When it comes to cooking, you are extremely comfortable with your skills and love the food that you make, but for some reason not everybody that eats your food feels the same way. Follow some of the tips provided, and you will find that you will be able to improve on your already honed skills.
When roasting a large chicken or a turkey, prevent over-browning of the skin by loosely tenting aluminum foil over the bird for part of the cooking time. You can remove the foil during the last 20 minutes or half hour of cooking for a perfectly browned bird that isn’t overly crispy.
When cooking any kind of packaged pasta, cook it a few minutes less than what the instructions tell you to. It will continue to cook when you put it in the pan with the sauce that you are making. This way, the pasta is not likely to dry out from too much cooking.
To maximize the shelf life of dried spices store them in a cool, dry place. This will preserve the flavor of the spices, resulting in more flavorful dishes. Do not store them in the cupboard directly above the stove, the heat makes the spices dry out and lose flavor.
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9” X 13” pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
To get the best sear and the crispiest crust on everything from fish to meats to other pan fried foods, the secret is a hot pan. Getting a nice brown color on your food requires a pan that is as hot as possible before the food hits its surface. Because the exterior of the food cooks first, you get only one chance to create that perfect golden color and crispy texture, so heat your pan and oil for several minutes prior.
When adding flour or cornstarch to drippings for making gravy, whisk the ingredient into a bit of water to create a slurry and pour this liquid into the pan, instead of just dumping in the dry ingredients. This will prevent unappealing lumps in your gravy, and it makes it easier to add just a bit of thickener at a time.
Pesto cooking tip! When you are using pesto sauce, make sure you never heat it up! If you want to have it in a pasta or soup dish, it is best if you cook the food first - then add the uncooked pesto. This is important because cooking pesto will make the basil have a bitter taste.
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.
Spices should be stored in a cool and dark place. Do not store your spices above the stove. The heat, steam, light and humidity that ovens and stoves omit will all cause flavor loss, and keeping your herbs and spices away from these elements will make them last much longer.
When you are cooking a hamburger patty, use a fork or other utensil to poke a hole in the middle of it. This way, the hamburgers will cook faster. Do not worry, once the hamburger is cooked, it will still have its great taste and the holes do eventually disappear.
Avoid using citrus to marinate your meats. Citrus sometimes lends a mealy quality to the texture. If you must have citrus, squeeze a bit of lime or lemon as a finishing touch instead. This will give you the flavor that you desire while keeping the integrity of the meat intact.
After you have cooked mashed potatoes, make sure that you return them to the hot pan so that they can steam for the next ten minutes. This will allow for the potatoes to dry out so that you can get a rich texture when you are applying your milk and butter.
Use cast iron pans to cook with. Cast iron cookware is great equipment to have not only because it allows food to cook evenly, but also because it makes cleaning up very easy ” food and grime wash right away. You can season your cast iron pan ahead of time to add flavor to the food.
Cook small quantities of food at higher temperatures for a lesser amount of time. Bite-size cookies only need a few minutes in the oven if you put it a higher temperature because there is only a small surface area to cover and it will not take long to cook. This way you will be able to enjoy your meal in minutes.
When you are going to be baking and the recipe calls for eggs, take them out of the refrigerator beforehand - the night before if you can. Using cold eggs may cause your batter to curdle. To quickly bring the eggs to room temperature soak them in a bowl of warm water.
Be careful with frozen spinach. After thawing, squeeze the water out before cooking or the extra water will come out during cooking possibly destroying your recipe. You can squeeze it by hand or use any other suitable device to do it. Lay the spinach on paper towel to drain the excessive moisture.
For important meals or dinner guests, stick with cooking what you know. Whether you are cooking for a new significant other or your boss, use a recipe you have cooked before. You can change it up a bit with a new a new ingredient or two. However, never ever try a new recipe with an ingredient with which you are not familiar - the results are unknown!
Store your ginger in the freezer to make it last longer and easier to grate or mince. You can peel the whole piece before freezing it if you prefer, or leave the peel on. Freezing it prevents the sogginess and mold that can occur before you use it up from the fridge, and ensures that you always have fresh ginger for a recipe.
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 have stale bread, implement it in a recipe. Don’t just throw that stale loaf of french bread out to the birds. If the bread is still good, add it to a recipe. Crumble it up and use it in a seasoning. You can even make it into croutons for a salad.
It is possible to cut back on the amount of calories that are in your favorite dessert by simply using applesauce in the recipe. Many recipes call for unhealthy ingredients that add tons of calories to a desert that really are not needed. Applesauce will add sweetness to the dessert with adding tons of calories.
When working with recipes that call for eggs, cream cheese or butter, leave those ingredients out overnight the day before you plan to execute your special recipe. All of these things are much easier to work with and blend into other ingredients when they are brought down to room temperature.
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
Read the recipe fully before you begin any cooking endeavor! Just reading the list of ingredients does not ensure that you are fully prepared to complete the meal. There are many different techniques and tools that may be required so do not be too ambitious when tackling a new recipe.
In conclusion, you need to know that there is always room for improvement when it comes to cooking. Even if you may love what you do, your style might be a bit too personalized. Follow the advice that is in this article, and you will find people drooling every time you cook.