Are you tired of fast food restaurants and takeout? Are you expecting company soon? If you said yes to these questions, you may be in need of some cooking inspiration. These tips should help you get passionate about cooking again!
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. This will enable you to enjoy the process of creating dishes that ordinarily would be a real task.
It is important to know that the smaller the item, the longer it takes to cook. Many people think that smaller items do not take long to cook, therefore the item does not cook thoroughly. Usually, larger items do not take as long to cook and because people think they do, these items get burnt.
When you are going to fry a food, use long tongs to add food to the oil. For about five seconds, hold the food just underneath the surface of the oil and release it. By placing a food into oil this way, the exterior of the food will be sealed and it will not likely stick to the pan.
When making baked goods, try to get parchment paper for lining pans. By using parchment paper, your baked goods will be easier to remove and it will help to keep your food in one piece. Also, using parchment paper makes less of a mess and is much easier to clean up afterward.
Slice garlic when you sauté it. Many people mince garlic. If you plan to sauté it in a pan, this might not be the best idea. When you sauté minced garlic it is likely to burn. If you cut the garlic into slices it cooks more thoroughly and without burning.
Do not keep your spices above your stove. They need to be located in a cool, dark area; if they are exposed to either warm conditions or a light source, they will not taste as good and your cooking will suffer as a result. Think about using one of the cabinets near your refrigerator as a storage space.
When cooking with fresh herbs like parsley or dill, bunch them together and cut them with a pair of scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
While your cooking it is important to be passionate and interested about what you are doing. With cooking, the taste you get out of your food isn’t only linearly connected to the effort put in, it’s exponential! If you don’t put effort into your food while cooking it, you will get something you don’t even want to eat or feed to anyone!
When you are making Easter eggs it is a pain when the eggs crack because coloring leaks onto the actual egg. To prevent this you can add some vinegar to the boiling water. This helps to seal the egg inside the shell and keep it all in one piece.
If you are sauteing vegetables and require more oil, add the oil to the outer part of the pan. This way the oil is heated by the time it reaches your vegetables. By doing this you eliminate extra cooking time and you never have to worry about your vegetables getting soggy or getting splattering hot oil.
Pour off the grease from your browned hamburger before you add the rest of the ingredients. Your health will thank you for this small step and the meal is likely to taste much better without the unneeded fat. Keep an empty can or other container on your stove top expressly for that purpose.
Never use oil in the water when you are boiling pasta. Conventional wisdom is that using the oil makes the noodles not stick together. While this is true, it also prevents your sauce from sticking to the noodles after they are cooked. The best pasta dishes are those where the sauce sticks to the noodles to provide delicious flavor in every bite!
When cooking anything in a pan it’s ideal to add a little bit of oil to the pan, even with non-stick pans. Oil is a great conductor of heat and thus eases the object into heating up without burning the external portions. It helps the dispersion of heat across the entire object, rather than having the exterior burnt while the interior remains frozen or cold.
If a dish requires thinly sliced meats (like some Chinese dishes, for example), freeze the meat before slicing. This makes it hold its shape better when you are slicing, which allows the knife to cut through with a cleaner line. When meat is thawed out, you often have to use a sawing motion to cut the beef, which can make your lines uneven and jagged.
Keep some simple already prepared dishes frozen in the freezer. These dinners are very handy for either a quick dinner on those hectic days when you just don’t feel like cooking or on that Sunday morning when you have to get something together for the church social.
Do not let cooking frustrated you, even if you fail at first; you will get better at it as you practice. Remember to have fun. Think of the joy that you will have to share your creations with your family and friends.