Everyone wants to be a great cook, but just the thought of cooking evokes fear in many would-be chefs. Whether you want to whip up quick meals for the family, fill the perfect picnic basket or throw an elegant dinner party, you are sure to learn things here that will increase your culinary skills.
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.
If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.
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!
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive and this will cut back on your costs each month.
You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is very easy to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. Prevent softer food from falling into the coals by using two parallel skewers rather than a single one.
When you cook a pumpkin, the first step is to slice in in half vertically. Once the pumpkin is cut, place it on a dampened baking sheet with the skin facing up. The next step is putting a little bit of water on your baking sheets, you then want to bake the pumpkins at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit periodically checking them for about an hour.
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.
If you are sauteing vegetables and require more oil, add the oil to the outer part of the pan. This way the oil is heated by the time it reaches your vegetables. By doing this you eliminate extra cooking time and you never have to worry about your vegetables getting soggy or getting splattering hot oil.
To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.
For important meals or dinner guests, stick with cooking what you know. Whether you are cooking for a new significant other or your boss, use a recipe you have cooked before. You can change it up a bit with a new a new ingredient or two. However, never ever try a new recipe with an ingredient with which you are not familiar – the results are unknown!
Make an impression with your next sandwich by taking your time and spreading your condiments evenly over the entire surface of the bread. People are often in a rush and will slap the sauce on haphazardly. A smooth, even spread results in a sandwich in which each bite is as good as the last.
If you are cooking a soup or stew and you add too much salt to the pot you can add a peeled white potato to the pot and continue boiling it. The starch in the potato will help to absorb a lot of the extra salt. You can repeat with an additional potato if it is still too salty.
Take chances when you want to become a better cook. Do not be intimidated by recipes that seem complicated. Usually if you break the process down, and only focus on one item at a time, you will get through any recipe fine. Make sure you read the whole recipe once before you begin.
Now that you’ve read the basic tips that you need to become the talented cook that you’ve always wanted to be, practice tonight in your own kitchen by making a meal that will knock their socks off. In time, you’re going to be the best cook in the whole neighborhood!