When you are new to cooking, you have to start somewhere. Some people are innate in knowing how to cook, however, even if you weren’t there is still much hope. However, everyone can learn to be a great cook. You must seek out the knowledge necessary for taking your food from boring to amazing. The following paragraphs have some good advice that can point you down the right path.

When you are baking pastry crusts, try increasing the cooking time a bit. The crust should have a nice golden color to be fully cooked. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.

To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.

Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Gather a bunch and put it into a glass. Pour water into the glass so that the stems are covered with water. Now, just sit this glass on your window sill or counter and the basil should stay fresh for a few days to a few weeks. Change the water once in awhile, and before long roots will even form on the basil. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!

Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Look at your recipe and decide which steps you can do in advance without worry of food spoilage. Do the prep work the day before. Even if you are faced with a challenging recipe, it can make everything go quickly.

A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. It is possible to buy both at most supermarkets. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Beans can be used in vegetarian chili, added to baked goods, or just boiled with herbs and vegetables.

Always read labels thoroughly when shopping for a recipe. There can be some ingredients in foods that are unhealthy. You want to make sure that the product is not too high in sugars or in sodium as both can cause extreme health problems if over consumed.

Track how much cooking oil you use. The reason to do this is simple: You want to measure instead of just dumping the oil in the pan in order to keep track of how much you’re using. By doing this, you will be able to clearly see how much oil you are using.

Dry your own tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.

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. When you don’t know how to do it, you imbue cooking with a complexity that it doesn’t really possess. The tips mentioned in this article will help get you started on the road to gourmet bliss.

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