The desire to be a great chef is inherent in many of us, but the process you must go through to become a great chef can be entirely overwhelming. The thing with cooking is that progress can be charted in baby steps, and if you follow the advice below, you will be convinced that you have what it takes to be the next top chef.
Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. Gather all the ingredients beforehand. Along with the ingredients, you need to make sure you have the correct utensils for cooking the next day. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
Stir-fry recipes require meat to be sliced very thin and at an angle to the grain. This process may take a very long time, and it takes practice. Once the meat is firm, not frozen, cut across the grain at a 45-degree angle.
When trying out a new marinade or seasoning, test it on a small piece of meat before you cook the entire meal. Many meats require seasonings that are carefully chosen. After adding your blend of seasonings, do not cook the entire portion of meat. Cook a small, seasoned patty and taste the result. Once you’ve tasted the meat, change the seasoning accordingly, then cook the entire piece of meat.
If you messed it up, you can use this trick to fix it and no one will be the wiser. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water. Stir the mixture into a warm thin sauce to thicken it. To keep from over-thickening the sauce, stir it constantly and add the starch mixture gradually.
Make sure that the knives you are using are very sharp. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. You can cut yourself because you are forcing the knife through the food, use a sharp knife.
Make sure that the knives you are using are very sharp. You are more likely to injure yourself using a dull knife. If you are putting too much pressure onto the knife due to its dullness, the likelihood of having an accident is increased.
Cooking processes like boiling can remove most of the nutrients from food. Quick cooking methods should be used when cooking vegetables so that their nutritional value can stay in-tacked.
Freeze sauces by pouring leftovers into ice cube trays. For a quick and easy sauce on another night, simply remove as many cubes as you need and reheat in a pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!
Whenever you have a meal to cook, if you do your all your prep work ahead of time, it will be much less stressful and quicker. Look over your recipe and determine which items can be prepared in advance and not spoil. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.
Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. You can use a brush to apply some vegetable oil to the grill and make it to where nothing will stick to it.
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. Brush the grill with oil so that food does not stick to it. Vegetable oil works great and will not make your grill greasy.
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Allow the stock to cool, then split it up into heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags.
Avoid cooking foods in excessive oil when you are trying to become healthier or drop a few extra pounds. Many foods can be prepared in an alternative way that does not involve frying in oil. Butters and oils frequently contain unnecessary fats. You can use non-stick cooking spray as an alternative to get the same results without the extra fats.
When using garlic in your cooking, always purchase the freshest garlic possible. Garlic is normally sweeter when it is fresh. For you to figure out if garlic is still fresh make sure it isn’t soft, shriveled or bruised and it has firm skin.
Keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dark place where they will stay fresh. Do not store herbs and spices in cabinets over the stove, and avoid storing them in other warm areas, as their flavor will dissipate and you will have wasted your money.
If you do not have time to cook for your family, prepare things in advance. You can cut up ingredients, measure spices, marinate meat and prepare sauces 24 hours in advance to avoid the stress of preparing a more complex meal. You won’t be as stressed when you prepare the meal the next day.
Make sure that you do not dispose of any leftovers after your Thanksgiving dinner. Cut up the meat instead, put it in a container, and freeze it. The turkey will stay fresh for several weeks, and you can use it for sandwiches or salads.
It’s vital that you ensure that the utensils you cook with are clean prior to cooking. You need to make sure there is no residue left on the utensils, it could ruin your food. This could lead to problems from bacteria being spread.
There are many herbs that have a strong smell that will stay on your cutting board. Mark one end, or side, of each cutting board so that you know which is which.
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. They will be light and fluffy, and won’t have the wetness that chopping would give them.
To minimize the effort involved with cooking, clean the dishes you use as you move throughout the cooking process. On one side of your sink, you should have hot soapy water at the ready, and on the other, lukewarm water for rinsing. It is much easier to wash cooking utensils right after using them, and in some cases, you’ll need the same utensil again later in the cooking process.
Make sure you follow directions to the letter whenever you make macaroni and cheese. This allows the macaroni to come out just as delicious as it was intended to with the cheese melted perfectly over the noodles. To serve the macaroni and cheese, a solid faced spoon works just fine. Another great tip is to spice things up a bit with some black pepper.
If you are going to cook a complex meal, doing the prep work a day before can ease some stress. There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time like chopping vegetables, measuring seasonings and gathering all the utensils you will need. Also verify that you aren’t missing any ingredients. When it comes time to cook, all you will have to worry about is assembly and cook time.
You can reduce the cleanup required from meal preparation by washing dishes as you use them. With a two-bowl sink, you can keep one side full of hot suds and run clear water for rinsing in the other. Cookware is easier to clean right after it has been used, and it will be ready for another use immediately.
When you are cooking, don’t be afraid to be creative. Following a recipe exactly is boring and stale. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. You will not become a real cook by just following what cookbooks say.
For an improvement to your pasta sauce, save some of the water used to cook the pasta. Save about one-fourth of a cup of water after draining the pasta. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
Impress your loved ones with even simple recipes, like sandwiches by spreading condiments out evenly over the bread. Often people tend to hurry and the mayo ends up on only part of the sandwich. Every bite will be filled with flavor with the dressing evenly spread.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This adds some extra flavor to the herbs while also keeping them on the board. Just make sure you don’t add salt to your dish afterwards as the herbs already contain it. The herbs gain more flavor when the salt sticks to them.
The act of using string to tie the turkey is called trussing. This prevents the legs and wings from moving too far away from the main body, which can cause it to cook unevenly. If the turkey is not trussed, the turkey’s extremities, including the wingtips and feet, can burn before the whole turkey is cooked.
Whether your desire to cook a meal for your family or impress a date, the ability to create great meals will always be an asset. All over the world, people eat their meals with family and friends. Follow the advice you have just learned and you will eventually reach your culinary dreams.
When you are working with a fruit or vegetable you are unfamiliar with, take some time to learn about it. When you’ve done some research, you might be surprised to learn how versatile a particular new food is. Learning about the foods you’re cooking with will make the cooking experience more enjoyable.