Cooking 101 – Simple Tips And Tricks To Make You A Better Chef
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.
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.
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.
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.
An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.
One of the things that you can do if you are cooking cauliflower is to add milk, which will help to brighten your vegetable. This will add to the aesthetic appeal of your food and will also maintain the freshness until you decide to serve it to your friends or family.
Wash your mushrooms off with a damp cloth. Don’t put them under running water to clean them. Mushrooms are like little sponges and running them under the tap will cause them to absorb too much water. This can affect their taste and your cooking time as well.
Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.
You need to remember to poke holes in a pie crust before you put it into the oven. A pie crust made from scratch can be very delicious, but if tiny holes are not poked with a fork, it will cause the crust to bubble in places which can make it difficult to fill with yummy ingredients.
Cinnamon should be added to foods for extra antioxidants. Cinnamon is a tasty spice that can be added to applesauce, diced apples, yams, or even oatmeal. It adds great flavor to just about any fruit and is great for using when baking. It is also very affordable and can be purchased at any grocery store.
Although it may be a little bit more expensive, it is wise to get a high-quality olive oil. Just a small amount can help to bring out the flavor meat, fish, pasta, pizza, or whatever else you are making. Cheaper olive oils usually give food a less than desirable flavor.
Try to make dinner preparations the evening before. You can dice, slice and otherwise prepare vegetables in advance. Stir up some sauce prior to your bedtime for a stress-free pasta dish the next evening. This will help reduce your stress and lower your cooking time the next day.
When applying seasoning to meat and fish, always remember to season evenly and thoroughly. Shake or grind the shaker as if the seasoning is snow falling from the sky. Doing so will allow the meat to be evenly coated with spices and seasoning and prevent clumps or over seasoning.
To save money and time consider throwing a beef roast or pork roast in the slow cooker. This makes a delicious meal the first night, and the leftovers make tasty sandwiches the rest of the week. Pack this in your lunch instead of deli lunch-meat, which is packed full of preservatives.
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.