When you are new to cooking, you have to start somewhere. Not all people are naturals when it comes to cooking. Most chefs have worked very hard to acquire their skills. With the right basics and a few secrets, you can become a great cook. The tips below should get you started on the right path to becoming an excellent cook.

Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. Your spices will have a longer shelf life and retain their good taste if stored in a dark, cool spot. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.

There is a great trick to thicken up your sauce so it isn’t wasted. Combine two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl and mix. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. For a sauce that’s too thick, add more liquid.

If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. This is helpful for Asian dishes you may try that call for thin strips of meat. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. To ensure the meat cooks evenly, you must let the meat strips thaw thoroughly before cooking.

Boiling and other lengthy cooking processes remove some of the vital nutrients contained in vegetables. Quick cooking methods should be used when cooking vegetables so that their nutritional value can stay in-tacked.

If you love using fresh basil, try growing it on your own to always have it on hand. Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Pour water into the glass so that the stems are covered with water. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. If you continue to refresh the water, the basil will begin to grow roots for planting. By picking leaves you will encourage the basil to put out new growth. This will ensure that you have fresh basil on an ongoing basis!

Garlic is delicious; however the pungent aroma will get stuck on your hands. An easy way to remove the smell is to rub your hands on a stainless steel surface like your sink. Not only will your hands smell better, but the next food you touch won’t have a garlicky smell.

Tofu and beans can serve as great sources of protein that can be easily added to any diet. You can buy these in almost any grocery store. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.

Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. The vegetables get flavor from the broth, and there is no need to use as much oil as it normally takes to saute them. This is an easy, delicious way to prepare veggies for you meal.

This way, the fruits will stay fresh all year long. Furthermore, you can enjoy seasonal fruits without paying outrageous prices during the off season.

If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. For instance, you can use broth, stock, juice or a bit of wine to replace the water in a recipe. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Changing liquids can improve the nutrition of the dish and make it more lively.

Don’t take the bone out of a roast if you need to cook it quickly. The bone helps distribute the heat throughout the roast. Once it’s finished cooking, you can plate up your meat after simply trimming around the bone.

If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. If you make huge amounts of stock at once, you can put the excess in the freezer using resealable bags. This allows you to have savory homemade stock available that you can use for various dishes, like soup. Homemade soup stock or bullion is a wonderful way to eliminate high sodium and preservatives that are present in commercially made products from your diet.

As a habit when cooking, make sure you wash the dishes after you are done using them. Beside your sink you should have hot water and rinse water on the two sides. Utensils and mixing bowls can wash up quickly, and you will have them ready to use again as you prepare additional courses of the meal.

If you’d like to boost the flavors in your pasta sauce, it’s important to save the water you use to cook the pasta itself. Set aside approximately one-fourth cup. As you begin to add your sauce to the pasta, slowly mix in the water. The water contains starch from the pasta, and will make your sauce nice and creamy.

Not everyone has an inherent talent when it comes to cooking, but if you can read, you can become the amateur chef that you want to be. It is easier than have ever thought possible to become a great chef. Take the knowledge you have gained here, and apply it to your cooking. Within no time, you will be whipping up one culinary masterpiece after another.

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