Although many people claim that it’s easy, learning to cook is actually quite difficult. Read on for some great tips on cooking delicious, gourmet-type dishes that will make you look like a master chef.

Doing all of the things you need to in order to prepare a meal is a vital part of the cooking process. Gather all the ingredients beforehand. The day before the big event, get everything ready to go. Make sure you have all the utensils and cookware you will need. This will help to alleviate your anxiety and maximize your potential.

When you are cooking a stir-fry, ensure the meat is sliced to be very thin, and cut it on the bias. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. Retrieve the meat after it has firmed a bit, and cut thin slices across the grain, holding your knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. This will help every meal that you prepare taste better.

Many important nutrients are removed when vegetables are cooked in lengthy processes like boiling. To keep the nutrients in tact, consider steaming or sauteing your food, or even serving them raw.

If you want crispier and crunchier French fries, then soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water for a period of at least half an hour before use. Allowing the sliced potatoes to soak up more cold fluids helps to reinforce the fibers that are in the vegetable, that way when they are deep fried, they are better able to stand up to the heat and won’t completely break down.

To reduce fat and calories in mashed potatoes without sacrificing texture or taste, replace some of your potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower. Cauliflower has a kind of bland taste that mixes well with potatoes and the other ingredients in them. You’ll still be able to enjoy mashed potatoes, but with less fat and calories!

Store your dry goods, like sugar, flour, baking mix, and so forth, in airtight containers. Airtight containers are advantageous for several reasons. They prevent air exposure from lessening the freshness of your foods, and they also keep the bugs out. These containers are widely available and are definitely worth the money.

Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.

This way, the fruits will stay fresh all year long. This is also advantageous for those seasonal fruits that you can only find during certain growing seasons.

If you are cooking a roast and are short on time, make sure to leave the bone in. Cooking the roast with the bone still in it will help the inside of the roast cook faster. When the roast is done, just cut it off the bone before serving.

Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. If you use a kind of wine you’ve never tasted before, you may mess up the flavor of the dish you’re working on. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.

After you cook a meal, immediately wash all dishes used during preparation. On one side of your sink, you should have hot soapy water at the ready, and on the other, lukewarm water for rinsing. Your utensils and containers wash up easier the sooner you get to them, and washing them as you go also allows you to re-use them while preparing the same recipe.

Let your meal sit for a while. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. You may be tempted to serve people as soon as the meal comes out of the oven. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.

It’s important to be creative while cooking. You don’t always have to follow the recipe word for word. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. That is really a creative cook!

In conclusion, you can become better at cooking if you use the above advice. All you need to do now is get in that kitchen and start cooking! The people in your life will be amazed at the quality of the dishes you can now serve.

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