Many people look at cooking as simply a chore that has to be done. Actually, cooking can be really enjoyable. It can also serve as a means to a healthier style of living. The best cooks are those who are always willing to learn new techniques. Furthering your knowledge also makes the cooking experience far more pleasurable; use the following tips to help you grow as a cook.
To prevent the crust of your filled pies from getting soggy, coat the dough with egg white first and then bake it for about five minutes to allow it to set. You should then fill and bake as you normally would. This will stop your crust from absorbing too much of the filling during baking and becoming soft and wet.
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
When adding oil to cooking food, pour it on the sides of the pan. This way, it will already be heated by the time it reaches the food. Hot oil adds more flavor to the food, giving you the tastiest results when you’re finished.
Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
Cook pasta for one minute less than instructed on the box and then place the pasta in a sauce pan. By making pasta this way, the sauce will absorb into the pasta and the overall quality of your meal will be better. You can even add some spices into the saucepan.
True butter should be used when cooking. Butter is typically not purchased by the average consumer because of its cost. It is well worth the investment because it is not filled with unhealthy oils or trans fats. You can buy the butter in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it in your freezer.
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.
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
On a Sunday, try to make a meal whose leftovers you can eat during the week. For instance, save any left over roasted beef and make it into a sandwich on a week night. Not only does this help you save time by not having to cook, but it is a good way to not waste food.
A well-stocked pantry is a cook’s best friend! Never is that more true than when you are faced with unexpected company and you have nothing specifically planned to serve. Maintaining a pantry stocked with the basics gives you the flexibility to create easy meals at the last minute. For help in creating a great cook’s pantry, think hard about the items you go back to again and again. You can also find great tips on items for the pantry in most good cookbooks and online at cooking sites.
Slice garlic when you sauté it. Many people mince garlic. If you plan to sauté it in a pan, this might not be the best idea. When you sauté minced garlic it is likely to burn. If you cut the garlic into slices it cooks more thoroughly and without burning.
Before grilling any foods, make sure your grill is clean. A dirty grill surface can cause many problems. Excessive smoking, soiling of flavors, potential for bacterial illness, not to mention being a fire risk, are all side effects of a filthy surface. Clean your grill with a wire brush often for best results.
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.
As was already stated, good cooks are always learning. The fun is not only in the cooking, but in the learning about new foods, styles and techniques to try. You also must know how to share your skills with others. Cooking tips should be shared, not only learned.