Proven Tips To Make You A Better Cook
Cooking is an art. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.
If you are cooking for someone important, such as a new boss or for a dinner party, don’t use a new recipe and a new ingredient. Make sure you practice the dish first for your own family. Play around with it to make sure it is how you want it.
When cooking stock, make it in a large quantity and store it in smaller bags in the freezer. Stock has a long freezer life and can be useful in so many recipes. Making a larger batch is no more difficult than making a small batch. You’ll save yourself time later by having a freezer store to turn to.
The longer the cooking process, the more nutrients that you lose from most vegetables. To preserve their healthy reputation, choose quick cooking methods such as sauteing or steaming – or better still, enjoy them in their natural, raw state.
If you want to reduce the amount of calories and fat in a mashed potato dish, substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes. Cauliflower tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.
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.
Shelling pecans can be really challenging. Make it easier by soaking them in a cup of water and put the cup into the microwave for 5-6 minutes. It is always possible to soak the pecans into boiling water to get the same effect. Hot water makes the shell softer and easier to crack.
By doing this, a year-round supply of fresh fruit can be maintained. An added bonus is that you are going to be able to eat fruit that is not in season and is therefore unavailable elsewhere during certain periods.
Stop guessing on the taste of your meatballs and loafs. Take your mixture of meat and seasonings and fry up a small hamburger so you can get a taste of how your meatloaf or meatballs will turn out. This way you can add more seasonings or tone them down by adding more meat.
When cooking around small children, safety is imperative. Get in the habit, even when children are not around, that you keep knives, breakable dishes and other objects that could fall and injure a young child, well back on the table or counter. You might just prevent a child from being seriously injured because of sheer carelessness, on the part of the cook.
Don’t store your spices above the stove. While many traditional kitchens place the spice rack above the stove for convenience, this practice can actually reduce the flavor and shelf life of your herbs. Humidity, heat, and light can all cause spices to lose their flavor, and above the stove ensures they are exposed to all three.
A great grilling tip to improve flavor and consistency is to try to cut similar foods into the same size pieces. This ensures that foods stay moist and grill evenly. A nice side benefit is that it also makes your workload a little easier. By cutting out the hassle of constantly monitoring foods for doneness, you have the peace of mind of knowing your foods will all be ready right about the same time.
When baking cookies, make sure to drop the batter in thick spoonfulls onto the cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. This reduces the flattening process that can happen when the baking process is taking place. When the edges are brown, remove the cookies from the oven, and you will be rewarded with a soft center.
If you have stale bread, implement it in a recipe. Don’t just throw that stale loaf of french bread out to the birds. If the bread is still good, add it to a recipe. Crumble it up and use it in a seasoning. You can even make it into croutons for a salad.
This is a rich and bountiful set of cooking tips and lore to help both the novice and the chef. We hope they will challenge you to try new dishes and expand your list of ingredients. This can bring new enjoyment to you and those who share your table.