Learning To Cook? Advice That Makes It Easier

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Cooking is a form of art. You should be creative and unafraid of trying new things in the kitchen. Creativity is great and so is practicality. Below you will find practical tips for making your cooking experiences better. The more you know, the better the chef, you will soon become.

Ensure that you properly maintain your cooking utensils on a regular basis. A chef’s knife, for example, is of no use to you when blunt so ensure that these are sharpened on a regular basis. When purchasing a chef’s knife look for one with a long and wide blade as this will give you better control and chopping speed.

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.

It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. You are more likely to injure yourself using a dull knife. It is easy to cut yourself if you are using a dull knife than slicing it with a very sharp one.

If you are planning on grilling, make sure that you take your steaks out of the freezer at least one hour before you cook so that they can match the room temperature. This will allow you to cook them easier and achieve the quality that you are looking for, by cooking them on the grill.

A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.

Never use oil when you are boiling pasta. Try not to let any oil get in the pot when you are boiling water to cook your pasta. The oil will transfer to the pasta. This will leave the noodles slick, which means any sauce you put on them later will not stick.

Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.

When you feel like your dish is missing something but it isn’t salt, consider something acidic. Lemon, wine, and vinegar can all be great ways to add acid to a recipe. Healthy acidic balances out the flavor of anything sweet. It can also be a wonderful way to add a “salty” flavor if you’re on a low salt diet.

Shelling pecans can be really challenging. Make it easier by soaking them in a cup of water and put the cup into the microwave for 5-6 minutes. It is always possible to soak the pecans into boiling water to get the same effect. Hot water makes the shell softer and easier to crack.

Always use an airtight container to store baking ingredients such as sugar or flour in the kitchen. Putting your food in these kinds of containers will prevent insects from getting into the food and prevent them from going bad from air exposure. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.

When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.

Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.

Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Make a small mark with a marker on one side of your board to remind you which side is for sweet items and which is for sour.

Make homemade vinaigrette dressings instead of purchasing them from the store. Your homemade dressing not only tastes better, but it uses fewer ingredients and is often healthier. You can easily whip these up by just dumping all the ingredients into a sealed contained and shaking it up vigorously, and voila! You have delicious tasting dressing for marinades and salads.

Sauteing with too much food in the pan can lead to unwanted issues. The moisture that the extra food volume adds will cause the food to steam, which means it won’t be as crispy as intended. Use a low temperature while doing this, too.

To keep lettuce fresher longer, do not wash it until you are ready to use it. When the leaves are refrigerated wet, they hold in the excess moisture, which speeds up the decomposition process. By keeping it dry when in the refrigerator, the lettuce will keep better and remain fresh.

It may not always be easy to see that cooking is one of the simplest and most fun activities that anyone can partake in. You should enjoy creating delicious food for pleasure, as well as health. Keep the tips you learned here in mind and the chef inside of you will flourish.

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