Cooking is an art form and like many others, it can always be improved. With new information, or just a few reminders, you can up your game significantly. If you are looking to improve those skills you picked up ages ago in college, or just want to try out something different, these tips will help you to do just that.
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.
A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.
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.
To get the best sear and the crispiest crust on everything from fish to meats to other pan fried foods, the secret is a hot pan. Getting a nice brown color on your food requires a pan that is as hot as possible before the food hits its surface. Because the exterior of the food cooks first, you get only one chance to create that perfect golden color and crispy texture, so heat your pan and oil for several minutes prior.
When you are making fish or meat, make sure to sprinkle seasonings equally. You can compare the sprinkling to falling snow. By doing this, you are avoiding clumping. Also, the spices will be spread evenly so that one side of the meat or fish does not have more seasoning than the other.
You need to remember to poke holes in a pie crust before you put it into the oven. A pie crust made from scratch can be very delicious, but if tiny holes are not poked with a fork, it will cause the crust to bubble in places which can make it difficult to fill with yummy ingredients.
When you are purchasing ingredients to make something read your labels. This will help you avoid unhealthy ingredients. Check the levels of sodium and sugar, because severe health problems can arise when too much of these are consumed.
You must keep your cooking tools in order to keep your recipes on track. If you refuse to organize your cooking supplies, you’ll take longer to find the utensils you need. Try to keep similar things in one place. For example, you want to organize your spices such as parsley and basil in one cabinet.
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.
Choose local seasonal ingredients as a showpiece for your dish when you are cooking on a budget. Ingredients that are in the peak of their season are also at the height of their flavor and affordability. The flavors from these peak ingredients will allow you to take an inexpensive item and turn it into a star.
Use a paper towel to blot dry, any meat that you are browning before you put it in the hot oil. This prevents the release of moisture when your meat hits the hot oil. When you are browning meat, you want it to sear, not steam. Moisture-rich meats will steam and the brown crust that you seek from browning, will prove elusive.
In order to save time when you are cooking, you can create beforehand your own blend of spices for different dishes. There are different spice combos for Asian, Italian, Mexican, or Indian cuisines. An easy “American” blend would be combining cinnamon and sugar for a quick cinnamon toast as a nice morning or evening treat.
To remove a batch of fudge from the pan with ease, first line the pan with aluminum foil that you have generously greased using butter, margarine, or a butter-flavored cooking spray. When set, simply lift the block of fudge up and out of the pan using the aluminum foil and you will then be able to peel the foil away from the fudge for cutting without the sticky mess.
If you don’t know much about the vegetable or fruit that you are handling, familiarize yourself with it. By performing some research, you could be surprised at how versatile a new food can be. You can have much more fun when cooking if you do some prep work and research ahead of time.
At some point during the day, try to get a small amount of caffeine into your body. Caffeine will help to relax tension and has also been known to aid asthma. Make sure that you do not consume too much caffeine though, as this can have a negative influence on your breathing.
When pressing sticky ingredients into a pan, such as marshmallow treats or cheesy casseroles, coat the back of a spoon with non-stick cooking spray before using it. This prevents the goo from sticking to the spoon and makes it possible to evenly smooth the food into the pan. You can reapply spray as needed.
To have a clean coffee maker, use table salt and white vinegar. Rub the table salt inside the pot to scrub away the stains. “Brew” the vinegar instead of water (don’t use coffee, either!) to clean the inside of the coffee maker. Be sure to run water through the coffee maker several times before brewing the next pot of coffee, though.
Eventually if you practice enough you will get good at it. By following these tips you will have the knowledge that other people have had to acquire the hard way. Following good advice and tips is a must in cooking and thanks to these you will be well on your way. Just remember to enjoy it!