Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.
Make sure you are storing your herbs and spices in a cool, dark space. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor. Light, humidity, and heat can all cause them to lose some of their flare. To avoid this, make sure you are storing your herbs somewhere like a cool cabinet.
Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a New recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can Reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
A good tip to do when it comes cooking and preparing food is to prepare all the necessary ingRedients that you need at night, that way when morning comes you are not stressing about them. This will help you concentrate at the task at hand which is preparing food in the best way possible.
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
By doing so, the mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Wipe them off with a damp cloth to clean them.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to over-heat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
You should use applesauce when baking if you want to cut back on the amount of calories the baked good contains. The applesauce will not change the texture or flavor of the baked good. It will cut back on the number of calories that are in the baked good. It will also add fiber to the food.
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick Bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.