ABCs Of Learning How To Cook Dinner
Learning to master the basics of cooking can seem like a daunting task to someone who has never cooked before. If you do not know anything about cooking and are one of the people who burn water when trying to get it to boil, here are some tips to teach you the basics of cooking.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
If you are planning to sauté garlic, you will want to slice it instead of mincing it, which will reduce the chance for it to burn. Following certain procedures will not only improve the taste of your dishes in the kitchen but will increase your effectiveness and efficiency in getting the job done.
Whenever you are cooking and you feel the need to add more oil, the best way to add oil is to add it through the side of the pan. By doing this, the oil will be heated when it gets to the ingredient that is being cooked. This is a good tip to remember.
Cooking a roast? Leave the bone in! By leaving the bone in, heat moves to the inside of the meat faster, speeding up the cooking process. This will, also, allow the entire roast to cook more evenly throughout the cut of meat – by leaving it in rather than removing it.
When you learn to cook for yourself, do not be afraid of cooking in large batches. The freezer becomes your friend once you are making your own meals. Surplus food that you prepare, but will not use immediately, can be stored almost indefinitely in your freezer. Cooking in large batches is the best way to maximize the utility of your cooking time.
Don’t substitute romaine lettuce when making caesar salad. Romaine has the perfect texture and flavor to stand up to the strong ingredients in a classic caesar dressing, such as garlic, anchovies and parmesan cheese. Select romaine that has dark green outer leaves that curl away from the center. To store, leave the head whole and unwashed in the refrigerator, and tear off leaves as needed.
Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.
When storing items in your kitchen, you will want to make sure that they are stored in containers that are airtight and closed tightly for two reasons. While most foods will go stale having constant exposure to air, another big fear is that the product will be taken over by bugs.
Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.
Use fresh carrots often in your cooking. They are versatile and easy to obtain. Carrots are very rich in vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. One of the best ways to sneak there goodness into your recipes is to use carrots in place of sugar.
Avoid limiting yourself to white potatoes in your cooking. They are very high in starch and have the least amount of nutritional content of any of the potatoes. Try varieties that come in blue, red, yellow, and orange. You can substitute almost any root vegetable as your usual white potato.
Don’t be afraid to play with recipes and change the ingredients you don’t like. Recipes are not the Bible; they are simply guidelines for preparing a dish. If you do not like an ingredient like oregano for example, replace it with thyme. Most of the time, the dishes flavor is preserved, and you’re happier knowing you don’t have to eat something with a flavor you dislike.
Try cooking stock ahead of time and freezing it. It is always handy to have chicken, beef, or vegetable stock handy when you are boiling vegetables or want to make a quick soup. It is also easier this way because it is less mess the day you are having your meal!
Using the tips stated above, you should have a firm grasp on the basics of cooking and be able to cook for yourself. You can even try cooking for your family and friends as a learning experience. The great thing about cooking is that if it does not work the first time, you can try again.