Cooking is an art form and like many others, it can always be improved. With new information, or just a few reminders, you can up your game significantly. If you are looking to improve those skills you picked up ages ago in college, or just want to try out something different, these tips will help you to do just that.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
To maximize the efficiency of the cooking that you do, always make your food in large quantities and when you are finished with the meal, store the meats in freezer bags. This will allow you to create a meal the next day for your family that is still fresh and tastes great.
Garlic is one of the more pungent odors that you will ever experience, and you will want to have tricks to get rid of it as soon as possible. Here is a suggestion, after you cook something with garlic, rub your hands on the base of your stainless steel sink for a minute to eliminate the pungent odor off of your skin.
It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.
Always add oil to the side of the pan when sautéing. If you find that you need more oil in your pan while you are cooking, never put it right in the middle. Add it to the side of your pan. That way, it will be sufficiently heated by the time it reaches the food.
Buying pasta sauce that already has vegetables, seasonings, meat, or cheese in it is a great way to save time and money when cooking. There’s a great variety to choose from, and you won’t have to chop up peppers and mushrooms or brown the beef. It’s all in one jar–just heat it up, and serve over your favorite pasta!
When cooking with pumpkins, you will need to place the pumpkin upright then slice it in half right down the middle. Lay both halves upon separate baking sheets cut side down. Spray some water on both baking sheets and then cook at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As fruits ripen, ethylene gas is released. By using the plastic bag with small holes, you are circulating the air in the bag which allows the fruit the retain its taste.
For recipes that call for liquor or wine, you can substitute with fruit juices. Some people simply do not like the taste of liquor or wine while others do not want children eating meals that contain it. Therefore, fruit juices is suitable substitute that still provides your meal with the flavor it needs.
If you make your own salad dressing, consider using yogurt as a substitute to half the mayo. By doing this, you drastically cut the fat and calories in the dressing. When you use Greek-style yogurt, you ensure your homemade dressing is just as delicious and creamy – just not as bad for you!
When a sauce is too thick or too thin, it’s useful to add either flour or water. Flour should be pre-mixed in a little bit of cold water to prevent it from clumping when you add it to a sauce. Water can just be added and stirred in. This is helpful when you want the consistency of your sauce to combine with your meal. Thicker sauces will tend to stick to noodles better than their watery counterparts.
Invest in a good roll of parchment paper. When you are baking, line your pans with it and you will save yourself much time and mess. The baked goods slide right off of the paper and all your pan needs is a simple rinse in some hot soapy water!
Know the right care for wood cutting boards. Your wooden cutting board can be damaged by too much moisture or too much heat. The result can be warping or splitting. Cutting boards should never be immersed in water, but cleaned with a soapy sponge and rinsed off. Restore damaged boards by applying oil to it regularly, and be sure to use products specially designed for wood chopping boards. Always allow your board to dry completely, whether it is wet or oiled.
Add a cast iron skillet to your kitchen if you do not already have one. These multipurpose pans can sear, fry, roast, bake a cake, broil a steak and more, making them essential cooking gear staples. Cast iron heats evenly and holds heat well, allowing you to use a lower burner temperature. When seasoned well, cast iron cures into a nonstick surface, too.
To keep cookies from spreading while baking, chill unused dough and cool off cookie sheets between batches. If cookie dough is allowed to reach room temperature before baking, either in the bowl or on the pan, then the ingredients in the dough are doomed to expand. To get a dense yet still moist cookie, just chill the remaining dough between batches and cool an already used sheet in cold water before returning to the oven.
Choose authentic parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Parmagiana reggiano is authentic parmesan cheese, made according to strict standards in certain areas around Reggio Emilia in Central Italy. It has a nutty, mellow flavor that is highly superior to parmesan cheese that is produced elsewhere. For the best flavor, buy the cheese in chunks, and only grate it when you are ready to eat.
Eventually if you practice enough you will get good at it. By following these tips you will have the knowledge that other people have had to acquire the hard way. Following good advice and tips is a must in cooking and thanks to these you will be well on your way. Just remember to enjoy it!