Cooking Tips To Help You Cook Like A Pro
If you are looking to improve on your cooking skills, a refresher course in the basics can be a great investment of your time. But if you are too busy for that, the following tips can help you get back to some cooking basics that you may have forgotten or overlooked.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.
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.
If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.
Check what you have at home and bring any new recipes with you when you go to the store. When you have the recipe with you, you’ll have a handy list of what you need to buy. If you don’t check what you already have, you may ending up buying more than you need. If you don’t bring the recipe, you may forget something that you won’t be able to cook without!
There is an easy way to peel garlic. There are many tips and techniques for peeling garlic, but there is a simple way that doesn’t involve any fancy gadgets. Take a rubber jar lid gripper and lay it on the counter. Place a clove of garlic on it and fold it over. Using a little pressure, simply roll the garlic clove around a few times inside the rubber gripper, and the skin will instantly be removed.
Fresh herbs can add a great deal to most recipes. Herbs can be tricky to handle, though, because they need to be chopped so finely. Sprinkling salt over the cutting board before chopping herbs can cut down on mess. The salt encourages herbs to stick to the board instead of flying off.
Flour or any other dry goods stored too long, tend to attract bugs and make them either hard to use or not suitable for cooking. Lay a whole bay leaf in the container (and possibly also in the cupboard) and your goods and storage areas will be bug free forever.
When cooking pumpkins, stand the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, cut it down the middle. The halves should be placed face-down on two baking pans. Sprinkle some water on the sheets and bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.
If you are making a dish where you will need thin strips of meat (fajitas, Chinese) freeze your meet for about 20 minutes before cutting. This will allow you to slice the meat very thinly with ease. You may think this sounds a little strange, but it will definitely do the trick.
How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.
During cooking, if the consistency of a sauce or gravy is too thin for your liking, try adding some corn starch to it in order to thicken it to your taste. Avoid using flour as it can make the sauce taste “chalky”. Corn starch is an excellent thickening agent and blends very well with the sauce or gravy.
Cooking the daily meal can seem like a chore sometimes and throwing ingredients together quickly becomes tiresome. Cooking for pleasure can be relaxing, entertaining, and can be delicious. Remind yourself of some of the basic rules of cooking and make cooking fun again for you and your family.