Home cooking is a talent that many people try to improve. Learning some basic cooking skills is a great way to diversify the meals you can enjoy on a daily basis and help you become more cultured. This article will contain some tips to help improve your abilities as a home cook.
One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.
Make sure that you have the place settings set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible.
One of the things that you should spend a lot of money on, is your kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and other equipment. These are extremely valuable investments as they will serve as the foundation for all of your cooking. You will want to extend the life of these tools as long as possible. Cooking is so much easier if you are using high quality utensils and equipment.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
Frozen vegetables should only be used as a last resort in home cooking. Though they are cheap and usually available year-round, they fall far short of fresh vegetables in several important areas. Frozen vegetables have lost some of their healthy vitamins and nutrients. They often have unhealthy food additives. They also tend to taste worse than their fresh counterparts.
If you want to optimize the amount of juice that you get from a lime, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will allow the liquid to flow easily when you cut the lime, so that you can add this to your favorite meals. Use this trick anytime you serve a lemon or lime.
If you are having a big party, one of the worst things that you can do is to put dressing on the salad. Since the salad will sit out for a long time, it will probably get soggy after a while. Instead, leave an assortment of dressings out for people to choose.
Cooking is all about preparation. To take the edge of cooking, whether it is a small appetizer, simple dish, full nine course meal, or elegant dessert, prepare for your cooking a day or two ahead. Plan what you are going to make and for how many people you are going to make it for. Gather your ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you won’t have to rush.
While making sunny side up eggs, try this tip for a new culinary experience. Simply deglaze the pan you prepared the eggs in with a sherry vinegar. Then drizzle the sauce made from the sherry vinegar over the sunny side up eggs. Doing this will make the eggs more rich and flavorful and they will taste better than ever before.
Some recipes call for peeled half or quarter peaches. In most cases peeling is not easy, as the skin sticks to the fruit and doesn’t come off. The easiest way to remedy the problem is to place the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the fruits, place them into ice water to stop the boiling effect. Their skin will come off easily.
Eggplants tend to turn black during cooking unless you treat them properly. Add a spoon of milk to the cold cooking water and add the plant to that milky water. The eggplant will not change its color during cooking and will make your dish more appetizing when you serve it.
Whenever possible, you should buy your food from the farmers market rather than a normal grocery store or supermarket. Food from the farmers market is fresh and sometimes requires less maintenance to bring out flavors rather than normal food. Remember to keep it simple when cooking with food from the farmers market.
Start your sear in a cold pan when searing duck breasts. Duck can turn very dry very quickly if not properly cooked. Using the cold pan technique for searing allows the fat to render slowly which will keep your duck moist and juicy. It will also give you more time to develop flavors and take care of some side dishes.
If you want to have perfectly cooked bacon that does not curl up when you cook it, then you should soak it in cold water before putting it in the pan. You should also make sure to place the bacon in a cold pan because heating the pan too soon will cause it to stick.
During cooking, if the consistency of a sauce or gravy is too thin for your liking, try adding some corn starch to it in order to thicken it to your taste. Avoid using flour as it can make the sauce taste “chalky”. Corn starch is an excellent thickening agent and blends very well with the sauce or gravy.
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.
The tips previously stated are important to remember, but make sure you take more steps beyond them. If cooking is a passion, pursue it further. If it isn’t a passion and you just want to cook better meals for your family, pursue it more casually and more opportunities will open up.