Monthly Archives: September 2014

Solid Advice For People That Cook At Home

Cooking can be interesting, relaxing and rewarding. Deliciously tempting scents emanating from the kitchen will put a smile on just about any face. It can be hard to find the perfect recipe. The insights here will give you some tried-and-true tips for creating that masterpiece in your kitchen.

Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. Their flavors will be weakened when they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.

TIP! Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity.

Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. You’ll be glad you have your prep work done when it’s time to cook. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Get everything prepared at least a day ahead of time.

If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Experiment with several recipes, and give yourself the time in perfecting your cooking skills.

Being organized is a key step when planning to prepare a meal for family or friends. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients available. Plan your meal a day in advance to make sure you have everything you need. With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.

Fresh Ingredients

When you use fresh ingredients, your cooking will be considerably better than if you used canned, dried or frozen ingredients. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.

If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. To prevent this in the future, brush a bit of vegetable oil onto the grates before adding the food.

TIP! A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. The flavor will be greatly enhanced when it has completed cooking.

When you make chicken stock make as much as you can. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Once your stock is finished, cool it and put it in heavy freezer bags.

If you’re feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, consider doing much of the prep work the evening before cooking. Chop your onions, slice your vegetables, make the sauce or marinate your meat before bed. Preparing your meal the next night will be a snap, and much more relaxing.

Many vegetables and herbs have a smell that has a tendency to remain on cutting boards, despite how many times you wash them. Mark the end of your cutting board with indelible ink to remember which side is which.

TIP! For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and other ingredients.

When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. The herbs can be fluffier, lighter, and drier than if you just chopped them.

Don’t eat your meal right away. Many home cooks do not realize how important it is to let the meal rest. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. If you do this, you will really be missing out. Give your meal enough time to cool, and new flavors will appear.

As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.

Vegetable Basics: How To Prepare, Cook And Serve Vegetables

Not everyone is an amazing cook and every extraordinary chef has room for growth. Cooking is a key skill that we can improve throughout our lives. This article can assist you in becoming a better cook, no matter what your skill level is. These tips will help your approach to cooking improve.

Your spices should be stored in a cool place that is free of light. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. Keeping your spices in darkened, cool areas will lend extra longevity and flavor. You’ll taste the difference in your dishes.

TIP! Keep your herbs in a place that is both dark and cool. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken.

Freezing meat will make it more solid, and easier to cut into thin strips. If you are making Asian dishes, such as Thai or Chinese food, this is a great idea. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. Allow the meat strips to completely thaw before you throw them in the cooking pan, so you can be sure that the strips all cook evenly.

Cooking processes that take quite a bit of time, like boiling, may allow nutrients to leach from the vegetables. If you want them to be healthier, try cooking them quickly by steaming or sauteing, or eat them raw!

People mainly use plenty of apples in cooking during the winter and fall months, but if not stored properly they quickly go bad. Apples spoil in warm, dry air, so keep them in a refrigerator or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied. Make sure to inspect your apples regularly, as one rotten apple means that the others are soon to follow.

TIP! You want to make certain you have the prep work done ahead of time. You’ll be glad you have your prep work done when it’s time to cook.

To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. Doing this increases the strength of the fiber in the potatoes, which means that they don’t break down as quickly during the deep frying phase.

Mashed Potatoes

To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed potatoes. Cauliflowers look very similar to potatoes in texture and color when they are mashed. It will allow you to have a delicious side dish that is healthier and still flavorful.

TIP! A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing.

When preparing chicken stock, make a large amount. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.

Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. If you have issues with food falling off skewers, make it a double. Food is much more stable when you use two skewers parallel from one another instead of one.

It’s fun to learn new things by cooking. It’s almost as much fun as eating! This article has hopefully given you some helpful new techniques to make use of in the kitchen, or at least spurred you to learn more about cooking. Never settle for a microwave meal again!

Gaining Information To Be A Success In The Kitchen

Every healthy human being enjoys eating. However, when the meal is being prepared by a knowledgeable cook, it is that much sweeter. You will get some great tips on cooking whether you are new at it or a professional.

When you decide to cook with skewers there are a few strategies to keep in mind. Regarding metal skewers, square or twisted varieties are preferable to round ones, as the round ones do not hold food items as well as the other two types.

TIP! You should know a few things before you cook anything on a skewer. Try to buy twisted or other shaped skewers when they are metal, the food will stay on.

Anytime you use meat for a stir-fry, make sure to slice the meat as thinly as you can and make your cut on the bias. This technique is somewhat tricky and can take a little time. Take the meat out of the freezer once it firms up (not frozen) then cut at an angle of 45 degrees across the grainy part of the meat.

If you are cooking and you need to add some oil to the pan, drip it down the inside so that it will be a little warm when it hits the food. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.

If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. When potatoes are allowed to absorb cold water, the texture is able to withstand the extreme heat of cooking without breaking down and becoming mushy.

Chicken Broth

When you cook veggies, try using some chicken broth! Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.

If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Try to use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream in place of milk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.

TIP! Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. Dull knives are hard to cut with and they are also dangerous.

If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Let people add what they want to their salad. Offer many different types of salad dressing as well.

To avoid getting overwhelmed when preparing a dinner, make preparations a day in advance. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.

You should always organize your cooking supplies. You will consistently find it difficult to locate necessary items in a disorganized kitchen. Consider storing similar things together. For example, keep all of your spices in one cabinet. You can even organize them further by grouping them according to color, flavor, type or any other effective method.

TIP! Do you often feel a bit guilty throwing out fruit that is rotten? You may wonder if it’s okay to salvage them by trimming away the moldy parts. The truth is that a rotten spot often signifies that the whole fruit is bad.

If you purchase unripened fruits, place them in a perforated plastic bag. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.

That unmistakable bliss that comes from eating a good meal can be yours. It doesn’t take years to know how to cook, just the proper amount of knowledge and practice. Cooking is an art that anyone can learn. After having read this, you should be ready for your first kitchen adventure.