Are you baffled by the meals that your loved ones are able to make? This article will help anyone improve their cooking abilities.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If stored correctly, they will remain fresher longer.
If you are learning to cook for yourself or your family, pick up a cookbook from your bookstore or library. Look for one that has basic, easy recipes that will be fun to cook. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
If you want your food to come out as good as it can when you are cooking with oil you should be sure to add the oil to the side of the pan so it is hot once it reaches the food. This will enhance the flavor of the dish when it is finished cooking.
You can salvage the work you’ve done and quickly rectify the situation with this little trick. Combine two tablespoons filled with water and one tablespoon filled with cornstarch in a small dish. Stir the mixture into the thin sauce and it will get thicker. Make sure you combine them gradually and consistently so as to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.
A sharp knife is indispensable for efficient cooking. Dull knives don’t get the job done, but in addition, are actually dangerous. It is more likely that you will cut yourself while trying to get a dull knife to cut something than when you use a well-sharpened knife.
If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. Do not attempt to whip up a new dish or use an ingredient you have never used before. Doing this will decrease the stress that you feel, which is always a good thing.
To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.
To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. Cauliflower also matches the color and texture of the potatoes. This is a great way to add veggies and eliminate calories from a favorite dish.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. The longer you cook vegetables, the less flavor and nutrition they have. As an added benefit, these techniques tend to produce healthier vegetables in general. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.
When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. Both are readily available in grocery stores. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. Beans can be used in vegetarian chili, added to baked goods, or just boiled with herbs and vegetables.
Make use of the handy tips contained in this article. Before you know it, your loved ones will want to know your secrets to cooking.