How You Can Enjoy Restaurant Quality Meals In The Comfort Of Your Home
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.
While most seasonings are added at some point during the cooking process, there are certain spices that are considered good after cooking options. These spices are garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Set these on the table, and let your guests decide on their personal preference to add a little kick to their plate.
Overdo it a little when you bake a pie crust. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.
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.
Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.
Brownies made for a bake sale are much more enticing when potential buyers can see what goodies are in them. To accomplish this task, when the pan of brownies has about eight minutes left of baking time, remove the pan from the oven, cover the top with a layer of miniature marshmallows and then sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, caramel chunks and anything else you like to add to your brownies on top of the marshmallows. Put the pan back into the oven for the final few minutes of baking to allow the marshmallows to soften and toast and give time for the chips to melt. When the pan comes out, you will have an irresistible pan of brownies that look as good as they taste.
Don’t forget to clean your grill before you use it by scrubbing the grilling surface with a wire brush while it heats up. This way the removed food and grease burn off. Built up food on the grill doesn’t add flavor to the meat, but make the fresh food stick to the metal much easier.
When making homemade salad dressings it is a good idea to use extra-virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavor that really adds to a salad. Extra-virgin olive oil can be somewhat expensive so it is important to buy it when it is on sale or with a coupon to make it more affordable.
When you are making homemade soups that contain meat, they tend to have a lot of fat that needs to be skimmed from the top. One quick solution to that problem is dropping in a couple of ice cubes. As the ice melts, the fat will stiffen around it and you will be able to remove it with ease.
Whenever you make stock for soups or stews, make it in large quantities, and freeze the extra. That way, the next time you want to whip up a quick soup or stew, the most time-consuming part is already done. You just have to pull a bag from the freezer for a quick and delicious meal.
Add plenty of salt to the water when you are cooking pasta. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. If you try to salt the pasta after it is already cooked it will not hold the seasoning as well.
When you are making mashed potatoes, you need to be extra careful and make sure not to whip them for too long. While it might seem that mixing them for longer would make them smoother, it actually has an opposite effect. Doing so actually makes them come out gummy in texture.
Make perfect meat and fish by applying seasoning, evenly. Especially with salt and pepper, think of the seasonings as snow that is falling delicately onto the meat and fish. As a result, you won’t have too much seasoning on one section and not enough or none on other sections. It also prevents the seasonings from clumping.
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.