Even home cooks can learn a thing or two about their craft. By knowing the proper techniques, you can turn boring meals into spectacular meals. Try some of these tips to make your meals interesting and exciting!

Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. This may take some time and effort. Then take the meat of out the freezer when it has firmed up a little, but has not frozen yet, and cut the meat at 45 degrees with the grain.

Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. Warm air is the enemy of apples; store them in a cool area or even the refrigerator. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.

This can be applied on many other foods other than just meat. You can sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or on roasted nuts and seeds for a snack. You will have everyone asking what the secret spice is!

When you make chicken stock, a good piece of advice is to make it in a big quantity. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.

If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. Most grocery stores sell both items. Seasoned tofu is a wonderful alternative to meat, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan frying. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.

When you are purchasing food to make a recipe, read your labels. There are many common supplies in cooking that contain unhealthy ingredients that are hidden. You need to know how much sugars and sodium are in the ingredients because they can cause health problems if you consume too much of them.

Don’t use any wine in your meals that you wouldn’t drink. If you cook with an unfamiliar wine, you run the risk of disliking the taste of the wine and having it ruin your food. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.

Many food items leave their odors on cutting boards, which can linger even with vigorous scrubbing. Put a waterproof mark on the end of the cutting board so you’ll know which side to use.

You should be as organized as possible when cooking to avoid burning food and other mistakes, which could be costly. This will increase your productivity, generating tasty foods and saving a lot of money. Being unorganized can cause you to lose ingredients or tools that you need when you are cooking. This can cause a meal to be ruined which will put the money you spent on ingredients to waste.

Allow your cooked food to sit a bit before it is served. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. It has become almost habit now to serve up a meal as it comes right off the stove. Unfortunately, this may cause you to miss the full effect. To maximize taste and satisfaction, wait a little while before you serve your meal to friends or family.

For an improvement to your pasta sauce, save some of the water used to cook the pasta. Save around 1/4 cup of water and put it aside. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. Your sauce will be thicker and creamier due to the starch provided by the water from the pasta.

Shake a little salt onto your cutting board when you are chopping up fresh herbs. The salt will keep the herbs on the board and add extra flavor as well. Make sure to avoid over-salting by not adding additional salt directly to what you are preparing. The salt that is used on this board gives your herbs some extra flavor because it sticks to them.

If you saute a food, don’t overload the pan. The moisture from the extra food will cause it to steam. This way the food will be too moist, not crisp like sauteed food should be. Keep the flame or burner around medium as you saute.

Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. Follow the recommended guidelines for the correct internal temperature for each kind of meat. Meat that has not been cooked sufficiently can have bacteria growing in it, and these can cause illness if eaten.

When baking a cake, be sure not to over or under cook it. Box times are more of guidelines than the actual time a cake should be baked. This is due to various factors that can make a difference, such as elevation. Instead, take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If your toothpick is clean, your cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. However, if there is batter left on the toothpick, keep baking for a longer period of time.

You should utilize fresh seasoning and herbs when you are cooking a dish that is simple. Using dried herbs, like basil or oregano, is acceptable if a dish is complex and has many flavors. However, using fresh herbs adds a fresher, stronger taste that improves the overall quality of the dish’s flavor. Consider planting your own herbs to guarantee a fresh and steady supply.

When you cream sugar and butter for making cookies, ensure the butter is softened rather than melted. If you do melt the butter on accident, stick it in the freezer for several minutes, or put the dough in the refrigerator after you have mixed all the ingredients. A dough that has been cooled will keep the cookies from spreading more than you want.

Becoming a good cook is a lifelong learning process. Following these tips should be relatively easy if you take your time and try one new thing at a time.

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