Making meals can get boring. To liven up your relationship with cooking, how about diving in and learning a few new techniques? Not only is cooking something that needs to be done, but it can exciting as well. These cooking tips will help you cook better meals.
Change from ordinary table salt when cooking, to sea salt or kosher salt. The latter will add a much better flavor to the recipe. While it is important not to over-salt food for health reasons, leaving salt out of a recipe altogether can result in a meal that tastes bland. So seek a middle ground when using this seasoning.
Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Eat a piece of meat when experimenting with seasoning before cooking all of it. Many foods such as hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs need careful and specific seasoning. After you season the meat, do not cook all of the batch. First, make a little patty out of it and cook that first. This is a good way to find out if you got the seasoning right.
Mushrooms discolor fast and they don’t look too appetizing when you serve them. You can prevent discoloration by following this technique. Squeeze the juice of a quarter lemon onto a paper towel and wipe the cap of each mushroom with it. This cleans the mushroom and prevents it from changing its original color.
If you want hard boiled eggs that peel easily, then you need to cool your eggs before you peel them. Boiled eggs that are fresh out of hot water have no separation between the egg and its shell. By refilling your pot with cold water before peeling the eggs inside, you encourage the eggs to compress, thereby creating a layer of air between the eggs and their shells, making it easier for you to peel them.
When cooking steak, make sure the pan you are using is really hot so that it sears the outside of the meat and keeps all of the juices inside. This will make your steak taste great, and it won’t be dried out, since all of the flavor is still sealed inside of the meat.
Wash your mushrooms off with a damp cloth. Don’t put them under running water to clean them. Mushrooms are like little sponges and running them under the tap will cause them to absorb too much water. This can affect their taste and your cooking time as well.
For fluffier pancakes, allow the batter to sit for about five minutes before you start pouring it into the pan. This will allow the flour to absorb more of the moisture in the mix, making for much lighter pancakes that will rise more when you cook them and give them that great restaurant flavor!
Cooking a big meal? Do the preparations the day or night before! This way, you will have less to do on the day you are going to make your meal. For instance, if a salad will be part of your meal, make it the night before.
After you have drained pasta, add fresh Parmesan Cheese to it while it is still hot. By putting the cheese on this way, the sauce you will be using has something to stick it. Plus, the pasta will have more flavor this way than if you added the cheese after your pasta and sauce are mixed together.
When you have a recipe that calls for wine, you may be tempted to use a cheap wine or cooking wine. Avoid this mindset when you approach your cooking. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not you would drink the wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, do not use it to cook.
If you are going to braise meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. By doing it this way, the meat will stay tender and it will retain its juiciness, which in turns, leaves the meat tasting good. Cooking it a high temperature can dry the meat out.
To improve your cooking preparation time, their are many tools of the trade that can help. For example, there are many devices that will help you chop faster, slice faster, and grate faster! It is beneficial to do this because the less time you spend preparing, the more time you are cooking and eating!
Don’t spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.
Now that you have the knowledge you need, it’s time for you to practice what you have learned! Cooking, of course, is delicious, but it can also be a great and fun way to learn about food. You will even learn things about yourself as well, as you find out what you enjoy cooking. Plus, as you learn more about cooking and learn to love the art of it, you’ll have a blast playing with new recipes and feel extremely satisfied as the taste of your dishes improves.