Cooking is a joy that anyone is capable of taking part in. You do not have to be a master chef to produce meals that make the mouth water. If you have the proper information about techniques and tips to use in the kitchen, you can produce the same culinary masterpieces as the pros. Use the advice in this article in your home kitchen for culinary success.
Always have your spices stored in a dark and cool place. Exposing spices to heat, humidity, and light will shorten their lifespan. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
You should use nonstick cooking spray when cooking a meal or snack. The nonstick cooking spray keeps food from sticking to a pan without adding unneeded fats and calories. There are some sprays that are flavored, so that you can get the same flavor as if you had used butter.
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 cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.
When you are going to the butcher to get meats or fish, do not be scared to ask to smell the product before purchasing it. Sometimes the meat or fish is bad and the butcher does not even know it, which is why it is important for you to smell it.
In addition to staples, condiments and seasonings, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy convenient foods and quick-fix items. A no-stress kitchen should include eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables, breads, baking products, canned and bottled items, grains, refrigerated and freezer items, and condiments. When you run out of a product, don’t forget to make a note of it, so you won’t be caught out if you need it in the future.
When cutting corn kernels on the cob, try this tip: Use the side of the knife that is not sharp to scrape the cob. This will extract the excess sweet juices from the cob, which can be applied to your corn dish and add a hidden burst of flavor to it, creating a new taste to the dish.
Store herbs and spices in your cabinet or pantry if they offer a cool, dry area. Many people keep their spice rack out near the stove or on the wall over the stove. These locations offer too much light, humidity, and heat, which can deplete the flavor of the seasonings. Avoid these exposed areas, and look for an optimal location out of sight.
When you are cooking, don’t be afraid to be creative. Following every recipe to the letter will give results, but it won’t make you a great cook. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. Sometimes that’s the best sort of cooking!
When a sauce is too thick or too thin, it’s useful to add either flour or water. Flour should be pre-mixed in a little bit of cold water to prevent it from clumping when you add it to a sauce. Water can just be added and stirred in. This is helpful when you want the consistency of your sauce to combine with your meal. Thicker sauces will tend to stick to noodles better than their watery counterparts.
When cooking anything in a pan it’s ideal to add a little bit of oil to the pan, even with non-stick pans. Oil is a great conductor of heat and thus eases the object into heating up without burning the external portions. It helps the dispersion of heat across the entire object, rather than having the exterior burnt while the interior remains frozen or cold.
If you are making a recipe that contains pasta in a sauce, avoid it being too soggy by cooking the pasta few minutes less in water. Finish cooking it with the sauce. It will be the perfect consistency and not be the mushy starchy mess we all hate when eating pasta!
If a dish requires thinly sliced meats (like some Chinese dishes, for example), freeze the meat before slicing. This makes it hold its shape better when you are slicing, which allows the knife to cut through with a cleaner line. When meat is thawed out, you often have to use a sawing motion to cut the beef, which can make your lines uneven and jagged.
Tin foil is indispensable for campfire cooking! You can make hobo meals either at the campsite or before you ever leave home. Just lay a serving of your meat of choice in the middle of a large square of aluminum foil. Garnish it with some cubed potatoes, onions, celery or whatever vegetables you like. Fold the tinfoil around the packet of food and cook it right on the coals!
Take the advice that you have learned in this article to your kitchen and get cooking. You are sure to prepare meals that will meet the expectations of anyone who dines at your table. Keep these tips handy, so you can easily refer to them whenever you are stumped in the kitchen.