Cooking might be one of the oldest skills in the world. That does not mean that there are any limits to the knowledge available for the cook interested in increasing his or her skills. Even the finest cooks, even professionals, can always find new recipes, methods and techniques to improve their kitchen skills.
Make sure that you defrost your vegetables before you put them in the microwave if you are planning to cook them this way. This will allow you to achieve the best texture, while not sacrificing the taste of your vegetables. After cooking, add your vegetables to a main plate as a side dish.
Save time by cooking large quantities, and freezing the extra. When you are planning an elaborate or time consuming meal, prepare extra servings. Making more won’t increase your cooking time much, and these extra meals can be frozen, providing a fast and healthy alternative to the typical frozen TV dinner.
Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.
When you are going to the store, do not always have a large shopping list which can restrain you to just getting certain items. See what you like and what you are in the mood for and purchase based on that. This will give you the spontaneity to cook whatever you choose.
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.
Wash your mushrooms off with a damp cloth. Don’t put them under running water to clean them. Mushrooms are like little sponges and running them under the tap will cause them to absorb too much water. This can affect their taste and your cooking time as well.
Have you ever experienced difficulty judging the time your meat should be grilled? A reliable meat thermometer can help you ensure that the meat is properly cooked on the inside. For the most accurate readings, invest in a digital thermometer. If the meat you’re grilling is more than 1.5 inches thick, think about keeping the lid of the grill closed to shorten the cooking time.
Cinnamon should be added to foods for extra antioxidants. Cinnamon is a tasty spice that can be added to applesauce, diced apples, yams, or even oatmeal. It adds great flavor to just about any fruit and is great for using when baking. It is also very affordable and can be purchased at any grocery store.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.
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.
Don’t use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.
Invest in high quality cooking pans and tools. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for the most expensive, but quality does make a huge difference when it comes to what we use to cook with. A high quality pan will be able to handle higher heats without warping. Quality tools will be able to do their job longer and more effectively than cheap brands. Check reviews before purchasing new items for your kitchen.
To make perfect deviled eggs, ensure the yolk is evenly centered within the egg by spinning the egg on a flat surface before boiling. Place an egg, lengthwise, on the top of the kitchen counter and gently spin it a couple of times. The spinning action helps center the yolk within the shell. This method helps create perfectly-formed deviled eggs.
When cooking a stew or pot roast, remember to skim the top of the stew to remove the excess oil. It’s best to skim before the stew is mixed up because the oil will dissolve into the mixture and remain there until it eventually separates later.
While it is easy to just grab a spoon to scrape prepared, wet cake mix from the mixing bowl to put into pans for baking, do yourself a favor an invest in a good rubber scraper. A rubber scraper is made to be pliant, is curved on one side and straight on the other, just perfect for scraping the bowl of every last drop of cake and brownie mix. Using a rubber scraper gets all of the mix where it belongs in your baking pans and that quantity is what the baking time on boxes of mix are based upon. Too little mix in the pans leads to burnt goods when relying on the stated baking times.
There is always something new to learn when it comes to cooking and every cook’s skill-set is open to improvement. This article included just a few ideas to help improve a cook’s performance. There are many more good tips out there and good cooks keep looking for them throughout their lives. Constant learning is the key to ever-improving cooking skills.