Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.
Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
Crispier fries come from potatoes that have been left to soak in ice cold water for about 30 minutes. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
Always choose to cook with a wine that you would drink yourself. If you don’t even like the taste of the wine that you are cooking with, chances are that you will end up disliking whatever it is that you are making! So pick out a good wine that you know you love, and you will like your dish even more.
If you are cooking for someone special, do not try a recipe that you have never tried before. Because you are trying to impress this person, you want to make sure you make a satisfying meal. Try something you are very familiar with, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to make it.
When you are cooking meat and adding seasoning to it, use an even sprinkling gesture to apply the seasoning. You should season from a decent height and aim to produce an even “snowfall” effect. Executed properly, this technique ensures consistent coverage and avoids leaving over-seasoned clumps or seasoning-free areas on the meat.
Cooking tip “� sweet treat for smelly fingers! Cleaning fish or shrimp is a messy task and leaves a distinctive smell on your hand for at least a day. There is an effective way of removing the smell. Squish a few fresh strawberries between your fingers for a couple of minutes and rinse your hand with soapy water. The smell will disappear instantly!
Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.
Here is a great tip to use when you have to deep fry foods. While deep frying, hold the food with a set of long cooking tongues as you place them into the oil. Before releasing, hold the food for five seconds just below the oil, then release. This will prevent the food from sticking to other food or the side of the fryer by sealing it.
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.
When picking out a melon for purchase, make sure that it is still fresh. Many times, people get sick from melons that have gone bad. You can check its freshness by checking the part of the melon that was connected to the vine. If it is soft, then the melon is still good.
When you are cooking any dessert that has strawberries in it, add a small amount of aged balsamic vinegar. The vinegar gives the dessert a sweet taste and it helps to enhance the strawberry’s taste. If the dessert is something bigger, such as a strawberry cake, add a touch more balsamic vinegar.
To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.
Use this tip when cooking chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack to cook the chicken, slice an onion and put the slices in an oiled pan. Then take the chicken and place it on top of the onions. While cooking, the the onions will absorb the juices of the chicken. This is useful for later when you make a sauce from the onions by pouring water or stock into the pan and cooking on high heat for three minutes.
There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.