How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Create at your own pace and allow for patience as you get the trick of cooking down.
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Humidity, heat and light can all cause flavors to weaken thus making your foods not able to obtain their potential. Usually, a freshly ground spice or herb will keep its flavor for around a year. Spices that are whole will retain flavor longer, closer to 3-5 years. They’ll last longest when stored properly.
Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. Putting them in a warm, lighted area can reduce their useful life, due to light and heat exposure. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.
If you are looking for new ideas for meals to prepare for yourself or your family two great places to look are the library and the internet, where you can find a vast array of options. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
Consider adding oil to your pan’s side, rather than in the middle, so that your food is already heated when they come into contact. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.
Oil should already be hot by the time it touches the food, so allow it to heat at the side beforehand. This will make your food more flavorful when it is ready to serve.
If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. This provides ideally thin meat for Thai, Chinese, or other Asian recipes. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. Then don’t forget to let the meat strips completely thaw, so it will cook evenly.
Longer cooking methods, such as boiling, take out a lot of the healthy nutrients that are found in vegetables. Rather than boiling, quickly steam or sautÃ© your vegetables to retain nutrients. Even better, eat them raw!
They behave like sponges and absorb the water. Get a wet cloth instead, and wipe off each mushroom by hand.
If you are cooking a meal for some important occasion, stick with a tried and true recipe. Don’t experiment with recipes or ingredients that you’ve never used before. This can make cooking less of a chore.
Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. By using chicken broth instead of water, you will add extra flavor to your vegetables. Chicken broth is easily purchased at almost every supermarket, and is quite inexpensive.
Apples turn ripe in the early fall; therefore, they should be stored in a cool, dry place. You can keep apples fresh by storing them in a cool basement or refrigerator as warm or dry air makes them rot. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.
When purchasing your ingredients for preparing a recipe, you should read all of the labels. There are many common supplies in cooking that contain unhealthy ingredients that are hidden. Check the levels of sodium and sugar, because severe health problems can arise when too much of these are consumed.
When you store flour, sugar or any type of baking mixes, always use airtight containers. Reducing exposure to air and insects will allow food to remain fresh and edible for longer periods of time. The containers can be bought anywhere and can be an invaluable investment.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
There are many herbs that have a strong smell that will stay on your cutting board. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
A great cooking tip to employ is to cook your vegetables in chicken broth. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth costs very little, and can be bought at most any grocery store.
Do not forget to replace your spices twice a year. The flavor of spices diminishes if they sit around for too long. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. They are also easily located at almost every grocery store. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.
Put your fresh herbs together in a bunch and use kitchen shears to cut them all at once. The herbs will be lighter and fluffier this way, and will not be as wet as they would be if you chopped them.
Store any spices you might use in a dark, cool place to help maintain their flavor and freshness. Heat will cause flavor loss in your herbs and spices; therefore, they should be kept away from heat sources such as stoves.
While engaged in cooking, get in the habit of cleaning dishes as you finish using them. Keep soapy water on one side of the sink and use the other side to rinse your dishes. 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.
Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
Get all your preparations done and ready before you begin cooking a meal. This way, you can prevent distractions like hot oil in pans or other distractions. You can also save on gas and heat by not turning on appliances before you are ready.
A good kitchen requires good knives. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. A greater number of accidents occur because of dull utensils. Therefore, purchasing sharper ones decreases the chance of injury.
Use paper towels to blot the moisture from the surface of ground meat before cooking. If your meal includes ground meat, then blotting the moisture is especially important. Leaving the moisture there will cause it to release when you cook it. It will steam off in the hot skillet. This can cause the meat to become steamed instead of seared as it should be.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. It pulls the legs and wings close against the bird, which helps the turkey to cook more evenly. If you don’t truss your bird, the smaller pieces could dry out and burn.
Use only a very small amount of fat when sauteing a food. With too much in the pan, you will find some foods steaming as opposed to sauteing, which destroys the intended integrity of the dish. Always saute over a low flame or low setting on your stove-top.
To save time, prepare your future meals in advance. It’s possible to get and mix ingredients in advance of upcoming meals. Try getting the ingredients together a few days in advance. In some cases, you will find the longer preparation window will make your end result a flavorful masterpiece. Once you get used to prepping ahead of time, you will always do it.
Keep your spices and herbs in a dry, cool, dark place. Humidity or heat can ruin your herbs and spices quickly. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.
When you know that the next day will be busy, prepare some components of dinner the night before. Spare yourself time and stress by doing some of your mealtime prep work the night before. For example, you could dice meats and veggies and allow them to marinate overnight, or you could assemble the meal and store it in the freezer.
When cooking an easy recipe, you should always use fresh seasonings and herbs. If the recipe is complicated and combines many different flavors, dried herbs are acceptable. If at all possible, however, go for the ones that are garden-fresh in order to enhance the flavor and impact of these things in your meals. Maintaining a small indoor or outdoor herb garden is one easy way to guarantee you always have those fresh herbs when you need them.
If you want your time in the kitchen to be free from stress, create a list of all the ingredients you will need and make sure that you have everything on the list in close arm’s reach. This way, you will never find yourself halfway through a recipe and without something you need. It doesn’t take longer to prepare things first instead of getting things as you need them; however, it does save time when you are cooking, and makes the entire process go much more smoothly.
Incorporate the preceding tips into your meal preparation. After you have given a few new dishes a try, you might just understand that cooking isn’t so awful after all! You may just start to enjoy it, and you might find that you can’t get enough of experimenting with new recipes. You may find that you can be a good cook, if you give it a try!
Dark leafy greens can be considered a pain to prepare, but they are very healthy. Removal of the tough stems may take a long time. There is an easy way to remove the stem however. Simply take the leaf and fold it in half down its length. When you do this, it is easy to separate the stem from the middle of the leaf. Alternatively, you can utilize a knife to remove the stem from the folded leaf. When you unfold the leaves there will be perfect de-stemmed greens.