Learning to be a five-star chef is not as hard as you might imagine. Feel free to experiment with food and recipes, and find out what you’re best at making. The following advice is exactly what you need to become a better cook and increase your repertoire of dishes. Use this information to enhance your cooking abilities quickly and efficiently.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Usually, a freshly ground spice or herb will keep its flavor for around a year. Though if you have whole spices, you will notice the flavors are strong for 3-5 years. Spices that are stored correctly remain fresher for longer.
When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. This golden color means that the sugar used in the crust has caramelized, giving the crust a crisp and sweet flavor.
People use apples for cooking many things during the holiday season, but the apples must be stored properly. Apples tend to rot in warm dry air, so tie them up loosely in plastic bags and store in a refrigerator or cool basement. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. Thin strips of meat are ideal for meals that are originally ethnically Asian. When the meat is partially frozen, cutting becomes cleaner as the meat fibers are less likely to tear or stretch. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.
The overall quality of vegetables is affected by the length of cooking time. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. You have an added bonus, because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. Cooking better vegetables is all about cooking them for the least amount of time possible.
Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Place the basil in a container that is glass. Fill the glass just enough with water so that the stems can absorb it. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. Switching out the water from time to time will cause the basil to grow, as well. Periodically prune the fresh basil; this will stimulate the plant to continue growing for a week or so.
Dry ingredients and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren’t exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. They can be purchased just about anywhere and are a worthwhile investment.
You can also use this seasoning on foods other than meat. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. No one will know how you made that tasty food!
If you want to eat well and lose weight, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of oil you use in cooking. Oil and butter have lots of fat. Try using nonstick cooking spray instead: this product does not contain anything unhealthy and works just like oil.
When buying ingredients to cook with, always read the label. Many common ingredients contain items that are considered unhealthy. Keep track of the amount of sugar and sodium in the staple products used for your recipe, and make adjustments by omitting additional sugar or salt, to avoid diet-related health issues.
When you are cooking, use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for the best results. When you use fresh ingredients you can bring out the true flavor of your food, and they can sometimes be cheaper in the end.
To cook a whole pumpkin, cut an upright pumpkin in half vertically. Place each half of the pumpkin on two separate baking sheets with the cut side facing down. Sprinkle some water onto the baking sheets, and proceed to bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes.
If you make sauce, freeze it into ice cubs to use later on. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. This process doesn’t cause the sauce to go bad, so reheat with confidence!
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
Do you wonder whether the meat you are grilling is done yet? You may want to consider investing in a meat thermometer so that you know when your food is properly cooked. Thicker cuts of meat should be cooked with the grill lid shut, in order to reduce the amount of time cooking and maximize juiciness.
Make your stressful family or holiday dinner more relaxing by completing most of the prep work up to 24 hours in advance. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. By completing a few basic steps the day before, you can save yourself time and energy when it is time to prepare your meal after a long, hard day of work.
You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. This way, you don’t burn them when you are cooking with them. Keep food from falling off of your skewers by using two parallel skewers instead of a single one.
You can make dried tomatoes yourself. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Put them facing upwards onto a cooling rack and add a little salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.
Be sure to refresh your spices every few months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
Test out these ideas to determine how they can improve your cooking technique. Experiment with the ideas offered, and don’t be scared to try each of them at least one time. Practice them and perfect your cooking skills. If you’re serious in your efforts, you’ll become a more proficient cook in a matter of days.
Wash your dishes as you use them, when you are cooking. For a lot of people, the worst part of cooking is the cleaning up. Mixing bowls and most utensils can be cleaned very easily if you choose to do it immediately after you are done using them. This will save you time in the long run and allow them to be available for use immediately.