Everything But The Chef’s Hat: Cooking Tips

TIP! If you want to slice meat into thin strips, freeze it partially before bringing it to the cutting board. When you are making stir fry Asian dishes, this technique for thinly sliced meat is ideal.

There are quite a few different ways you can learn to use to prepare memorable meals. There are easy and more intricate methods. This article contains some simple culinary tips, which will help you to advance your cooking skills, regardless of your initial skill level.

TIP! It’s very important to have good, sharp knives for cooking. Dull knives are difficult to use and they are dangerous to cut with too.

Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Spices last longer and taste better when stored in cool, dark locations. If you use fresh spices, your food will taste better.

TIP! When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. You should never attempt to cook new or extravagant recipes you have not already tried when you are cooking for someone that you want to impress.

Do you often feel a bit guilty throwing out fruit that is rotten? Have you ever tried to salvage a fruit by slicing away the bad-looking part? The truth is that a rotten spot often signifies that the whole fruit is bad. These foods can cause you to become ill, as mold goes much deeper than the eye can see.

TIP! It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. The more fresh ingredients you use in your cooking, the better your dishes will be.

Apples are a popular ingredient during fall and winter, but unless they are stored properly, they spoil quickly. Store them in your fridge or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied, as they tend to spoil in dry warm areas. One rotten apple will spoil the bunch so keep a close eye on them while stored.

TIP! Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used.

If you want to reduce the amount of calories and fat in a mashed potato dish, substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.

Fresh Ingredients

TIP! Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in.

Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. Try to use as many fresh ingredients as you can, because they will bring out a lot more flavor in your dish, and they can be a lot less expensive in the long run as well.

TIP! Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Mark your chopping board using indelible ink in order to keep track of which side you used.

Use airtight containers for storing flour, sugar, and baking mixes in the kitchen. Sealed containers are great for keeping bugs out and helping your food to not spoil. These containers are widely available and are definitely worth the money.

TIP! It is important to buy new spices at least every six months. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor.

Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. Not only will chicken broth help to keep vegetables from getting stuck to the pan, but they will add some nice flavors to the dish. Chicken broth is usually available for relatively low prices at most grocery stores.

TIP! If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. By using this technique you can chop many herbs in a short amount of time, and they will be much lighter and fluffier, without the wetness that you get when using a knife.

Keep the dressing for a salad off to the side when you’re having guests over for a meal. Let people put on their own dressing. Offer your guests a variety of dressings.

TIP! Be creative with your approach to cooking. Cooking is about coming up with different ways of using a recipe not just following it.

When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.

TIP! To give your pasta sauce some additional flavor, use some of the water that the pasta was cooked in. Use about a fourth of a cup for this tip.

Clean cooking utensils are an absolute necessity when you start any cooking project. If food is left behind on the utensils after washing, this may spoil what you are planning to cook. This could allow bacteria to easily spread.

TIP! Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. There is a recommended minimum temperature for every type of meat; this ensures that meat is cooked well enough to be safe to eat.

To avoid burning your food, stay organized. Having an organized cooking area will ensure that you are productive when cooking. Being disorganized can make it quite easy to make it impossible to find things when you need them, which makes you miss out on the goodies that you could be indulging in.

TIP! Avoid overcooking or undercooking a cake. While the recipe or directions are a good starting point in cooking times, they may need adjustment.

When you cook macaroni and cheese, make sure to follow the listed directions on your box exactly. This ensures your macaroni comes out perfect and that the velvety cheese is deliciously melted over your noodles. When it comes time to serve the dish, you can use a basic slotted or solid spoon. Another great tip is to spice things up a bit with some black pepper.

TIP! If you are cooking with a certain type of fruit or vegetable for the first time, do some research before using it. You might be surprised to learn that with a little bit of information, you can see the different ways to incorporate it into your meals.

Having the prep work done a day in advance will make the cooking process less stressful. You can place all of your ingredients in a designated area so that you can be sure that you have all of the ingredients to prepare the dish. You can then chop fruits or vegetables and measure all dry ingredients that you need for the recipe. You will only have to get everything put together when it’s time for you to cook.

TIP! Cut down on cooking time by doing your prep work in advance. One of the things that you can do is create components of your meals in advance.

When you are cooking, don’t be afraid to be creative. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. You can add a little something, or replace an ingredient you don’t like. It may end up tasting better than the original! That is the definition of a true cook!

TIP! Your butter should always be soft before you cream them with sugar when you bake cookies. Try popping your melted butter to freeze in the freezer as you start making your dough.

Even the simple things can make the family go wow, like spreading mayo evening completely across a piece of bread. People are often in a rush and will slap the sauce on haphazardly. When it’s evenly spread, each bite of the sandwich is tasty!

TIP! To make your cooking experience easier, you should always prepare your ingredients prior to cooking. When you have your prep work done and all your ingredients readily available, you will be able to complete your meal without delays.

Do food preparations prior to cooking food. This keeps you safe, and saves you money. Working with hot pans and stoves while you are distracted with prep tasks is a recipe for injury, and you tend to leave burners and ovens on longer if you are still preparing ingredients.

Wooden Cutting Board

TIP! Learn how to use color as a guide to cooking. The consumption of colorful dishes is healthy to your body and pleasing to see.

Proper care for a wood cutting board. To keep your wooden cutting board in top shape, avoid exposing it to excess moisture. The correct way to clean a wooden cutting board is to use a damp, soapy sponge or cloth to wipe it clean, rinse with boiling water and towel dry. You can do some restoration to a damaged board by regularly oiling it with a product specifically for this purpose. Before using it again, make sure the oil is completely dry.

TIP! If you like to experiment with spices, try adding saffron to your dishes. Saffron lends a sunny flavor not available from other sources.

You can easily ruin a perfectly good meal just by making things over complicated. Try to keep it simple and you can create wonderful, tasty meals that are fast and healthy! Using the guidelines here, you can have a good understanding of how to cook making each meal better than the previous one.

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