Cooking well is an art. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cooking time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you include the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Since you are going to be using a lot of sharp knives in the kitchen to cook your meals, you will want to maintain precautions at all times. Instead of simply putting your knife in the drawer, make sure that you place a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.
Mushrooms discolor fast, and they don’t look too appetizing when you serve them. You can prevent discoloration by following this technique. Squeeze the juice of a quarter lemon onto a paper towel and wipe the cap of each mushroom with it. This cleans the mushroom and prevents it from changing its original color.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods.
Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
Cooking well mean that you need to think big, for example if you plan to make chicken stock make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. A good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews, and other dishes. Make sure the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.
You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is straightforward to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini, and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries, and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
When you are going to crush garlic for a dish, put it in a resealable plastic bag. Then, smash it up with the end of a knife. By doing this, you will prevent your knife, cutting board, and hands from smelling of garlic, which is a smell that is hard to get rid of.
Think about making your own stock for more flavor. Making it in huge quantities can allow you to store the leftover in some resealable bags in the freezer. You will have stock on hand for soup and other things. Doing it on your own prevents any unnecessary preservatives from being added to the stock.
Don’t spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.
Prepare ingredients for the week’s dinners. One great way to get a jump on time is to plan your dinners for the week on Sunday. When you know what you will be fixing each night, you can take some time to portion and precook some of your ingredients. Vegetables can also be chopped and stored in Tupperware, which will easily keep until used later in the week. By utilizing weekend time, you can save a lot of time during the week.
If you are cooking a soup or stew and you add too much salt to the pot, you can add a peeled white potato to the pot and continue boiling it. The starch in the potato will help to absorb a lot of the extra salt. You can repeat with an additional potato if it is still too salty.
Around the holidays, it may be tempting to try many new and complicated recipes, but you will save time and energy if you stick with simpler ones. This is a big help if you are cooking with children since they can become restless with things that are too complicated.
To remove a batch of fudge from the pan with ease, first line the pan with aluminum foil that you have generously greased using butter, margarine, or a butter-flavored cooking spray. When set, lift the block of fudge up and out of the pan using the aluminum foil, and you will then be able to peel the foil away from the fudge for cutting without the sticky mess.
Olive oil is any cook’s best friend. It is a very versatile ingredient and is, opposed to what many people think, not limited to just Italian cuisine. Stir-fried dishes and any dish in which you would ordinarily use butter can be made better tasting and healthier when olive oil is used.
This is a rich and bountiful set of cooking well tips and lore to help both the novice and the chef. We hope they will challenge you to try new dishes and expand your list of ingredients. It can bring new enjoyment to you and those who share your table.
Keep it familiar when you are having guests. Cooking can quickly go from fun to entertainment disaster when you try too many complicated things at the same time. A good rule of thumb successful cooks follow is to never-mix a new ingredient and new recipe in the same meal.