Eating is easy; cooking is hard…at first. The tips we have gathered here will teach you a few things you may not know about cooking your own meals. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the idea of preparing a fine meal with a variety of ingredients. Cooking is an invaluable skill that can be quite joyful. Have fun with these tips and don't be scared to do some experimenting and messing up of your kitchen. Any mess can be cleaned up!
If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try your hand at some of the recipes, remembering that patience is key during the learning process.
It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. Gather all of your ingredients well in advance. Prepare everything you need for cooking ahead of time; don't forget the utensils! If you have everything ready, you won't be as worried about preparing the meal, and it's more likely to turn out well.
Stir-fry meat needs to be sliced thin, on the bias. This can be quite tricky and time-consuming. Take the meat out of the freezer once it gets firm, place a sharp knife at an oblique angle and start slicing.
Spices should be stored in a cool and dark place. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Better tasting meals are the result of the ingredients you use, including the freshest spices possible.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. Dull knives are difficult to use and they are dangerous to cut with too. You are more likely to get cut exerting force on a dull knife to slice a vegetable than you are when using a sharp knife.
A nutritious way to reduce the calories from your mashed potatoes is to replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower. Cauliflower's subtle flavors blend in with the potatoes and other ingredients easily. Additionally, cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so it makes it an easy, healthy addition to your dish.
To make the cooking process easier and faster, many preparatory steps can be completed ahead of time. Look through any recipes you make before you begin and prep accordingly, this can save you time before you cook letting you concentrate on your task when the time comes. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. You can turn a fancy meal into a fast, fun meal that can be cooked in a flash!
In this manner, you will be able to preserve the freshness of the fruit throughout the year. This will help you to have fruit whenever you want it, even when it is out of season.
Replace your spices every six months at the very least. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you know you can't use as much as is in the package, give some to a family member or friend to keep from wasting it.
If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
When fruits go through the ripening process, they release ethylene gas. Putting them in a perforated bag will allow circulation of the air and keep the gas retained, thus allowing the fruit to keep it's delicious taste.
“Pay as you go” dishwashing is easy to do. This way you avoid ending up with a big pile of dirty dishes to do after the meal. On one side of your sink, you should have hot soapy water at the ready, and on the other, lukewarm water for rinsing. It will be much more effective to wash bowls as soon as you are finished with them, leaving them available for the next task.
Having the prep work done a day in advance will make the cooking process less stressful. 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. You will only have to get everything put together when it's time for you to cook.
When it's time to chop fresh herbs, you should sprinkle a bit of salt on your cutting board first. The salt helps to keep the herbs on the cutting board during chopping and also adds some extra flavor. Make sure to avoid over-salting by not adding additional salt directly to what you are preparing. The salt that is used on this board gives your herbs some extra flavor because it sticks to them.
The idea of preparing a delicious dish need not be terrifying. Home made food is cheaper and healthier than eating out, and making it can be fun. Embrace the cooking tips and techniques you have read here and make use of them at the store, the kitchen and then finally, the dining room. So here's to having a great home meal!