Have you always been fascinated by cooking and love to play around in the kitchen but don't really know what you're doing? Or perhaps you know some basic techniques but would like to learn some more advanced cooking methods. Whatever your reasoning for wanting to learn more about cooking, this article contains some tips to guide you to becoming a better cook!
If you keep herbs and spices handy, make sure you are keeping them in a dark, cool area. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. If stored correctly, they will remain fresher longer.
Pizza has a lot of flavor to begin with depending on how you cook it but adding olive oil can help bring out a vibrant aroma. The next time you are making pizza, cook with olive oil to instill a rich flavor in the dish that you make for optimal satisfaction.
When cooking your next large pot of spaghetti, add a drop of oil to the boiling water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together and improve the taste. Your boiling time will remain the same and there is no extra work added by using this method.
To reduce the fat and calories in a recipe that calls for a lot of mayonnaise, simply replace half the mayonnaise with sour cream. Since mayonnaise serves primarily a textural purpose in many of these recipes, replacing it with similarly textured sour cream gives you the same texture with a lighter, healthier taste.
When you cook vegetables for a long time, like boiling them, a lot of essential nutrients will be cooked away. To get the greatest health benefit from vegetables, cook them quickly with methods like steaming or sauteing, or serve them raw.
When cooking any meat you want to make sure that you reach the temperature that is high enough to kill any transferable bacteria. If this bacteria is not cooked high enough for whatever the certain meat calls for, people can become very ill or even get worms that were in the meat.
Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.
Tenderize meat before cooking it. Especially tough portions of meat are best tenderized or braised, due to the stringy consistency of the meat. Identifying the correct cut of meat and matching it with the correct method of cooking can be very important, as you may end up with an extremely stringy "roast" steak.
When you are purchasing food to make a recipe, read your labels. Some cooking supplies will contain unhealthy ingredients. Health issues can be avoided if you carefully read labels to assure that the ingredients do not have excess sugar or salt.
If you find yourself with part of a loaf of stale bread, don't throw it away or feed it to the birds. Instead, turn it into croutons for a soup or salad by tossing cubes of bread with oil and seasonings and baking them until crispy. You can also turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for many recipes.
Freeze your excess ginger root. When you buy a ginger root for cooking, the chances are you won't use the whole thing in one recipe. Whatever you have left can be frozen. Not only will it keep for a long time, it's really easy to shave off a piece with a sharp knife, or grate it when it's frozen.
Don't use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.
If you are making mashed potatoes, return them to the pot after you have drained them cover the pot tightly and then let it steam for about 5 minutes. By doing this, the potatoes are able to dry out, which will make them mash into the perfect texture. It will also soak up butter and and cream easier.
Don't be afraid to play with recipes and change the ingredients you don't like. Recipes are not the Bible; they are simply guidelines for preparing a dish. If you do not like an ingredient like oregano for example, replace it with thyme. Most of the time, the dishes flavor is preserved, and you're happier knowing you don't have to eat something with a flavor you dislike.
Get creative when you cook your food. Cooking is an art-form. You should not limit yourself to the usual flavors and combinations. Try adding different fresh vegetables in place of canned vegetables. Use varieties not found in canned vegetable mixes. You will soon find your meals have much more flavor.
Find a spot that is dry, cool, and dim to store herbs and spices. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
Preparing delicious, healthy dishes and meals for one's self or guests and loved ones does not have to be troublesome. Apply the advice in this piece for success in the kitchen. Use the knowledge here to feed yourself and those around you with delightful meals sure to bring full bellies and smiles to faces.