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.

Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.

When preparing stir-fry meals, cut the meat on the bias and keep it thin. This can sometimes be a tricky undertaking and very time-consuming. Take the meat out of the freezer when it’s firm to the touch, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. You need to have the ingredients readily available. Plan out your cooking the day before. Make sure all the necessary utensils are clean and ready to use.
With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.

Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. For nutrient preservation, saute, blanch or steam your vegetables or simply enjoy them raw.

Do not throw away the product of your hard work. Put some corn starch into water and mix it in your sauce. Mic the solution together and put it in the sauce to thicken it up. Add your starch solution slowly to ensure just the right consistency.

You have probably felt guilty for pitching moldy fruits before. Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? There is, unfortunately, no good way to save fruit that is half-rotten. The mold and spoilage that you can see is only part of the problem with marginal-looking fruit; even the parts that appear pristine can be unsafe to eat.

If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. Using partially frozen meats, your slicing can be cleaner due to the fibers not stretching and tearing as easy. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.

Are you planning to use freshly picked basil in a recipe? Gather a small bunch of freshly cut basil and place it in a glass. Make sure the stems are covered with water. It will remain fresh for weeks, just sitting on the kitchen counter! By changing the water every so often, your basil will develop roots. Picking the leaves from time to time will cause the basil to put out new growth, so you will have a constant supply!

When adding seasoning to meats, try some before cooking the whole thing. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. Cook only a portion of the food prior to seasoning the entire dish. Try cooking a small sample before making all of it. This will give you the ability to adjust the seasoning in the rest of the meat if needed.

Seasoned salt is used on virtually any kind of food, not just meat! Use it with roasted pumpkin seeds for a wonderful snack, or go ahead and add some to scrambled eggs. Everyone will ask what you used for spices.

During cooking, it’s essential that you have sharp knives accessible. Dull knives make it harder to cut and are more dangerous to use. 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.

They’ll just simply work as a sponge and soak up the majority of the water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.

Don’t overcook your vegetables. They will lose a lot of food value and won’t taste good. Pick methods that cook the vegetables quickly so they keep their goodness, or eat them raw.

Substituting another liquid for milk or water can help give your meals a new flavor. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.

Raw potatoes should rest in chilly water for approximately 30 minutes. This will help them to be crispy and delicious. The potatoes need to soak because the fibers will be reinforced through the cold fluids which in turn makes them fry better. They can handle the heat and not break apart completely.

A good cook will have their utensils and ingredients well organized. If you don’t organize your supplies, you’ll constantly be wasting time looking for what you need. Keep certain similar tools in one area. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.

Are you partial to using fresh basil in your cooking? Take a few twigs of the basil and place it in a small container or glass. Then, add water to the glass, immersing the stems in water. It will remain fresh for weeks, just sitting on the kitchen counter! Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.

Ground Meat

After you make sauce, pour the leftovers into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. When you need sauce for another meal, you already have individual portions, ready to grab and reheat in a pan. No worries, because the sauce is still quite edible after being frozen in ice cube trays.

Blot the ground meat that you are using before cooking it. You should always blot up extra moisture before cooking ground meat. If you leave the moisture in your meat, that moisture will be released when you cook. It will steam off in the hot skillet. This will cause your meat to be steamed rather than seared.

Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. The broth will give the vegetables a delicious, warm flavor as well as extra moisture so they don’t stick to the pan. Chicken broth can be found at almost all local grocery stores at a very cheap price.

Once your meat is finished cooking, let it sit before serving it. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of letting a meal sit for a while. There is plenty of temptation to just whisk the dish off of the grill and eat it immediately. However, you are missing out if you do so. Always allow your meat sit for about 5 minutes before eating.

If you have to season food while cooking it, add some in timed intervals rather than all of it at the start of cooking. Then the foods absorb the seasonings rather than being caked with them.

You should save some water from the pan in which you cooked the pasta so that you can add it to the pasta sauce later. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. The addition of the starchy water will bulk up your sauce and make it creamier.

When serving salad to guests, leave the dressing on the side. This will allow your guests to control how much dressing they want to put on their salad. You should also provide a large variety of dressings to serve your guests.

Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. Salt will not only add flavor to your herbs, but it will keep the herbs on the cutting board. Do not add too much salt to your dish. The herbs gain more flavor when the salt sticks to them.

Do not forget to replace your spices twice a year. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. Share your spices with friends or relatives if you will not use as much as you buy.

If you plan on using your barbecue, make sure you prep the grill beforehand so it’s ready for use when you need it. It’s a good idea to prepare the grill about half an hour before you’re going to use it. The coals need to be around medium heat and covered in ash. This is optimum grilling temperature.

Store unripened fruits in a plastic container that has holes in it. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.

Use this advice to improve every meal. As soon as you get a taste, you’ll be dying to cook more. You may find that you actually begin to look forward to cooking your meals. Use the tips above to get started on cooking.

Make a habit of washing your dishes as you use them when you cook. Try keeping one side of the sink full of hot water with soap ready to wash dishes. The other should contain rinse water. Cooking bowls and tools can be quickly cleaned as needed, and ready for their next use.

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