Be A Better Chef With These Simple Cooking Tips
Learning how to cook is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
When seasoning your food, remember that it is much easier to add more seasoning if needed, but you cannot take it away if you add too much. That is why it’s important to go light when seasoning with herbs and spices. You want to compliment the flavors of the food and not overpower them.
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.
After removing corn from the cob, scrap the cob with the back of your knife. Doing this will extract the “milk” from it. Drizzle the “milk” over the corn to add extra flavor.
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.
Be careful with frozen spinach. After thawing, squeeze the water out before cooking or the extra water will come out during cooking possibly destroying your recipe. You can squeeze it by hand or use any other suitable device to do it. Lay the spinach on paper towel to drain the excessive moisture.
It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.
When making sandwiches, follow this tip. Take a portion of mayonnaise and spread it on the bread from corner to corner. Spreading from corner to corner rather than the widely used method of spreading down the middle allows every area of the bread to be evenly coated with mayonnaise, making a more flavorful sandwich.
If your family tends to eat a lot of chicken and often, remember to always brine the poultry as it will lock in flavor. Otherwise you are left with a dry piece of chicken that merely has whatever spices and herbs you chose coated on the outside rather than penetrating every bite.
When baking, here is a tip for eggs and butter. Let your eggs and butter set out overnight at room temperature. Doing so will soften the butter which will make it easier to spread, melt, and mix with other ingredients. The eggs will be easier to beat, and foaming egg whites will be easier as well.
Rinse your chopped red onions gently in cold water to reduce the bite and sharpness that are inherent in onions. This will give you more flexibility with the types of items you can use your onions in without overpowering the flavors of your dish. You can also use this technique to keep the texture of an onion without the overwhelming flavor.
Prepare ingredients for the week’s dinners. One great way to get a jump on time is to plan your dinners for the week on Sunday. When you know what you will be fixing each night you can take some time to portion and precook some of your ingredients. Vegetables can also be chopped and stored in Tupperware which will easily keep until used later in the week. By utilizing weekend time, you can save a lot of time during the week.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.