Is cooking a scary frontier for you? Are you nervous about entering your kitchen, remembering a previous disaster? If this is you, never fear! Plenty of people have trouble with cooking, and all it takes is a little practice and proper education to cook like a pro! Read on to find out how.
If you are cooking for someone important, such as a new boss or for a dinner party, don’t use a new recipe and a new ingredient. Make sure you practice the dish first for your own family. Play around with it to make sure it is how you want it.
Make sure that you defrost your vegetables before you put them in the microwave if you are planning to cook them this way. This will allow you to achieve the best texture, while not sacrificing the taste of your vegetables. After cooking, add your vegetables to the main plate as a side dish.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or might be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
When you are seasoning a salad, add a small dose of olive oil in addition to natural sea salt. This will help to give your salad a crunchy appeal even after you add the dressing. Keeping your salad as crunchy as possible will create a feeling of freshness upon consumption.
One of the things that you can do if you are cooking cauliflower is to add milk, which will help to brighten your vegetable. This will add to the aesthetic appeal of your food and will also maintain the freshness until you decide to serve it to your friends or family.
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
You can make a lot of preparations when you are cooking to make it easy and fast. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. There is a lot of preparation that you can take care of a day in advance. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.
Instead of approaching cooking as an analytic process, you should try to maximize the amount of fun that you have in the kitchen. Put the music on loud and dance from time to time to enjoy what you are doing. Keeping something fun and casual will reduce errors from anxiety.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When the oil is allowed to over-heat it starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
Sometimes it can seem like a good idea to pile on all of your ingredients into the pan to save you time from having to cook them all separately. However, this can only prolong the cooking process since most foods need room to breathe in the pan to cook properly while soaking up the spices. Take the extra bit of time to cook them spaced out properly in the pan and you’ll have a better-tasting dish.
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held weekly – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.
When baking, here is a tip for eggs and butter. Let your eggs and butter set out overnight at room temperature. Doing so will soften the butter which will make it easier to spread, melt, and mix with other ingredients. The eggs will be easier to beat, and foaming egg whites will be easier as well.
When shopping for meat, always get the freshest cuts available. If you are shopping for meat at the butcher shop the meat is being fresh cut or ground. However, when shopping at the grocery store try to find out when the store typically cuts meat for the day and then try to arrive near that time. Otherwise, ask at the meat counter for a fresh cut or grind if you do not know the time of the last cut.
To make perfect deviled eggs, ensure the yolk is evenly centered within the egg by spinning the egg on a flat surface before boiling. Place an egg, lengthwise, on the top of the kitchen counter and gently spin it a couple of times. The spinning action helps center the yolk within the shell. This method helps create perfectly-formed deviled eggs.
A great way to save money by cooking is to substitute similar items. For example, let’s say that you want steamed green beans at dinner. Fresh green beans cost about $1.50 a pound even during the season, but frozen green beans, which have much the same color and texture, cost less than a dollar a pound.
As was said at the beginning of this article, cooking is all about education and practice. This article has given you the building blocks to become a better cook, now all you have to do is practice, practice, practice! Soon you’ll be making great food that you’ll love to eat!
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Photo credit to Maarten van den Heuvel, Unsplash.