Take Food And Make It A Meal

Many people think cooking is a difficult task that only properly trained chefs with years of experience can do. The reality is, anyone can cook no matter what their skill level is. Even a beginning cook can create a fancy nine course meal. The key to good cooking is good knowledge. The advice found in this article will help anyone of any level excel at cooking.

Consider recipes to be guidelines rather than rules. Feel free to branch out and switch up the spices or add an extra ingredient. Before long you will be compiling your own personal collection of altered recipes that are better than the original thing. Not only will you will also be able to impress your friends with unique dishes, but you will become a better cook as you experiment with changing recipes.

The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. First, check that you have everything you need to get started. It is not too much to get your meals ready the day before. Make sure you have the necessary utensils. Did you think of everything? This process will reduce your stress level and help manifest a more positive outcome.

Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.

When you want to make a soup using stock, follow this tip. Be sure to make a large amount of stock, pour it in a plastic bag, and place it in the freezer. This will allow you to quickly make soup whenever you want to by simply thawing out the already made stock.

Cooking hamburgers seems to be easy, but there are some tricks to learn. Make a hole in the center of the patty before you put it on the grill. The hole prevents the meat from rising in the middle so you won’t have an uncooked middle with burnt edges any more. The whole will completely disappear during cooking so no one will notice your trick.

Keep dental floss handy in the kitchen to cut or slice soft foods or ingredients. Unflavored dental floss works better than a knife when it comes to cutting soft cheeses, cake, pie or other soft foods or ingredients. Just unwind a length long enough to allow you to stretch it across the item to be cut and apply even, downward pressure for clean, neat cuts.

When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.

If you enjoy utilizing herbs and spices, keep them fresh and flavorful by storing them in an area that is dark and cool. Cabinets located above stoves or other warm corners of your kitchen are bad places to store spices and herbs, as doing so will sacrifice both taste and eventually dollars.

Be sure to refresh your spices every few months. Spices lose their flavor if kept too long. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.

As stated above, cooking is not just a task that is limited to the best chefs with high culinary training. Anyone of any skill level can cook; the key to their success is proper cooking knowledge. If you follow the advice found in this article, you too can be a good cook.