Simple And Effective Advice To Help You With Cooking
One of the hardest things to master in cooking is learning how to bake. Baking requires time, patience, and practice. Try using these tips to help you learn either how to bake or make yourself a better baker. If you stick to these tips and practice them, you should be able to bake breads, cakes, and pastries with ease.
The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. This is a good way to cut strips for Asian dishes, such as Chinese and Thai. When the meat is partially frozen, you get a much cleaner cut and the meat fibers are less prone to stretching or tearing. Then allow the slices to thaw so they’ll cook evenly.
Season meats evenly. It is important to season all of the meats you are going to be cooking evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning lightly over the meat like it was snowing down. This will keep the seasoning even and prevent clumping. The taste will be more consistent all through it.
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.
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.
Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant’s seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base – it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.
One of the best ways to store green vegetables so that you can increase the lifespan that they have, is to store them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. This will keep the nutrients in them and retain the freshness that they need to remain tasty.
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.
If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. Juices, beef broth, or vegetable broth can all be used as a substitute for water. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Using different liquids can add nutritional value, while at the same time punching up bland, old recipes.
Freeze your excess ginger root. When you buy a ginger root for cooking, the chances are you won’t use the whole thing in one recipe. Whatever you have left can be frozen. Not only will it keep for a long time, it’s really easy to shave off a piece with a sharp knife, or grate it when it’s frozen.
When cooking any meat you want to make sure that you reach the temperature that is high enough to kill any transferable bacteria. If this bacteria is not cooked high enough for whatever the certain meat calls for, people can become very ill or even get worms that were in the meat.
Although there are many intricacies to baking, using these tips should allow you to become an excellent baker. There is no doubt that baking is a difficult cooking skill to master. So take your time, and do not be discouraged by minor setbacks. Practice these tips, and eventually you will get it perfect.