Many people only see cooking as a chore that needs to be done. However, cooking can be an interesting and enjoyable activity. It is a great way to lead a healthier lifestyle, by improving your diet. A good cook continues to learn, and this article has a wealth of information for anyone who is interested in cooking.
For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Spices last longer and taste better when stored in cool, dark locations. Fresh spices can greatly enhance your meals, making this effort well worth your time.
The longer the cooking process, the more nutrients that you lose from most vegetables. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.
To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. Cauliflower also matches the color and texture of the potatoes. This is a great way to add veggies and eliminate calories from a favorite dish.
Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.
It is desirable to store dry goods like flour and sugar in tightly sealed containers. This is a good way to keep your food fresh and protect it from bacteria and bugs. These containers can be bought at just about any store.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. First, cool the stock and then stick it in the freezer.
When simmering or boiling vegetables, try adding chicken broth. Add extra flavor to your vegetables and keep them from sticking by using chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is very inexpensive, and can be purchased at just about any local grocery store.
Tofu and beans can serve as great sources of protein that can be easily added to any diet. Both are easily available to buy at almost every grocery store. Seasoned tofu is a wonderful alternative to meat, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan frying. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Use chicken broth, beef stock or vegetable broth instead. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
When making food that relies on seasonings, use some every few minutes, versus using it all at the start. This method helps to preserve and enhance the flavor of the seasoning instead of allowing it to cook away.
When making a dish that contains garlic, make sure you purchase the freshest garlic at the store. The general rule is that the fresher garlic is, the sweeter it will taste. You can recognize fresh garlic from its firm skin and lack of bruises.
When you are planning to prepare a salad for guests, leave the dressing on the side. Let people put on their own dressing. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.
Many herbs and veggies make odors on your cutting board no matter how many times you clean it. Get two different cutting boards or mark one side of your board and make sure you use it for certain ingredients only.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.
After you finish cooking, let your meal rest and soak in the juices. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. You may think it is best to serve your meat right off the grill so it is piping hot. However, you are missing out if you do so. Give your meal enough time to cool, and new flavors will appear.
Make sure that you store your herbs and spices in a cool, dry, dark area. Spices quickly lose their flavor when they are exposed to excessive light, humidity, or heat. Exposing the spices to these kinds of conditions can enable them to lose their flavor.
You can improve the flavor of even the most simple dish by using fresh herbs. If the recipe is complicated and combines many different flavors, dried herbs are acceptable. However, your dish will be improved by fresh herbs because of their fresher and stronger flavor overall. To ensure you have fresh herbs for cooking, you should have an herb garden.
As was stated earlier, part of being a good cook means constantly learning new things. The enjoyment from cooking doesn’t just come from eating the finished dish, it comes from experimenting with different foods and cooking methods. A lot of the joy of cooking comes from sharing. Cooking tips should be shared, not only learned.