Everyone has to start somewhere when learning a new skill, and this includes cooking. Most people weren’t natural born cooks. The good news is that everyone can learn how to become a good cook. There are some crucial things you need to know so that you can cook well. Here are some great suggestions on how to start on your culinary journey.

A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. They should be golden caramel in color instead of pale blonde. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.

Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.

When adding seasoning to meats, try some before cooking the whole thing. Dishes like meatballs, meatloaf and hamburgers need to be seasoned carefully. After seasoning the meat, do not cook all of it. Cook a small, seasoned patty and taste the result. Once you have tasted your creation, make any adjustments needed to the seasoning.

Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.

Quickly cooking vegetables allows them to retain much of their nutritional value. Vegetables which are cooked slowly can lose their taste and valuable nutrients. If you do this, it will provide you a vegetable that is higher in nutritious value. It is worth it to take the time to use cooking methods that preserve the most nutrients.

if fresh basil what you’re cooking with? Place several sprigs of fresh basil into a glass container. Make sure the stems are saturated with water. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it should stay fresh. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. If you keep the basil trimmed regularly, this will promote growth and allow a decent supply of basil on an ongoing basis.

After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. Freezing the sauce into cubes in the trays is safe and convenient!

Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. People vary in the amount of dressing they like on their salad, so it is helpful to let them do this on their own. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.

Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Take a cooling rack and place the tomatoes on it. Sprinkle them with salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Zing up your dried tomatoes and conserve them at the same time by canning them in olive oil and herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.

Everyone might not be born with the talent for cooking, but if you can learn and follow a recipe, you can indeed turn into an amateur chef. It really isn’t as hard as some people think. If you follow the tips in this article, you will be cooking up a storm in no time!

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