Cooking 101: Get Started In The Kitchen Today
In today’s declining economy, there is a bright spot for families. More and more people are cooking at home instead of eating out. Cooking food at home can bring families together. The enjoyment of a shared meal is an important aspect of our social natures that dates back to the beginning of time.
Preparation is a very important part of cooking. You want to make sure you have every item you might need. You also want to make sure you have all the supplies you might need. You don’t want to be in the middle of a dish and find out you are missing something important.
When you are making stock, make a lot of it. Then save it in a plastic zip bag, date it and freeze it. That way you can pull it when you would like to make a soup. You can use it to boil some veggies in. Having some in the freezer will make preparing healthy meals very much easier.
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.
Many use a good number of apples for baking and cooking throughout fall and winter, but if improperly stored, they will spoil quickly. Warm air is the enemy of apples; store them in a cool area or even the refrigerator. However, if even one apple becomes rotten, it will quickly spoil all apples in the same bag.
Always choose to cook with a wine that you would drink yourself. If you don’t even like the taste of the wine that you are cooking with, chances are that you will end up disliking whatever it is that you are making! So pick out a good wine that you know you love, and you will like your dish even more.
When you are cooking a dish that requires it to be sauteed, add oil around the edges of the pan rather than directly on the food. This gives the oil a chance to heat up before it reaches the cooking food that is in the center of the pan. Hot oil will give you improved results and makes your dish taste better.
You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive and this will cut back on your costs each month.
When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.
Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. If you use a wine that you are not familiar with or do not enjoy, you are risking culinary disaster when it comes to the flavor of your food. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.
When you have taken enough celery off the stalk for your recipe, place the rest of it in aluminum foil and then place it in the refrigerator. The celery will stay fresh for at least a week by following this method and it will still have the same taste as when it was first bought.
To save time when cooking for a big event like Thanksgiving, do all the prep work the night before. You can also make desserts a day or two before the dinner. This will give you more time to focus on what needs to be done and the day will be a lot less stressful.
Stop guessing on the taste of your meatballs and loafs. Take your mixture of meat and seasonings and fry up a small hamburger so you can get a taste of how your meatloaf or meatballs will turn out. This way you can add more seasonings or tone them down by adding more meat.
Don’t use citrus in your meat marinades. When you marinate meat with citrus juices, it often produces a mealy, grainy texture. If you still want to have that mild citrus taste, use a small drizzle or squeeze of lemon or lime juice right before serving the dish. This still provides a zesty citrus flavor, but makes sure your meat is tender and not grainy feeling.
Food and family are almost synonymous. Whether it’s the holidays, or just the evening meal, it is a wonderful thing to see the return of the home cook. The shared act of cooking a meal can only strengthen our families and improve our overall health in this society.