There are times when the kitchen is a boring place. With a passion for all things culinary, however, this can change. You will enjoy the time spent in your kitchen and gain something from it. You can become a skilled cook, eat better, and save money at the same time. These tips will help you along the way.
For the most beautiful homemade chocolate chip cookies, do not add all of the chocolate morsels into the mix! Save about a quarter of what your recipe calls for until after the cookies are all arranged on the cooking sheet, then add them evenly to the tops of the dough drops to create bakery looking, perfect chocolate chip cookies!
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
You can remove the garlic odor from your hands by rubbing them for thirty seconds on your stainless steel stove before washing them. Garlic adds a delightful flavor to many recipes, but the unmistakable odor can linger on your hands. Using this tip, you can enjoy your dinner without your hands smelling strongly of garlic.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Certain types of cooking such as boiling, can strip vegetables of their valuable nutrients. For the most nutritious vegetables, employ fast cooking methods or, better yet, consume raw veggies.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.
Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.
When you are making fish or meat, make sure to sprinkle seasonings equally. You can compare the sprinkling to falling snow. By doing this, you are avoiding clumping. Also, the spices will be spread evenly so that one side of the meat or fish does not have more seasoning than the other.
Wooden skewers should be soaked in plain water before each use for an absolute minimum of thirty minutes. This will prevent them from burning while you are cooking. Instead of cooking food on a single skewer, opt for two parallel skewers. This prevents the ingredients from sliding off into the fire.
When making homemade salad dressings it is a good idea to use extra-virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavor that really adds to a salad. Extra-virgin olive oil can be somewhat expensive so it is important to buy it when it is on sale or with a coupon to make it more affordable.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
Do not just stick to iceberg lettuce when considering making a fresh salad. You can find a multitude of greens that have increased health benefits over the old stand-by lettuce. Try varieties such as butter, romaine, and red. Also try some fresh herbs and spices for a greater amount of flavor.
Put food into a hot pan instead of trying to cook it while the pan is still cold. The pan should already be at the desired temperature before you start cooking. This will ensure that the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. You want to see the steam rising off the pan when you start cooking.
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.
When you are making mashed potatoes, you need to be extra careful and make sure not to whip them for too long. While it might seem that mixing them for longer would make them smoother, it actually has an opposite effect. Doing so actually makes them come out gummy in texture.
Use these ideas to spur new ideas of your own. Fix awesome dishes that everyone in the family will love and talk about for days to come. Having cooking be a hobby can brighten your diet and your life. Allow your kitchen to become the warm, fragrant core of your home.