Some people feel that you must be born with the gift of cooking to excel at it. But that isn’t so. By educating yourself and immersing yourself in the subject of cooking, it can become something that you get better at. This article can help you to develop your skills and add to your confidence in cooking.
If you are following a recipe, make sure that you do not follow this religiously, as you should always add a personal spice to your meal. Instead of following a pizza recipe to the tee, add some red pepper to inject a punch into your dish to make it unique and individualized.
Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.
Make sure that if you are planning a party with friends and family, to have each course planned out in advance. You should have an appetizer course, salad course, main dish and dessert. Breaking your meal into courses will give people a chance to digest and appreciate what you have cooked for them.
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.
Never use oil when you are boiling pasta. Try not to let any oil get in the pot when you are boiling water to cook your pasta. The oil will transfer to the pasta. This will leave the noodles slick, which means any sauce you put on them later will not stick.
Try to store spices in dark, cool places and do not store them above your stove. Places that are bright, humid and hot, can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A good place to put them would be inside of a pantry or in your kitchen cabinets.
You should separate your meat into usable portions before you freeze it. You can separate your meat and store the portions in sandwich bags. You can then place the sandwich bags inside of freezer bags. This will give you that ability to have your meats perfectly portioned and to be able to use the freezer bags over and over again.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. When your cooking area is organized, you will be more productive and avoid errors. Also, organize your refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying unnecessary items that will eventually be thrown out.
For dishes such as macaroni and cheese, follow the instructions carefully. Your macaroni should be cooked al dente, not too hard and not too soft. A simple serving dish and spoon are all you need to serve dinner. Add some pepper or other seasonings to the macaroni to liven it up.
Cauliflower is white when you first place it in water, but it has a tendency to sometimes turn a grayish or yellowish color. To prevent that from happening and keeping your cauliflower perfectly white you should try adding a little bit of milk to the water while it is cooking.
When you are making casseroles, roasts, and other things that may stick to the bottom of a baking sheet, you should line the bottom of the pan with foil. This is a good idea because after you are done cooking you can throw the foil away and you will not have a lot of cleaning up to do.
Use a paper towel to blot dry, any meat that you are browning before you put it in the hot oil. This prevents the release of moisture when your meat hits the hot oil. When you are browning meat, you want it to sear, not steam. Moisture-rich meats will steam and the brown crust that you seek from browning, will prove elusive.
To test the freshness of an egg, place it in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it floats, it’s getting old. As an egg ages the fluid inside slowly evaporates as oxygen and gases seep inside. This makes the egg lighter and causes it to float.
When you are storing leftovers make sure that you put them away as soon as possible to inhibit bacteria growth. You should always cover them tightly as well. This not only ensures health but it also will keep your leftovers fresher for a longer period of time. Leftovers are great!
If you plan on using your barbecue, make sure you prep the grill beforehand so it’s ready for use when you need it. The grill should be prepared 30 minutes before it is used for cooking. Make sure that the heat of the coals is medium and that they are covered with ash. You will get the best grilling results at this temperature.
Do not over-season foods before you cook them. Often seasonings intensify as a food item cooks. Adding too much seasoning early on, even if the blend seemed to be good at first, may cause the food to become overly salty or spicy. Instead, add just a little bit of seasoning and taste while cooking. You can always add more seasoning later if you feel the flavor is not strong enough, but you can’t take seasoning away if there is too much.
It has already been said that you don’t have to be born with the gift of cooking. It is something that you can educate yourself about and learn to enjoy as you go along. Hopefully this article has added to your knowledge and has enhanced your ultimate enjoyment of cooking.