Cooking 101 – Simple Tips And Tricks To Make You A Better Chef
Smells coming from the kitchen can many times evoke childhood memories of grandmas famous apple pie or thanksgiving dinner. Creating lasting memories like these for your little ones today is important. The following cooking tips will help you to savor those old memories as well as cook up some new ones for generations to come.
Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don’t discard them – saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn’t throw away those unused salad greens!
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
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.
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.
Sometimes, your burgers can stick onto the grill. This makes removing them extremely difficult or impossible without compromising their shape. Brushing vegetable oil on the grill will help keep your food from sticking.
If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Offer many different types of salad dressing as well.
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.
Instead of chopping them on a cutting board, a better way to cut herbs is to hold them in a bunch and cut them with sharp scissors. This works especially well for dill and parsley. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
Start your sear in a cold pan when searing duck breasts. Duck can turn very dry very quickly if not properly cooked. Using the cold pan technique for searing allows the fat to render slowly which will keep your duck moist and juicy. It will also give you more time to develop flavors and take care of some side dishes.
Pesto cooking tip! When you are using pesto sauce, make sure you never heat it up! If you want to have it in a pasta or soup dish, it is best if you cook the food first – then add the uncooked pesto. This is important because cooking pesto will make the basil have a bitter taste.
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.
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.
As stated in the beginning of the article, many times kitchen smells can evoke childhood memories. Re-creating those moments past is just as important as making new memories for the current generation. Hopefully, this article gave you some great ideas to help you incorporate some of those old memories into lasting new ones.