Cooking is mandatory for many, but that does not mean it shouldn’t be fun. Great culinary skills are within the realm of possibility for everyone, particularly if they have good resources for learning. The following article will provide some of that learning material to get you started.
Keep all dried spices in a dark space that stays room temperature. Their flavor will suffer if they are exposed to heat, humidity, and light. It has been found that ground herbs and spices maintain their flavor for roughly a year. Spices that are raw, or whole, can keep the original flavor for as long as five years, though it usually falls somewhere between three and five. Keep spices fresh for the longest time possible by storing them correctly.
Save yourself some time and stress by doing prep work a day ahead. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.
You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Try a few recipes, and be patient with yourself as you are mastering this new skill.
If you are seasoning meat, cook a little piece of it to test the seasoning before cooking it all. Meats like meatballs, hamburgers or meatloaf can be easily under or over seasoned. Refrain from seasoning the whole portion before cooking. A better option is to season the small piece and allow it to cook. Afterwards you can choose to cook the remainder of the meat or adjust your seasonings.
Garlic is a delicious ingredient that has a place in many recipes, but it has no place on your hands. To get rid of the odors that garlic and other pungent ingredients leave on your hands, rub them around the inside of your stainless steel sink. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.
Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. When you do this, making a quick meal can be accomplished by simply reheating by using a saute pan. This process doesn’t cause the sauce to go bad, so reheat with confidence!
Dry ingredients and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. Keeping your ingredients in airtight containers will stop them from spoiling or being infected with bugs. Almost every store has some form of them, and they are usually inexpensive.
When you make chicken stock make as much as you can. Plan to make a big pot of stock so you can freeze and store it. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is readily available at any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
Decreasing the amount of oils that you are using when cooking is essential if you are interested in losing weight and eating a healthy diet. Oil or butter add more fat than necessary to your dishes. As an alternative, try using non-stick cooking spray as it works the same while containing less unhealthy ingredients and fats.
A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.
Preparing healthy vegetables can be easy if you choose to saute them in chicken broth. The broth adds flavor to them, while reducing oil that is usually used for sauteing. This is a delicious, simple way to cook fresh vegetables.
By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy out-of-season fruits when no one else can!
When cooking a recipe calling for garlic, use the freshest garlic for the best results. The sooner you use fresh garlic, the better and sweeter the flavor of it will be. You will know if garlic is fresh if it is not bruised, soft or shriveled and has firm skin.
After you eat turkey, do not just toss the leftovers in the garbage. Rather, cut up the meat and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. With enough leftover turkey, you can enjoy turkey sandwiches and salads for several weeks after the bird was cooked.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you don’t use a spice very often, and it will go bad before you have to replace it, give some to family and friends.
Add a little salt to your cutting board whenever you are slicing up some herbs. This will add some flavor and the herbs will stay on the board. Make sure to avoid over-salting by not adding additional salt directly to what you are preparing. The salt that has been sprinkled onto the board, will also have the extra benefit of adding a little bit of extra flavor when it adheres to the herbs.
Prepare everything you need to cook your food in advance. This is the best way for you to prevent any accidents or waste in the kitchen. Oil should not sit in a pan for too long, or it could cause a fire. Having everything ready to go will help you to be able to monitor what is going on in the kitchen, and not create a hazardous area.
Cooking isn’t just a matter of providing food. It can be a delicious, fun activity. Becoming a confident cook can decrease your waistline and increase your savings account. Use the ideas here to help turn cooking into your new, most favorite hobby.