Many people want to learn to cook like a pro, but the time and effort required to do so can seem overwhelming. You will be able to cook a great meal in little time, if you just go slowly and take it step by step.
Prepare to cook before you actually start cooking. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. When you're ready to begin cooking and have set your deadline to finish, you can get really stressed. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.
To slice meat with ease, you should place it in the freezer for a bit. This is ideal for Asian meals like Chinese or Thai dishes. When you slightly freeze the meat, the fibers don't extend as easily, and therefore slicing is much cleaner. However, to ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make sure that the meat is thawed before you cook it.
You should limit the amount of seasoning you apply to meat until you have tried it. Different cuts and types of meat have certain spice mixtures that work best for them. You should not cook the whole dish after it has been seasoned. Rather, cook a small piece first and taste it. Doing this allows you to test the seasonings and make appropriate adjustments.
Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. The quick cook methods generally make the vegetables tastier and more nutritional. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.
Have you ever experienced difficulty in determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Make sure you use quality meat thermometers to ascertain the internal temperature. For extremely thick cuts of meat you should cook it with the lid closed to reduce the amount of time it needs to cook.
When you make chicken stock make as much as you can. If you prepare a large pot of stock, it can be frozen and stored for future use. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. Using different liquids can add nutritional value, while at the same time punching up bland, old recipes.
Measure cooking oil out. To cook with less fat, measure specific amounts of oil instead of pouring oil into the pan straight from the bottle. This way, you know exactly how much fat you are adding to your dish.
Keep the bone in the roast if you want it to cook faster. It will cook faster because the bone will evenly distribute the heat inside your roaster. When done cooking, carve the bone out of the roast and serve.
If you're feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, consider doing much of the prep work the evening before cooking. Chop veggies, prepare a sauce, or marinate meat before heading to bed. You will have fewer tasks to complete when it's time to put the meal together, making it less stressful.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. Avoid storing them in places that may become warm, such as cupboards located above a stove. This will cause them to lose their flavor, and the money you spent on them will essentially be wasted.
Don't throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Cut it up and freeze it in an airtight container. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
Before you cook any ground meat, blot up any excess moisture. The reason for the blotting is to remove the surface moisture. Any moisture in left in meat will be released during the cooking process. The sizzling effect will burn off the moisture. This will make the meat steam, instead of sear like you will want it to.
To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Use around a quarter cup and put it aside for your sauce. When you combine the sauce and the pasta, add this little amount of water to the mix. The starch from the pasta water will add body and a “creaminess” to your sauce through amalgamation.
Always take good care of your wooden cutting board. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. You should never put the board fully underwater, instead just use a sponge with some soap for spot cleaning. If your board becomes damaged, use an oil consistently that is made for wood boards. Allow it to dry completely before using.
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. Every culture around the world takes time to sit down with their family and friends for a meal, sharing the joy of eating and companionship. By following the advice in this article, you can jump start your path towards being a great cook and the life of the dinner party.