Monthly Archives: June 2014

How To Become A Better Cook Quickly

There are things that all good cooks need to know. Take the advice given in this article to become a better cook. Follow the tips provided in the article and you will know exactly what things you need to do to be the best cook that you can possibly be.

Do all the prep work ahead of time. It is essential to have all prep work finished before it’s time to begin cooking. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Try to complete your preparations, so you can avoid scrambling later on.

TIP! Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity.

If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.

Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. Ensure that you aren’t missing important ingredients before you start cooking. The day before your meal, get your kitchen into cooking mode and hunt down your favorite utensils, pots and pans. If you have everything ready, you won’t be as worried about preparing the meal, and it’s more likely to turn out well.

When trying a new seasoning for your meat, season one small piece and sample prior to cooking the entire batch of meat. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. After seasoning the meat, do not cook all of it. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. After you do this you can either completely cook it or add more seasoning as you see fit.

TIP! A sharp knife is indispensable for efficient cooking. Knives that have been allowed to dull are dangerous and difficult to use.

When you are cooking an important dinner you want to whip up something you know how to cook well. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. You will enjoy cooking more if you have greater peace of mind.

Fresh Basil

Do you enjoy the flavor of fresh basil? Get a sprout of fresh basil and place it in a glass. Submerge the stems in water. Next, place the basil and glass on the kitchen counter; the herb will remain fresh for a week or more. If you occasionally change the water, the basil will eventually grow its roots under water. Occasionally trim the basil in order to promote more growth so that you can have fresh basil for a while.

TIP! Do you feel you are being wasteful by discarding molded fruit? Is it a good practice to save them by cutting out the rotten, moldy part? Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. In fact it is best to throw away the fruit.

Keep the dressing for a salad off to the side when you’re having guests over for a meal. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.

If it seems overwhelming to cook the family dinner, prepare some of the ingredients the evening before. Before retiring to bed, you can do things like preparing a sauce, chopping up vegetables and onions, or marinating meat. Doing so will decrease your stress levels and enable you to look forward to the actual cooking.

Dried Tomatoes

TIP! If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.

Try drying your own tomatoes. Simply cut them into 1/2 half inch slices, or cut lengthwise for Romas. Put the tomato on a rack and rub them with salt. Set the rack on a cookie sheet in an oven at 190 degrees for a 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

It does take some learning to become a great chef, but it’s well worth the effort. Some people have a natural knack for it, but some great cooks have worked hard to learn everything they know. By reading this article, it is possible to become the cook you have always wanted to be.

Cooking Made Easier From The Best Home Chefs

A lot of people hope to become an excellent chef, but the steps that they must take to get there can be very trying. The best thing about learning to cook well is that it is a try-and-learn process. Use the advice in this article to help guide you in the right direction.

Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. Rather than pale blonde, they should have a golden caramel color. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.

TIP! Always have your spices stored in a dark and cool place. If the spices become too hot, or moist from humidity, it can shorten their shelf life.

Keep in mind that tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein when you want to add more protein to your diet. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. You can pan fry the tofu with a few seasonings to have a delicious meat alternative. Likewise, beans cooked with herbs can also be a flavorful dish.

This way, you’ll have fresh fruit to use for cooking all year long. You also have the added benefit of having fruits out of season whenever you want them.

Replace the standby liquids of milk and water in recipes to mix things up. You could use chicken broth or juice, instead of water. To replace milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can make good substitutes. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.

TIP! When you cook vegetables quickly over high heat, their quality is best. Taste and nutritional value suffer when vegetables are slow-cooked.

Don’t throw a huge helping of seasoning in all at once. Try to spread it out, and taste after each application. As such, you are getting the best flavor, and not wasting any of the seasoning.

Dried Tomatoes

You can make your own dried tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. Place them in the freezer in plastic bags. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. This jar should be used within 2 weeks and kept refrigerated.

TIP! They are known to soak up water like a sponge. You should use a clean, wet cloth and wipe the mushroom off by hand.

Allow your food to sit for a moment before serving it. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. It has become almost habit now to serve up a meal as it comes right off the stove. Though if you do this, your food will not be as enjoyable. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.

Explore creativity when you cook. Cooking is about coming up with different ways of using a recipe not just following it. 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. Now that’s real cooking!

No matter who you are cooking for, being able to cook well is a valuable tool. Every culture around the world takes time to sit down with their family and friends for a meal, sharing the joy of eating and companionship. Become a better cook and host a great dinner party by applying the tips in this article.

Cooking Tips, Hints, And Tricks For Chefs Of All Skill Levels

Cooking is a mundane chore to a lot of people. This article gives you ideas to make cooking the joy it should be.

Slice meat on the bias very thin when you are making stir fry. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. Take the meat out of the freezer when it’s firm to the touch, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

TIP! In order to get the most out of your selection of spices, you should store them out of the light and heat. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life.

Always cook what you know whenever you are cooking for someone special. Stay away from using new ingredients, or a new recipe. This will allow you to cook with less stress.

For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.

Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. These methods usually create healthier vegetables. Cooking vegetables for only a short amount of time is essential.

TIP! A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. Because cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, it blends well with the potatoes and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. Have no fear, for the sauce will taste great even after being frozen in the trays!

Chicken Broth

When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth can be found at any grocery store, and is very low priced.

TIP! Do you enjoy preparing dishes that contain fresh basil? Store basil in a glass jar. Then, add water to the glass, immersing the stems in water.

When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.

Whenever you season your food, try seasoning it slowly rather than all at once. This way, you’re giving the food most of the flavoring and are making the best from your ingredients.

If you purchase fruit that is still green and want it to ripen quickly, put it in a plastic bag with perforations. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. If you put them in the bag with holds the air will go through the bag, and the gas will stay in, helping the fruits retain their wonderful taste.

TIP! Garlic aromas can transfer to your hands and be hard to get rid of. You should rub your hands along the interior of your stainless steel sink whenever you have come into contact with garlic.

Always clean your utensils very well before you use them. If there is any food left on the dish after you wash it, it could contaminate the next dish you use it in. This can also cause bacteria to spread.

By staying organized while cooking you can avoid making mistakes, such as burning your food. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. Also, organize your refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying unnecessary items that will eventually be thrown out.

It is always important to follow a macaroni and cheese recipe very carefully, to ensure you get the best possible results. You will want the macaroni to have an ultimate consistency and firmness prior to melting the cheese over it. A solid-faced spoon should be used to serve macaroni and cheese. Adding pepper is a terrific way to add a little spice.

TIP! Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your dry goods, such as flour and sugar. When you transfer these foods to airtight containers, you are not only protecting them from bugs and bacteria, you are also helping them remain fresh longer.

Hopefully this article has conceived you that cooking everyday does not have to equal a life spent chained to the stove. Use this advice to start cooking creatively, you will find that it’s actually fun!