Becoming a better cook can be accomplished with a little time, patience and following a few simple steps. The basics of cooking are easy to master and accomplish. In order to cook meals and dishes that will make your friends and family say “Wow!” you need to try these simple steps and you can be on your way to being the best cook you can possibly be.
When you are making stock, make a lot of it. Then save it in a plastic zip bag, date it and freeze it. That way you can pull it when you would like to make a soup. You can use it to boil some veggies in. Having some in the freezer will make preparing healthy meals very much easier.
Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.
If you plan on seasoning the food you are going to make, try to add seasoning in stages. This will bring out the most taste, and help you to layer your spices on the food of your choice. Inject seasoning into your food to maximize its appeal and taste.
Make sure to prepare your dishes the night before. Create marinades and allow your meat to sit in the refrigerator overnight. By doing most of the prep the night before, you make a delicious tasting meal. You also lower the amount of stress when making the meal before your guests arrive.
To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.
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.
If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.
When you are cooking pasta, follow this useful tip. Instead of strictly following the instructions given on the pasta box or package, try cooking the pasta one minute less than the time indicated. Then finish off the pasta by cooking it in a pan with sauce for the final minute. Doing so will give the pasta more flavor.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. If the recipe has called for water, you could easily use chicken broth, beef broth, or juice when suitable. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.
When using a chopping board, make sure to always sanitize it before going on to a different ingredient. Making this a habit will prevent cross contamination of bacteria. It is also useful for keeping your flavors from being muddied by being chopped with other ingredients’ residue. A clean chopping board is a safe and useful chopping board.
One great cooking tip is just be flexible and creative; do your own thing. Following a recipe exactly is boring and stale. With a little resourcefulness in adding extra ingredients, reducing or altering the amount of spices, or substituting one type of meat or vegetable for another, you can often create a meal that tastes far superior to the original. Sometimes that’s the best sort of cooking!
While it is very convenient to cook meats in a slow cooker, it is important that you are very careful or you can be at risk. Any meat that you plan on adding to a cooker needs to be browned first so that it reaches food-safety standards for temperature.
Keep your meal, flour, and other grain products in the refrigerator or freeze them for a few days before you put them in long term storage. Believe it or not, these products have a certain amount of bug eggs in them. Freezing them or holding them in cold temperatures for a few days kills the eggs and you save money by not having to throw out bags and boxes of ruined food when they hatch.
Cook biscuits on a stick! You can use the dough from canned biscuits or homemade to make improvised bread over a campfire. Just stretch the dough out in to a thick string and wrap it around the end of a stick. Bake it slowly over the coals of a campfire just like you were roasting a marshmallow!
Get more out of your small kitchen appliances by considering alternate uses for them. Waffle irons can make a great grilled cheese sandwich or sunny-side-up egg, for instance, and your coffee maker make a wonderful stand-in for a kettle to heat water for tea, soup, oatmeal or anything else that you just need to add hot water to.
After trying these steps, you should be well on your way to being a much better cook. The great thing about these tips is that if they don’t work the first time keep trying and you are sure to get better. You should notice the difference right away and your friends and family will thank you.