Cooking is a process that we are never finished learning about. Even the most accomplished world famous chefs will still take a chance to learn a new trick from a colleague. In this article we will try to give you a few highlights of some useful cooking information.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
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 put a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.
An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.
When cooking your next large pot of spaghetti, add a drop of oil to the boiling water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together and improve the taste. Your boiling time will remain the same and there is no extra work added by using this method.
If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.
It is important to know that the smaller the item, the longer it takes to cook. Many people think that smaller items do not take long to cook, therefore the item does not cook thoroughly. Usually, larger items do not take as long to cook and because people think they do, these items get burnt.
Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
When shopping for meat, always get the freshest cuts available. If you are shopping for meat at the butcher shop the meat is being fresh cut or ground. However, when shopping at the grocery store try to find out when the store typically cuts meat for the day and try to arrive near that time. Otherwise ask at the meat counter for a fresh cut or grind if you do not know the time of the last cut.
Before chopping fresh herbs sprinkle some salt on the cutting board. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. The salt will stick to the herbs, adding some extra flavor to your dish.
When a sauce is too thick or too thin, it’s useful to add either flour or water. Flour should be pre-mixed in a little bit of cold water to prevent it from clumping when you add it to a sauce. Water can just be added and stirred in. This is helpful when you want the consistency of your sauce to combine with your meal. Thicker sauces will tend to stick to noodles better than their watery counterparts.
If you aren’t the best in the kitchen and you are ready to tackle a recipe, choose one that isn’t too complicated to begin. You will want to stick to recipes that have a minimum of ingredients and ones that only require one or two pots to create. From there, you can aspire to be the next Julia Child.
Invest in a good roll of parchment paper. When you are baking, line your pans with it and you will save yourself much time and mess. The baked goods slide right off of the paper and all your pan needs is a simple rinse in some hot soapy water!
After cooking meat of any kind, it is very important that you let it sit a while before cutting. If you cut too soon, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board, leaving the meat dry and with less flavor. Letting the meat sit allows time for the juices to retract back into the meat.
These tips haven’t come close to covering everything you could learn regarding cooking. There is a wealth of information out there just waiting to be discovered. One of the best things about cooking is that the more you learn about it, the more you want to learn. So get out there and get cooking.
Family Gatherings: How To Cook For Large Crowds
It does take skill to develop, though! You can now control the food you and your family eat every night. Here are some wonderful ideas to lead you down a tasty path.
Make sure that when you are making your pasta, not to use oil in the water upon cooking. This will reduce the risk that the pasta will stick to the sauce, which can ruin the quality of your meal. Avoid oil in water when you are cooking pasta for maximum results.
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
When you are seasoning a salad, add a small dose of olive oil in addition to natural sea salt. This will help to give your salad a crunchy appeal even after you add the dressing. Keeping your salad as crunchy as possible will create a feeling of freshness upon consumption.
If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Offer several different types of dressing.
When cooking burgers, no matter what the type of burger, it is important to only flip it one time in order to retain all of the juices. If you don’t do this your burger will most likely end up dry and will resemble a hockey puck! Don’t let that happen to your burgers.
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. 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.
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
When you are making casseroles, roasts, and other things that may stick to the bottom of a baking sheet, you should line the bottom of the pan with foil. This is a good idea because after you are done cooking you can throw the foil away and you will not have a lot of cleaning up to do.
While it is easy to just grab a spoon to scrape prepared, wet cake mix from the mixing bowl to put into pans for baking, do yourself a favor an invest in a good rubber scraper. A rubber scraper is made to be pliant, is curved on one side and straight on the other, just perfect for scraping the bowl of every last drop of cake and brownie mix. Using a rubber scraper gets all of the mix where it belongs in your baking pans and that quantity is what the baking time on boxes of mix are based upon. Too little mix in the pans leads to burnt goods when relying on the stated baking times.
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.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you know the allergy concerns of all of those who will be eating your meal. This is extremely important because the effects of food allergy can range anywhere from mild discomfort to death – both of which you want to avoid at all costs.
It is a good idea for you to make sure that you do not overcook vegetables because that will lead to them losing the majority of their important nutrients. Another reason not to overcook them is because they can get very mushy, which would make them unappealing to eat.
When baking cookies, make sure to drop the batter in thick spoonfulls onto the cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. This reduces the flattening process that can happen when the baking process is taking place. When the edges are brown, remove the cookies from the oven, and you will be rewarded with a soft center.
Are you eager to start applying the tips you just learned in the article? The article you just read will give you the ability to become a great cook! Regardless of why you have decided to improve your cooking skills, you will definitely savor a meal that you prepared by yourself. The truth is that cooking fabulous dishes takes skill. Good food, like all good things, is worth the work.