Useful Cooking Advice From The Pros Who Know
It’s common knowledge that people require food to sustain life. Why limit yourself to subsistence grade food? Wonderful food becomes even more special if the person enjoying it also gets a chance to create it. Here are some things you can use to bump your cooking skills up a notch.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. Their flavors suffer when they are exposed to heat, light, and humidity. Usually, ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months. Whole spices usually keep their flavor for around 3 to 5 years. When stored properly, spice stay fresh for longer periods of time.
Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.
If you are cooking pasta and are tired of the same taste, you can add a hint of lemon. Lemon will give it the extra taste that you desire, and this additive is also a very powerful antioxidant. Adding spices and different flavors can help improve the quality of your meals.
Purchase a quality loaf of bread that you can use as a side piece to a variety of meals. Bread goes great with any dish that has sauce or cheese, as you can dip it in a variety of different toppings. Include a loaf of Italian or French bread with your next meal.
If you have ever questioned the freshness of the eggs you bought and you don’t know whether the eggs in your fridge are still useable or not, you can break them individually into a cup to see if they are good or not. If you need to test several eggs, put them in a pan of cool, salted water. Use the ones floating on top and throw away the ones that sink to the bottom of the pan.
When you broil a steak, heat your broiler to the appropriate temperature before putting the steak in. The result will be a seared steak on the outside, with a very juicy inside. The broiling process should also be quick, but will vary depending on how well done you want your steak to be. Over cooking can lead to a dried out end result.
It is important to keep your items fresh, so always store your perishable items, sugars, flours, etc, in sealed, airtight bins. Airtight containers allow your food to remain safe from the elements and also prolongs their freshness. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.
It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.
When you are cooking clarified butter, first slowly melt butter that is unsalted over very low heat. Do not stir the butter, and do not let it comes to a boil. This process will separate the milk solids from the liquid butter into three layers when finished. The clarified butter will be in the middle layer.
Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.
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 you are making Easter eggs it is a pain when the eggs crack because coloring leaks onto the actual egg. To prevent this you can add some vinegar to the boiling water. This helps to seal the egg inside the shell and keep it all in one piece.
Don’t use citrus in your meat marinades. When you marinate meat with citrus juices, it often produces a mealy, grainy texture. If you still want to have that mild citrus taste, use a small drizzle or squeeze of lemon or lime juice right before serving the dish. This still provides a zesty citrus flavor, but makes sure your meat is tender and not grainy feeling.
There is as much pleasure in learning to cook a delicious meal as there is in eating it. Use the suggestions outlined above to aid in your cooking skills, while adding your own personal touches along the way. You will become such a good cook that everyone will be requesting your meals and desserts.