However, like any skill, learning to cook takes time and practice. Whatever your reason for learning to cook, it will benefit you greatly. Here are some tips that will help guide you along the path towards making a delicious meal.
Make sure that all your preparation is done prior to cooking. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.
You should bake crusts for a longer period of time than you think. Pastry crust should be baked to a golden caramel color rather than a pale blond shade. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
Preparation is one of the most important things that you will have to do before you cook a meal for your friends or family. This will allow you to make sure that all the necessary ingredients are accounted for. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This can seriously reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Consider adding oil to your pan’s side, rather than in the middle, so that your food is already heated when they come into contact. This will enhance the flavors of the food when you’re done cooking.
Try to cook the foods that you are talented at when you are cooking for a special event. Avoid cooking with new ingredients or a new recipe that you have never used before. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.
When you cook vegetables quickly over high heat, their quality is best. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. These cooking techniques are much healthier. Learning to cook them for the minimum necessary time is the key to better vegetables.
If you plan to use wooden skewers when cooking, soak them in water for about thirty minutes prior to use. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. You can make sure that food stays on your skewers by skewing the food with parallel skewers.
After a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or any other occasion, do not discard the leftovers. Cut the leftover meat and put it away in airtight containers. The turkey stays fresh for a few weeks this way and can be used to make sandwiches or can be put into a salad.
Leftover flavors and scents can remain on your cutting board, even after repeated washing. Mark one end, or side, of each cutting board so that you know which is which.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. When fruits ripen, they produce ethylene gas. Bags with holes will prevent already-ripened fruit from rotting, since the ethylene gas can escape; on the other hand, under-ripened fruit benefits from a bag without holes, since the gas that causes ripening is retained.
Let your food rest a bit before sitting down to eat. It is a new idea to many, but allowing your food to rest can be quite beneficial. Many of us prefer to simply serve a dish right out of the oven. If you serve immediately off the grill, you will lose most of the juices in meat when you cut into it. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.
Sprinkle salt liberally into the boiling water that is used to cook pasta. This will help season the pasta as it cooks. This is much more effective than trying to add salt to pasta that you have already cooked.
When you are making fresh salsa that will not be consumed within 20 minutes, be sure to wash the diced onions under cold water, followed by blotting to dry completely. Sulfurous gas is a property of fresh onions. Fresh salsa can be ruined by this type of gas. If you following the rinsing and drying procedure above, the gas becomes inert.
When you are sauteing a food, make sure you do not add too much to the pan. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn’t allow it to saute or get crispy. Keep the flame or burner around medium as you saute.
You can properly heat up tortillas in a couple of ways. First, turn you oven on, to around 350 degrees, until it preheats. Place the tortilla on the rack directly until it’s warm and as crispy as you want it. Grill tortillas by putting them on the grill plates right above the flames. These methods give you crisp, fresh tasting tortillas.
By now you are hopefully chomping at the bit to get started. Try new recipes and cook smartly. It doesn’t matter what made you decide to start cooking, but you will surely appreciate serving a meal you made all on your own. You can’t just learn to cook overnight. However, a perfect homemade meal is worth the effort.