Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.
Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don’t discard them – saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn’t throw away those unused salad greens!
For pasta that is cooked perfectly all the way through, do not place it the in water until the water is boiling. Pasta cooks from the outside in, so to keep your pasta all one texture you need to cook it at the same consistent temperature from the beginning to the end.
Basic seasoning of the food you prepare goes a long way in proving your skills in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to taste your food as you work and adjust seasonings accordingly. Typically, some of the most expensive cuts of meat, as well as many many varieties of seafood, are rather dull without some help. Your guests will appreciate a well-seasoned dish that they don’t need to shake salt on until their arms goes numb or twist the pepper mill over for an hour to make palatable.
Its potential applications go way beyond meat. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. Just be sure not to use too much seasoning, because you don’t want to completely overpower the natural flavor of your food.
One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.
Cooking hamburgers seems to be easy, but there are some tricks to learn. Make a hole in the center of the patty before you put it on the grill. The hole prevents the meat from rising in the middle so you won’t have an uncooked middle with burnt edges any more. The whole will completely disappear during cooking so no one will notice your trick.
When cooking, make sure that you never put anything metal in the microwave, as it will cause sparks given the electromagnetic energy. Always make sure that the items you are microwaving are safe to put in there. This will help to increase your level of safety when you are in the kitchen.
Ginger roots can be used for several dishes so it’s worth learning how to store them. For a few days you can just put them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. For a much longer storage, freeze the unpeeled ginger root and cut the piece you need while it is frozen.
Prepare some of your food the night before to save time and headaches. Cut up ingredients the night before you plan on cooking a meal to save some time. With this done, you will have a major portion of the meal ready for the next step, which means less stress for you.
When making sandwiches, follow this tip. Take a portion of mayonnaise and spread it on the bread from corner to corner. Spreading from corner to corner rather than the widely used method of spreading down the middle allows every area of the bread to be evenly coated with mayonnaise, making a more flavorful sandwich.
Make the best of your baking adventures by leaving eggs and butter out at room temperature the night before. Then you do not have to go through the frustration of softening the butter to the right consistency. Also, warm eggs whisk to a greater volume, which allows the cake to rise evenly.
Cooking for large quantities of people at breakfast time can be a pain if you do not have enough eggs. Adding bread crumbs to the scrambled eggs can help to stretch them and feed more people. If you use seasoned bread crumbs, then it will also add to the overall flavor.
If you are sauteing vegetables and require more oil, add the oil to the outer part of the pan. This way the oil is heated by the time it reaches your vegetables. By doing this you eliminate extra cooking time and you never have to worry about your vegetables getting soggy or getting splattering hot oil.
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.
Taking on cooking is a great way to make yourself feel better about your food choices. You can see what you put into a dish and then be rewarded by the tastes and flavors you’ve tailored to you specifications. Getting a few recipes from close family members or magazines are great places to start.
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!
There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.