Everyone wants to be a great cook, but just the thought of cooking evokes fear in many would-be chefs. Whether you want to whip up quick meals for the family, fill the perfect picnic basket or throw an elegant dinner party, you are sure to learn things here that will increase your culinary skills.
When cooking any recipe, use the best ingredients that you can afford. Splurge a little on imported cheeses or better quality meats when you can, so that you can experience a restaurant, quality-tasting meal at home. To enhance the experience even further, try to creatively plate up the meal with a little thought, for something different every now and then.
Remember, the smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. Small cookies will bake on a higher temp than a full cake would. Make sure to double check your recipe to find out the exact temperature it needs to be. You don’t want to prepare a perfect item only to have it burn or be under cooked.
To increase the texture and quality of the pasta that you cook at night, make sure that you finish cooking with the pasta in the pan with sauce. This will help to absorb the sauce so that it blends in properly and tastes great when you sit down to the table and eat.
Save time by cooking large quantities, and freezing the extra. When you are planning an elaborate or time consuming meal, prepare extra servings. Making more won’t increase your cooking time much, and these extra meals can be frozen, providing a fast and healthy alternative to the typical frozen TV dinner.
If you plan to let your chicken sit in the oven for a while after it is baked, then subtract a few minutes from its baking time. Since chicken continues to bake even after it is taken away from a heat source, it can dry out quickly in an oven that is still hot.
A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.
To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.
There is an easy way to peel garlic. There are many tips and techniques for peeling garlic, but there is a simple way that doesn’t involve any fancy gadgets. Take a rubber jar lid gripper and lay it on the counter. Place a clove of garlic on it and fold it over. Using a little pressure, simply roll the garlic clove around a few times inside the rubber gripper, and the skin will instantly be removed.
Some recipes call for peeled half or quarter peaches. In most cases peeling is not easy, as the skin sticks to the fruit and doesn’t come off. The easiest way to remedy the problem is to place the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the fruits, place them into ice water to stop the boiling effect. Their skin will come off easily.
You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.
You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.
Before frying raw potatoes, let them sit in cold water for at least a half an hour. By doing this, the fries will be more crispy. Also, letting them sit in cold water will cut down on the time it takes for them to cook thoroughly.
Now that you’ve read the basic tips that you need to become the talented cook that you’ve always wanted to be, practice tonight in your own kitchen by making a meal that will knock their socks off. In time, you’re going to be the best cook in the whole neighborhood!