Once you feel more confident of your cooking skills, you will enjoy preparing food more. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find tips that will improve your cooking and leave you feeling more confident in the kitchen. The fun will truly start once you have these items under your belt.
Always slice your meat thinly and on the bias when you are cooking stir-fry. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. Retrieve the meat after it has firmed a bit, and cut thin slices across the grain, holding your knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board.
If you put your meat in the freezer to make it a little hard, it will be easier to cut into thin strips. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. Partially freezing meat keep the fibers in meat from stretching and tearing resulting in perfectly sliced strips. However, to make sure that the meat cooks evenly, take the time to let it thaw out prior to cooking.
Cooking vegetables for a long time in a boiling liquid will remove nutrients that are found in them. To maintain their healthy reputation, prepare them quicker by steaming or sauteing, and you could always enjoy them naturally in their raw state.
Do you love to cook with fresh basil? Store the basil within a glass. Pour water into the glass so that the stems are covered with water. Put it on top of your kitchen counter and it will be fresh for weeks! Change the water every few days to keep it fresh, and you might even see your basil leaves sprouting some roots. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
When you make chicken stock, a good piece of advice is to make it in a big quantity. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. There are a variety of recipes that call for chicken stock, so having it on hand is always a good idea. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
For a good pumpkin cooking method, make sure the pumpkin is upright, you then want to cut it directly down in half, in the middle. Next, set each of the two pieces on a separate baking sheet, taking care to place each one cut side down. Add a touch of water to each sheet before putting it in the oven. You will want to bake this for approximately an hour at 350 degrees.
This will enable you to enjoy fresh fruit any time your heart desires. You will also be able to enjoy fruits that are out of season.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. A good method for increasing your nutritional intake is by increasing the amount of liquids you drink throughout the day.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.
When you have a big meal to prepare, get a head start by doing the prep work the night before. You can dice, slice and otherwise prepare vegetables in advance. Stir up some sauce prior to your bedtime for a stress-free pasta dish the next evening. This creates less stress the next day when you are pressed for time; it also keeps your more prepared when you are ready to throw dinner together.
New spices should be purchased every six months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. Share your spices with friends or relatives if you will not use as much as you buy.
Organize your materials as best as possible, if you desire to prevent the hazards of burns in the kitchen. Just like with anything you do, the more organized you are, the more productive you will be. A cluttered, unorganized cooking area will leave you scrambling to find things while your food gets more and more “well done”. You will end up burning things and throwing them away when simple organization would have allowed you to cook a wonderful dish!
Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. If you add the salt to your cutting board, reduce the salt in the recipe by the same amount, so that you don’t add too much salt to your dish. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
As has previously been mentioned, even the most basic of skills can be enhanced and improved. All you need is a bit of time and a willingness to learn. By taking the tips you have learned here and applying them to your own cooking, you will be on your way to moving about the kitchen with ease. With the right attitude, cooking can be much fun.