Many people dread mealtimes as they usually mean another unadventurous trip to the kitchen to place a ready meal in the microwave is required. Liven up your meals and learn some new cooking techniques. Cooking can be more than just food preparation; it is an always-fertile field of study and possibly an enjoyable hobby. Here are some great cooking tips to get you going.
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.
Make sure that when you are making your pasta, not to use oil in the water upon cooking. This will reduce the risk that the pasta will stick to the sauce, which can ruin the quality of your meal. Avoid oil in water when you are cooking pasta for maximum results.
Prepare your ingredients, cookware, and cooking utensils in advance of starting to cook. Your time spent in the kitchen will be greatly reduced, and you will have less chance for error, when you do this. Make sure you remember to get the spices you will need ready as well.
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 want to make a soup using stock, follow this tip. Be sure to make a large amount of stock, pour it in a plastic bag, and place it in the freezer. This will allow you to quickly make soup whenever you want to by simply thawing out the already made stock.
Flour or any other dry goods stored too long, tend to attract bugs and make them either hard to use or not suitable for cooking. Lay a whole bay leaf in the container (and possibly also in the cupboard) and your goods and storage areas will be bug free forever.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
Here is a great cooking tip to use when you are handling smelly garlic. After handling garlic, simply rub your hands with a piece of stainless steel for 30 seconds. This could be your sink or a doorknob. After doing this, wash your hands with soap as your normally would. The stainless steel helps to remove the odor from your hands.
Place fruit that is not quite ripe in a plastic bag with a few small holes to allow it to ripen. The plastic helps retain the gases used by ripening fruit while the holes allow fresh air to circulate across the fruit. This also helps you keep your fruit fresh longer!
When cooking with a sauté pan, turn the handle of it in the opposite direction of you. Keeping the handle facing you increases the chance of bumping into and spilling your food. This is also a safety concern because you can burn yourself if the pan tips or falls over.
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 it familiar when you are having guests. Cooking can quickly go from fun to entertainment disaster when you try too many complicated things at the same time. A good rule of thumb successful cooks follow is to never-mix a new ingredient and new recipe in the same meal.
Buy your food at fresh markets. Food you buy from farmer markets and private gardens is going to be healthier for you. These foods are often free of the harmful chemicals that infect out mainstream grocery supply. Look out for the health of yourself and your family, and your cooking will automatically be better.
When cutting up apples for a fruit tray or lunch box, place the slices in a bowl of lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or pineapple juice to soak for 5 minutes or so. Any of these drinks will prevent the apples from turning that unappealing brown shade, and they won’t drastically alter the flavor of your apple slices.
To keep cookies from spreading while baking, chill unused dough and cool off cookie sheets between batches. If cookie dough is allowed to reach room temperature before baking, either in the bowl or on the pan, then the ingredients in the dough are doomed to expand. To get a dense yet still moist cookie, just chill the remaining dough between batches and cool an already used sheet in cold water before returning to the oven.
Vegans and lactose-intolerant people looking to replace cheese in a recipe can try nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast comes in flakes and powder, and has a nutty, savory texture. This makes it ideal for a variety of recipes, and it can be manipulated any way you need it to be used. It’s an excellent substitute for tangy dairy products!
For a make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast, try breakfast burritos. On Sunday night cook up a pan of scrambled eggs and bacon. Use whole-wheat tortillas and fill them with the eggs, bacon, and top with cheese. Wrap in foil and refrigerate them and you will have breakfast ready for the whole family through Wednesday!
By using these tips, you can start a new hobby. Cooking is a great way to add more fun and flavor to your food. Chances are, you’ll discover a thing or two about yourself that you didn’t know before and open new possibilities. As you enjoy cooking more and more, not only will you have fun with it, your meals will taste better.