Chef's Corner: How To Properly Prepare Duck
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.
The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.
You can remove the garlic odor from your hands by rubbing them for thirty seconds on your stainless steel stove before washing them. Garlic adds a delightful flavor to many recipes, but the unmistakable odor can linger on your hands. Using this tip, you can enjoy your dinner without your hands smelling strongly of garlic.
Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.
Make sure that when you are making your pasta, not to use oil in the water upon cooking. This will reduce the risk that the pasta will stick to the sauce, which can ruin the quality of your meal. Avoid oil in water when you are cooking pasta for maximum results.
Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.
Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
Unleash the tremendous flavor power of Mediterranean cous-cous by using this cooking tip. Pour your dry cous-cous in a pot filled with boiling chicken stock instead of water. Mix for ten seconds, then turn off the heat and cover for five minutes. The cous-cous will absorb the tasty flavor of the chicken stock. This effect can also be achieved with vegetable or beef stock.
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!
As your cooking prowess grows, you will learn to appreciate the versatility of stocks and broths. Rather than buying these useful ingredients at the store or wasting your time cooking them in small batches, prepare stocks in large quantities. You can store surplus stock in plastic bags in your freezer, ready for quick use in future recipes.
True butter should be used when cooking. Butter is typically not purchased by the average consumer because of its cost. It is well worth the investment because it is not filled with unhealthy oils or trans fats. You can buy the butter in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it in your freezer.
When you are cooking pasta, follow this useful tip. Instead of strictly following the instructions given on the pasta box or package, try cooking the pasta one minute less than the time indicated. Then finish off the pasta by cooking it in a pan with sauce for the final minute. Doing so will give the pasta more flavor.
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.