Learning to be a five-star chef is not as hard as you might imagine. It is okay to do some experimentation and find what you are good at when you are cooking. By using these techniques, you will learn how to be a better cook and give you the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. Use the following advice and you can greatly improve your skills in the kitchen.
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
Get the most juice out of lemons. Fresh lemon juice is much more tasty than the kind that comes out of a bottle, but it is sometimes surprising how little juice you can get out of a lemon. Heat the lemon in a microwave for 20 seconds on high power. Then, roll the lemon on your cutting board using as much pressure as possible. This way, you will get about twice the amount of juice out of the lemon, and your dish will be much more flavorful!
Make sure that you defrost your vegetables before you put them in the microwave if you are planning to cook them this way. This will allow you to achieve the best texture, while not sacrificing the taste of your vegetables. After cooking, add your vegetables to a main plate as a side dish.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. Thin strips of meat are ideal for meals that are originally ethnically Asian. By doing this, the meat becomes much easier to slice as the meat fibers are less likely to tear. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.
Layered bar cookies, fudge and chewy brownies often fall apart or get torn up from trying to evenly cut them into squares. A good rotary pizza cutter can be used to accomplish this task without worrying about a sharp knife slipping and causing an injury. Make some light guidelines in your food with the tip of a knife first and follow up with the pizza cutter for perfectly cut bars, brownies and fudge every time.
Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. These cooking techniques tend to preserve the health benefits of vegetables in general. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
If you have a family, you will want to implement a process for cleaning up after you cook your meal. This is very important as you will want to conserve the excess food that you do not eat for future servings. Post meal cleanup is just as important as pre-meal preparation.
One of the greatest things that you can do is to cook with family members or friends. When you cook with someone else, you will be able to pick up on tricks that they implement and will be able to better yourself as a cook. Talk to them to see how their thought process works, to elevate your expertise.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
You should use chicken broth when you are cooking your vegetables. This helps to prevent vegetables from sticking on the pan. In addition, chicken broth improves the vegetables’ flavor. Chicken broth is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
Fresh herbs in a meal are delicious. Bunch them together and then use a pair of scissors to snip them. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
Soak peeled raw potatoes in cold water before frying them. If soaked in cold water for at least an hour, the potatoes will be much crisper once done. If you don’t like soggy french fries, this is the perfect strategy for helping your french fries remain crisp and delectable after frying.
Save your carrot peelings, the ends of onions, parmesan rinds, and celery leaves in a container in your freezer. The next time you roast a turkey, a chicken, or bone-in beef, place the bones or carcass into a stock pot with your frozen veggie parts and cover with enough water to cover it all. Let this simmer as long as you can stand it (up to 8 hours) for a rich, flavorful stock that you can use in recipes or as a base for soup.
When cutting up apples for a fruit tray or lunch box, place the slices in a bowl of lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or pineapple juice to soak for 5 minutes or so. Any of these drinks will prevent the apples from turning that unappealing brown shade, and they won’t drastically alter the flavor of your apple slices.
These tips can greatly help your cooking skills. Give each suggestion a shot at least one time. You should use these ideas to make your techniques in the kitchen perfect. If you’re serious in your efforts, you’ll become a more proficient cook in a matter of days.