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.
Make sure that you never give up when you are cooking, as it is going to take a lot of practice and failures before you get it right. If you burn something, keep trying. You will only become a great cook if you maintain your persistence.
Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
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.
Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.
While making sunny side up eggs, try this tip for a new culinary experience. Simply deglaze the pan you prepared the eggs in with a sherry vinegar. Then drizzle the sauce made from the sherry vinegar over the sunny side up eggs. Doing this will make the eggs more rich and flavorful and they will taste better than ever before.
When you are cooking clarified butter, first slowly melt butter that is unsalted over very low heat. Do not stir the butter, and do not let it come to a boil. This process will separate the milk solids from the liquid butter into three layers when finished. The clarified butter will be in the middle layer.
You can avoid sticky rice by removing the starch. To do just that, wash the rice several times until the water coming from the rice is crystal clear. Remove all the water, and let the rice sit for 20 minutes. Adding a few drops of lemon to the water before cooking also helps to separate the grains.
No matter what kind of cheese you may have in your refrigerator, be sure that air cannot enter it by wrapping it tightly. Air contributes to mold growth on cheese. If your cheese does happen to have a little bit of mold on it, you can still use it by just cutting off the part with mold.
Replace your spices twice a year. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.
When preparing food in the kitchen, always remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching food, or anytime you handle raw meat, fish or eggs. In addition, you never want to put cooked food on plates, counters or any other surface where these raw meats have been unless they have been washed with hot, soapy water.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you know the allergy concerns of all of those who will be eating your meal. This is extremely important because the effects of food allergy can range anywhere from mild discomfort to death – both of which you want to avoid at all costs.
When it comes to cooking, try to do all of your preparatory work before you even start cooking. Not only will this make your cooking experience much more desirable and stress free, but you will also look a lot more professional to anybody that you may be trying to impress.
When you are cooking for someone for the first time, always stick with a recipe that you are comfortable with. You don’t want to send your extended family, your new date, or everyone in your department at work running and screaming from your bad cooking. Cooking them as one of your specialties is a safe bet.
When you open a can of tomato paste for just a spoonful and are wondering what to do with the rest, place dollops on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and stick the sheet in the freezer. When the blobs of paste are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag. You can then pull out just enough tomato paste for your next few recipes, without wasting partial cans.
To add flavor to everything from mashed potatoes to soup, replace water with chicken or beef stock. Another option is to add in a couple of bullion cubes into the water as well. Your food will get the moisture it needs while getting an extra boost of flavor.
To revive a milk-based sauce or side dish that has sat too long and lost moisture, simply add a little milk. Adding milk can make finished mashed potatoes fluffy and smooth again and can also make a pasta sauce lighter and less like a gravy without affecting the final flavor.
As was said in 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!