Food is one of the basic requirements humans must have to survive. However, survival without the enjoyment of life would be rather dull. Eating well is wonderful, but cooking something wonderful is even better. The following tips will help you improve your cooking abilities.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. When you need to create a meal within a certain amount of time it can be stressful. Do your prep work in advance, if you can.
When this happens, it’s still possible to salvage it. For every tablespoon of water, add half a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix as much as needed to get the right thickness. Add this mix to the sauce little by little until it becomes thicker. To prevent the sauce from getting overly thick, pour the corn starch and water mixture into the sauce very slowly and be sure that you are stirring it constantly.
Apples are widely used in recipes during fall and winter, but they will spoil fast if incorrectly stored. Apples will be ruined if they are stored in a warm place, make sure you store them in the fridge or in a cool place. Make sure to inspect your apples regularly, as one rotten apple means that the others are soon to follow.
If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. This process doesn’t cause the sauce to go bad, so reheat with confidence!
Is it hard for you to know how long to grill your meat? It is always a good idea to use a quality meat thermometer (preferably a digital one for precise reading) to make sure the inside is also cooked properly. If you are grilling meat that exceeds a thickness of 1.5 inches, closing your grill’s lid can make better use of the heat and cook through the meat faster.
Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.
Wooden skewers should be soaked in water for a minimimum of thirty minutes before they are used. This helps them avoid burning when you cook. Keep food from falling off of your skewers by using two parallel skewers instead of a single one.
Soy products and beans are a wonderful place to get protein if you need to add some to your diet. Both are readily available in grocery stores. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.
If you are preparing a recipe that calls for milk or water, try substituting with an alternate liquid to add new flavor to your meals. Juices, beef broth, or vegetable broth can all be used as a substitute for water. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. A simple switch like changing a liquid in a recipe can improve the nutritional quality while giving the dish a whole new spin in taste.
Always measure cooking oil! To lessen the amount of unhealthy fat in your meals, make sure you carefully measure out how much oil you are using. Never pour the oil from a bottle straight into the pan. This will enable you to keep track of the amount of oil you are using.
If you are cooking a roast and are short on time, make sure to leave the bone in. Your meat will cook faster this way because the bone helps to carry the heat straight to the inside of your roaster. Cut the meat around the bone before serving.
Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. Drying them is easy – simply cut Roma tomatoes in half, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Then put them on a rack that you might use to cool cookies and then lightly cover them with salt. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.
If you buy unripened fruits, keep them in a plastic bag fitted with holes. Some fruits, like apples, produce ethylene gas as they ripen. When you keep these fruits in aerated bags, the gas that might normally build up and be trapped is released and allows the fruit to maintain freshness longer.
Always check to see if your utensils are clean if you are about to cook. If your utensils still have food in them, it can ruin what you are trying to cook. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. Then all you have to do is put everything together when you get ready to cook the meal.
Impress family and friends when you make a simple sandwich just by spreading the mayonnaise evenly on the entire slice of bread. Often, people are hurried and just drop a dollop of it in the middle. Spread the mayonnaise properly so that its flavor permeates the entire sandwich.
Learning to cook and having fun with it can be as much fun as eating. Use the suggestions outlined above and pick and choose what will work for you, and add your own little tricks along the way. Your skills will get better and people will bug you to cook for them!