Avoid Simple Mistakes By Following These Tips
There is a saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. In most homes now, wives and mothers have little time or energy to cook after working all day. Boxed or prepared meals are time saving and have gotten more appetizing, but the nutritional value is probably not as good as home-cooked meals.
Ensure that you are getting the most out of your chef’s knife by holding it properly during use. The thumb and the index finger should be on either side of the blade, at the point where it meets the handle. This will give the ultimate in control, when slicing through ingredients.
For the most beautiful homemade chocolate chip cookies, do not add all of the chocolate morsels into the mix! Save about a quarter of what your recipe calls for until after the cookies are all arranged on the cooking sheet, then add them evenly to the tops of the dough drops to create bakery looking, perfect chocolate chip cookies!
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
Cook your chicken over other ingredients. If you are making a chicken dish that includes an ingredient like onions, cook the chicken over them. Oil the pan and cut the onion into slices. Put them in the pan and place the chicken over them. The juices from the chicken will soak into the onion.
When you are cutting garlic, one of the things that you can do is to put it in a plastic bag before you cut. Then, slice the garlic cloves inside the bag to protect your board from smelling. This will help to reduce the pungent odor that garlic can give off.
To reduce the fat and calories in a recipe that calls for a lot of mayonnaise, simply replace half the mayonnaise with sour cream. Since mayonnaise serves primarily a textural purpose in many of these recipes, replacing it with similarly textured sour cream gives you the same texture with a lighter, healthier taste.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
Cooking is all about preparation. To take the edge of cooking, whether it is a small appetizer, simple dish, full nine course meal, or elegant dessert, prepare for your cooking a day or two ahead. Plan what you are going to make and for how many people you are going to make it for. Gather your ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you won’t have to rush.
Beans stored for a longer period of time need to be checked for insect damage or mold. Instead of visually looking at each bean put them in a bowl of cold water. Use only the ones sinking to the bottom as those floating are either suffer from insect damage or mold.
You should cook chicken stew if you need to make a quick meal. Take a carton of chicken broth and put it in a large stock pot. Add cooked shredded chicken, diced potatoes, carrots, green beans and onions to the pot. Season to taste and cook for three hours on low. It is a tasty meal that does not take a lot of work.
Protect your investment in herbs and spices by storing them correctly – in a cool, dark space. Keeping your spices and herbs stored above your stove or in high cabinets where warm air collects will dry them out and destroy their flavor.
After you have cut up meats on your counter, be sure to thoroughly wipe the counters and chopping boards down with a disinfectant. You need to disinfect knives also. Keep separate chopping boards for uncooked and cooked foods. Many people get salmonella poisoning each year because they ingested food that was prepared on an unclean counter or chopping board. This is especially important if you prepare food for children or the elderly.
Cooking is easier now than in the past, since appliances are available which can be timed to cook foods with preset programs. After the meal, it is easier to clean up with dishwashers, so no one has to stand by the sink for an hour washing dishes. An exhausted mother or even older children can make a meal with minimal effort.