If you are looking to improve on your cooking skills, a refresher course in the basics can be a great investment of your time. But if you are too busy for that, the following tips can help you get back to some cooking basics that you may have forgotten or overlooked.
To prevent your homemade pizza from becoming soggy with all of the juicy toppings you add, lightly coat the bare dough with olive oil. Pizza sauce, peppers and meats can all weigh down a pizza dough and cause it to be soggy even after baking so be sure to brush on a bit of olive oil for a crispier, firmer pizza!
The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.
When sauteing ingredients in a fry pan ensure that you don’t overcrowd the pan with too much food. Trying to cook too much at once will only lower the temperature of the pan and lead to steaming instead of browning. It is wiser to saute the ingredients in two separate batches, if necessary, and this will maintain the quality of cooking.
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.
Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.
When you are chopping onions for a home cooked salsa make sure you rinse them. Rinse your onions immediately after you cut them then blot them dry with a napkin. This will remove the sulfurous gas and will make your salsa taste better. This works well for other recipes too.
True butter should be used when cooking. Butter is typically not purchased by the average consumer because of its cost. It is well worth the investment because it is not filled with unhealthy oils or trans fats. You can buy the butter in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it in your freezer.
Try lowering the amount of oil you cook with if you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier. These products contain a lot of unnecessary fat. Try using nonstick cooking spray instead: this product does not contain anything unhealthy and works just like oil.
This procedure will keep fruits fresh throughout the year. This is also a good way to have access to fruits that are out of season.
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.
If you plan on making an elaborate meal for dinner, prepare a few elements of the dish that can be refrigerated or left out the night before you want to cook. This eliminates stress and frenzy in the kitchen so you can focus on giving your family a meal worthy of the finest five-star restaurants.
Here is a good cooking tip to use when making meatloaf or meatballs. Take a portion of the meat used for the meatballs or meatloaf and fry it in a pan as if it were a hamburger. Doing so will allow you to test the meat before you make the loaf or a batch of balls. You will be able to taste the seasoning in the meat and adjust it before you produce the final result.
Don’t store your spices above the stove. While many traditional kitchens place the spice rack above the stove for convenience, this practice can actually reduce the flavor and shelf life of your herbs. Humidity, heat, and light can all cause spices to lose their flavor, and above the stove ensures they are exposed to all three.
In order to become a good cook, you should learn to use simple measuring devices. It is very important to know how to get the right quantities because many tried and true recipes require very specific amounts of this and that. Learn to measure and you’ll be licking your chops in no time!
Pay attention to details, such as how you apply the condiments, and all of your culinary creations will be impressive. Usually people just slab it on in the middle. When you spread it evenly, every bite of your sandwich will be unfailingly flavorful.
Don’t skimp and use cheap olive oil. More expensive olive oil is not only fresher, it often has a richer flavor. High-quality olive oil can draw the flavor out of all your favorite dishes, including pizza, pasta and many types of fish and meat. Even a small drizzle of more expensive olive oil can make the difference that takes your meals from drab to fab!
Cooking the daily meal can seem like a chore sometimes and throwing ingredients together quickly becomes tiresome. Cooking for pleasure can be relaxing, entertaining, and can be delicious. Remind yourself of some of the basic rules of cooking and make cooking fun again for you and your family.