Cooking 101: How To Cook Like A Pro
Cooking a delicious meal is not nearly as difficult as some people think. The most important part is having a good recipe. After that, it’s just a simple matter of buying the right ingredients, knowing your household measurements and following the steps. There’s no reason to try to be a gourmet chef right away.
It is fine to alter recipes. Do you like more cheese than what is called for? It’s fine to add more. Do you think onions would be good added in? Try it! Adding your own special twist to a recipe can help make a meal one of a kind!
It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.
Have you been making the same berry shortcake for a while? Make the flavor pop with the following tip. Mix your berries with a pinch of salt, a little fresh mint and a small spoon of lime juice. Your guests will never guess how you enhanced the flavor of the old family recipe.
If you have ever questioned the freshness of the eggs you bought and you don’t know whether the eggs in your fridge are still useable or not, you can break them individually into a cup to see if they are good or not. If you need to test several eggs, put them in a pan of cool, salted water. Use the ones floating on top and throw away the ones that sink to the bottom of the pan.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
Here is a great tip to use when you have to deep fry foods. While deep frying, hold the food with a set of long cooking tongues as you place them into the oil. Before releasing, hold the food for five seconds just below the oil, then release. This will prevent the food from sticking to other food or the side of the fryer by sealing it.
Keep a supply of chopped onions all ready to go, in your freezer. It is easy to be dissuaded from cooking a particular recipe because you don’t want to go through the tears and smell of cutting up onions. When you are cutting one onion, you might as well take the time and cut up several of them. Put them in a baggie and freeze them!
If you are sauteing vegetables and require more oil, add the oil to the outer part of the pan. This way the oil is heated by the time it reaches your vegetables. By doing this you eliminate extra cooking time and you never have to worry about your vegetables getting soggy or getting splattering hot oil.
In addition to staples, condiments and seasonings, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy convenient foods and quick-fix items. A no-stress kitchen should include eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables, breads, baking products, canned and bottled items, grains, refrigerated and freezer items, and condiments. When you run out of a product, don’t forget to make a note of it, so you won’t be caught out if you need it in the future.
If you are deep frying, make sure to use tongs to add the food to the hot oil. If you submerge the food below the surface of the oil with the tongs for about five seconds before you “drop” it in, the outside of whatever you are deep frying is sealed. This prevents it from sticking to other food in the oil.
Prior to cooking, gather everything you need. This will keep you from being distracted while the food is cooking. It can be dangerous preparing ingredients while hot oil is cooking on the stove, for instance. Having everything ready beforehand is safer and less stressful.
It doesn’t matter how old or young, anyone can learn how to cook a fantastic meal. Start with a simple recipe and follow the directions exactly as written. Thousands of recipes are available online. As you get more comfortable with cooking, you can start changing the recipes to suit your particular taste preferences.