Succeeding In The Kitchen With These Great Cooking Tips
In today’s declining economy, there is a bright spot for families. More and more people are cooking at home instead of eating out. Cooking food at home can bring families together. The enjoyment of a shared meal is an important aspect of our social natures that dates back to the beginning of time.
Make sure that you never give up when you are cooking, as it is going to take a lot of practice and failures before you get it right. If you burn something, keep trying. You will only become a great cook if you maintain your persistence.
For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.
Have you ever wondered how your neighbor’s pie crusts turn out to be golden brown and glossy while yours is always pale? There is a trick to learn which guarantees the desired result every time. Beat some egg whites and brush it over the pie. You will take out beautiful, glossy, golden brown pies from your oven.
Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.
Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to over-heat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
Place fruit that is not quite ripe in a plastic bag with a few small holes to allow it to ripen. The plastic helps retain the gases used by ripening fruit while the holes allow fresh air to circulate across the fruit. This also helps you keep your fruit fresh longer!
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.
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.
If you find yourself with part of a loaf of stale bread, don’t throw it away or feed it to the birds. Instead, turn it into croutons for a soup or salad by tossing cubes of bread with oil and seasonings and baking them until crispy. You can also turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for many recipes.
How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.
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.
Food and family are almost synonymous. Whether it’s the holidays, or just the evening meal, it is a wonderful thing to see the return of the home cook. The shared act of cooking a meal can only strengthen our families and improve our overall health in this society.