While some people prefer to indulge in delicious, savory dishes, there are millions more who derive far more pleasure from learning how to prepare those perfect appetizers, desserts, and main courses. With the information in this article, you can get a head start on your path to becoming the next best chef!
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.
Whenever you are cooking and you feel the need to add more oil, the best way to add oil is to add it through the side of the pan. By doing this, the oil will be heated when it gets to the ingredient that is being cooked. This is a good tip to remember.
Let roasts rest before carving to allow the juices time to retract from the surface of the meat. Slicing beef, pork, poultry or lamb immediately after roasting lets most of the juice run out of the meat which makes it drier and less flavorful. Giving the meat time to rest prevents the loss of the juices.
Basic seasoning of the food you prepare goes a long way in proving your skills in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to taste your food as you work and adjust seasonings accordingly. Typically, some of the most expensive cuts of meat, as well as many many varieties of seafood, are rather dull without some help. Your guests will appreciate a well-seasoned dish that they don’t need to shake salt on until their arms goes numb or twist the pepper mill over for an hour to make palatable.
To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.
When heating oil on the stove top to use for frying, use a low setting and slowly turn the burner up to reach the desired temperature. Most foods do not require much more than 350 degrees, for the oil to fry it to a nice golden brown and not end up burnt to a crisp on the outside, while raw on the inside. If you crank the temperature setting knob to its highest point, you not only run the risk of spattering and burning yourself, as well as the food you are trying to fry, but you are also wasting time while you wait for the oil to cool down enough to use. Oil heats up quickly, but it is very slow to cool down, once it has gotten too hot.
Try to store spices in dark, cool places and do not store them above your stove. Places that are bright, humid and hot, can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A good place to put them would be inside of a pantry or in your kitchen cabinets.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
Keep dental floss handy in the kitchen to cut or slice soft foods or ingredients. Unflavored dental floss works better than a knife when it comes to cutting soft cheeses, cake, pie or other soft foods or ingredients. Just unwind a length long enough to allow you to stretch it across the item to be cut and apply even, downward pressure for clean, neat cuts.
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.
Adjust your baking time for smaller items. For example, if you are making mini cookies, crank the oven up to 500 degrees, and bake the cookies for only 4 or 5 minutes at the most. The end result is perfectly cooked, delicious cookies that will fly out of your cookie jar!
Keep a food thermometer around. It is always best to stick your meat when cooking when you are not sure if it is done for food safety. Poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F, Ground Beef, Fish, and Shellfish to 158 F, and Pork to 150.
When you are cooking with garlic and you do not want to deal with the smell on your hands, cutting board, or utensils, follow this tip. Take a thicker plastic bag and smash the garlic inside of the bag. You can then just simply dump the garlic into the pan!
You can prepare minced garlic ahead of time to be ready to use. Simply mince the garlic as normal and spread in a small pan. Freeze this pan until the garlic begins to become solid, at which point you take it out, and slice it into cubes. Place these cubes in a plastic bag and store in the freezer. When you are sautéing vegetables or preparing food later, you can use a cube or two of this prepared minced garlic. The heat from the frying pan will melt the garlic, and the result is quick and easy garlic with a fresh flavor.
Now that you have added some useful and creative cooking tips to your arsenal, you should be able to start pursuing your dream of playing chef. Whether you want to make a living from cooking or simply want to serve delicious meals to your family, remember these tips for culinary glory.