Get Help In The Kitchen With These Practical Cooking Tips
Cooking is a vital skill that everyone should have. But it doesn’t always come easily to everyone. So below are a few tips that’ve been accumulated to help you become a better cook. With these tips, you won’t have to worry about producing a meal that nobody wants to eat again.
Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Warmth, humidity and light will make them stale and unflavorful. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Whole spices can stay fresh for up to five years. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
If you have already cooked before for someone that you know and love, try to shake things up a bit and add some new spices to the recipes. Changing things up can keep things fresh and make your cooking very spontaneous. This will improve your ability and skills in the kitchen.
After you have cooked a meal for someone, never rush them into eating as you should always take your time and engage in conversation to give your body a chance to digest. Part of the meal is the smells and aromas it gives off while the other part is your actual consumption.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
Basic seasoning of the food you prepare goes a long way in proving your skills in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to taste your food as you work and adjust seasonings accordingly. Typically, some of the most expensive cuts of meat, as well as many many varieties of seafood, are rather dull without some help. Your guests will appreciate a well-seasoned dish that they don’t need to shake salt on until their arms goes numb or twist the pepper mill over for an hour to make palatable.
If you are looking to reduce the sodium content of the meals you cook, take a careful look at your spice shelf. Many prepared spices are surprisingly high in sodium, whether or not they have a salty taste. And of course, avoid adding regular salt. Look to natural herbs and simpler spices to add flavor without sodium.
When you are cooking meat and adding seasoning to it, use an even sprinkling gesture to apply the seasoning. You should season from a decent height and aim to produce an even “snowfall” effect. Executed properly, this technique ensures consistent coverage and avoids leaving over-seasoned clumps or seasoning-free areas on the meat.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.
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.
To make the perfect pasta, cook it one minute less than what you read on the box and cook it the rest of the way with the sauce you are serving with it. This ensures that you do not overcook the pasta if you were to toss it in with the sauce after you cooked the pasta until it was done in the pot of water.
Do not use oil when boiling pasta. You may hear many sources tell you that oil in your water when boiling pasta will keep it from sticking when it is drained. This may hold some truth, however, the oil can not only break the pasta down prematurely, it will also prevent your sauce from sticking to it. Use salt in the water to achieve a faster boil and rinse cooked pasta with warm water to prevent sticking.
These are only a fraction of the tips that’re out there to help you become a better cook. Hopefully you’ve learned some valuable information and are on your way to becoming a great cook. Even if you’re only cooking for yourself, it’s always nice to be able to make a good tasting meal!