There are quite a few different ways you can learn to use to prepare memorable meals. There are easy and more intricate methods. These tips can help even true beginners to turn out tasty meals.

Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for keeping herbs and spices. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Spices that are whole will retain flavor longer, closer to 3-5 years. Keep spices fresh for the longest time possible by storing them correctly.

Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. Rather than pale blonde, they should have a golden caramel color. This is because the golden color lets you know that the sugar from the crust has caramelized, which give it that sweet, yet crisp taste.

When cooking with oil, add it not to the bottom but to the pan’s sides. This will allow the oil to heat up as it works its way down to the center. A drop of water on the pan will sizzle when the oil is at the proper temperature.

Longer cooking methods, such as boiling, take out a lot of the healthy nutrients that are found in vegetables. If you want them to be healthier, try cooking them quickly by steaming or sauteing, or eat them raw!

Crispier fries come from potatoes that have been left to soak in ice cold water for about 30 minutes. Allowing the sliced potatoes to soak up more cold fluids helps to reinforce the fibers that are in the vegetable, that way when they are deep fried, they are better able to stand up to the heat and won’t completely break down.

If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!

You should think big when preparing chicken stock. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.

Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.

Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. You will have a faster cooking time because the bone will transfer the heat. Cut the meat around the bone before serving it.

If you find that making a whole dinner at once is too much work, do parts of your food preparation the night before. You can cut up vegetables and onions, marinate your meat or make a sauce in the evening before you head off to sleep. This way, your stress levels the next day will be a lot less, and cooking a lot more fun.

You should consider drying your tomatoes on your own. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Place the cooling rack on a cookie sheet and dry in a 190 degree oven for up to 10 hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Another way to preserve your dried tomatoes is in olive oil, with herbs for added flavor, in a glass jar. When refrigerated, they will last a minimum of two weeks.

Making the recipe more complicated than it needs to be will not take you anywhere. Establishing a simple cooking method will result in tasty, healthy and quick meals. These tips can help you move toward understanding cooking and make food taste wonderful.

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