Be A Superb Cook With These Easy, Simple Tips
Most people know some of the basic skills in a cook’s arsenal, however many of the most important aspects of a great dish are overlooked because people simply do not know what they are. By reading this article, you will learn some very important tips that will help you improve in your cooking skills. Use a paring knife for fast and sharp cutting.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
Your cake can be ruined if the baking powder is too old. In most cases, you don’t remember when you bought the box you have just found in the cupboard. Don’t gamble with it, test it. Put one tablespoon of baking powder in one third cup of water. If it fizzes, it’s good to use. If not, throw it away and buy a new box because what you have is too old.
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.
Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant’s seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base – it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.
Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.
When shaving vegetables for dishes such as a vinaigrette or a salad, use a coarse microplane, also known as a grater or zester, to grate them into smaller pieces. The flavors of the vegetables are truly unlocked when grated with the microplane.
When making a sandwich, spread the mayo from one corner of the bread to the other. People usually just quickly spread the mayo on so that one side of the bread has more than the other. By spreading it from one corner to the other, all parts of the bread will contain an equal amount of mayo.
If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. This way, when you want to make an easy meal another night, all you have to do is reheat it in a saute pan. Don’t worry, your sauce will taste great even after having been frozen.
Although it may be a little bit more expensive, it is wise to get a high-quality olive oil. Just a small amount can help to bring out the flavor meat, fish, pasta, pizza, or whatever else you are making. Cheaper olive oils usually give food a less than desirable flavor.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
On a Sunday, try to make a meal whose leftovers you can eat during the week. For instance, save any left over roasted beef and make it into a sandwich on a week night. Not only does this help you save time by not having to cook, but it is a good way to not waste food.
Here is an important tip to use when sauteing foods in a pan with oil. If you need to add more oil to the pan in the middle of sauteing, simply pour the oil as stream along the edge of the pan. You should do this rather than pouring in the center of the pan so that the oil will heat up as it travels from the edge to the center.
Use either a steaming or a stir-frying technique to cook your vegetables. These two methods help the vegetables retain both their color and their nutrients, providing your family with a healthier side dish that also looks attractive. Your children, in particular, are more likely to eat their vegetables if they look nice.
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
During cooking, if the consistency of a sauce or gravy is too thin for your liking, try adding some corn starch to it in order to thicken it to your taste. Avoid using flour as it can make the sauce taste “chalky”. Corn starch is an excellent thickening agent and blends very well with the sauce or gravy.
When creating your next masterpiece in the kitchen, a good tip is to have all your ingredients in one place. You may want to even measure everything out ahead of time, and have all your utensils at hand, as well, so it isn’t a mad dash from one part of the kitchen to another just to find something you need or forgot.
By applying the tips learned above, you could easily increase your cooking skill with a little elbow grease. Expert cooking is not an unattainable goal even for a novice level cook. Take what you know, and what you have learned and go to your kitchen to try it out soon.