space in your freezer. The foods will also thaw faster, since the surface area of the food is maximized.
Cooking doesn’t have to be humdrum and boring. It’s a chance to shape your family’s nutrition, as well as to relax and create. Cooking can be much more than mixing ingredients together. Since you have to cook anyway, why not learn to enjoy it? Follow these tips and start having fun in the kitchen.