Improve Your Cooking Breadth With This Knowledge
Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.
Preparation is a very important part of cooking. You want to make sure you have every item you might need. You also want to make sure you have all the supplies you might need. You don’t want to be in the middle of a dish and find out you are missing something important.
Whenever possible, avoid canned ingredients in your cooking. They have numerous disadvantages. Canned food has lost vital nutrients that you want in order to cook the healthiest possible meals. They also taste different – if not downright worse – than fresh ingredients, potentially ruining your recipes. Finally, canned foods have unhealthy additives – especially extra sodium – that you do not need in your food.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
Do not just stick to iceberg lettuce when considering making a fresh salad. You can find a multitude of greens that have increased health benefits over the old stand-by lettuce. Try varieties such as butter, romaine, and red. Also try some fresh herbs and spices for a greater amount of flavor.
Do not keep your spices above your stove. They need to be located in a cool, dark area; if they are exposed to either warm conditions or a light source, they will not taste as good and your cooking will suffer as a result. Think about using one of the cabinets near your refrigerator as a storage space.
While your cooking it is important to be passionate and interested about what you are doing. With cooking, the taste you get out of your food isn’t only linearly connected to the effort put in, it’s exponential! If you don’t put effort into your food while cooking it, you will get something you don’t even want to eat or feed to anyone!
Keep vegetables fresh longer by covering them with a wet paper towel and then putting them in an airtight bag. They will stay fresh for several more days if they are kept slightly damp. Refrigeration and lack of air will also keep them fresh. It is important to get the most out of your vegetables by sealing them tightly and storing them away immediately if you do not plan to use them.
Cooking pasta a minute short of its full cook time. When you short the cook time on your pasta you can finish the cooking process when mixing with the sauce. This will prevent your final steps in the dish from overcooking the pasta and destroying its texture or shape. Your dishes will maintain an inviting look this way.
When frying frozen foods it is sometimes best to let them defrost. When water combines with hot oil it has a tendency to spark up violently, and since frozen foods generally have frost, or frozen water on their outside the interaction of the two, ice and oil, can be extremely dangerous. Unless directions explicitly say otherwise always let things reach a medium temperature with one another.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you know the allergy concerns of all of those who will be eating your meal. This is extremely important because the effects of food allergy can range anywhere from mild discomfort to death – both of which you want to avoid at all costs.
To help you cook the best meals, it is important to pick recipes that excite you. Cooking can be stimulating when you select recipes and ingredients that expose you to new cultures and flavors. Instead of ordering fast food open up a cookbook and you will be on your way to great tasting meals.
There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.