Tips That Make Cooking (Almost) As Enjoyable As Eating
Becoming a better cook can be accomplished with a little time, patience and following a few simple steps. The basics of cooking are easy to master and accomplish. In order to cook meals and dishes that will make your friends and family say "Wow!" you need to try these simple steps and you can be on your way to being the best cook you can possibly be.
If you want to make a healthy, lower-fat Salad Tossers dressing that is still creamy and rich, substitute Greek yogurt for at least half of the fatty mayonnaise, and fold it in well. The trimmed down dressing will still be thick and delicious, and you will save a lot of unnecessary calories.
If you find a great buy on your favorite aged cheese, you can freeze it for a few months without affecting its flavor or texture. Be sure to wrap the cheese carefully and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before trying to slice or shred it.
Buy your Thanksgiving turkey fresh not frozen! The frozen birds taste ok but who has the time or energy to thaw one out? A fresh turkey often costs little more than the frozen variety. When you calculate in the time you have to spend just getting it ready to go in the oven it's just not worth it!
Keep whole, rather than ground, spices on hand. Unground cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and peppercorns last much longer than their ground counterparts. Just use a fine grater or mortar and pestle to grate them into your dish when needed. Their flavors will stay fresh much longer and save you from the costs of replacing your spices.
Use more alcohol in your cooking. Do not pass off the awesome flavors you can impart into your foods by adding wine, spirits, or beer to your meals. When used properly the alcohol will evaporate, and you will be left with the delicious pure flavor of the base notes.
To ripen fruits like tomatoes, pears and bananas faster, place the pieces of fruit in a paper bag along with an apple of any variety. Apples emit ethylene gas -- a natural plant hormone -- as they ripen, which will affect the fruit inside the paper bag, accelerating their natural ripening process.
If you are not very skilled at cooking, it is better to go with less spice than to go overboard with it. If you do not know the strengths of the spices instead of the food tasting good, it will taste over spiced.
Wash fruits and vegetables even those whose skin you don't eat. For foods like melons, avocados, and other foods that you cut into, it is important to wash the skin before cutting. Any bacteria and dirt on the skin can attach to your knife and be transferred onto the edible portion of the food.
If you are out of bread crumbs you can try these simple substitutions in your recipe: cracker crumbs, matzo, crushed cornflakes, grounds oats, or even potato chips. Simply substitute an equal amount of the replacement food for the bread crumbs. You can also make fresh bread crumbs by finely chopping four slices of bread per cup you need.
When you are boiling rice, pasta, or vegetables it is very important that you salt the boiling water before placing the food in the pot. This helps the salt absorb, and it will taste better than if you add salt to the food after it has already been cooked.
As was stated in the beginning of this article, cooking gourmet food at home is really just a matter of proper education and practice. Anyone can cook tasty, healthy food if they can follow directions. Apply the tips in this article and soon you will be known as the neighborhood's gourmet chef.