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 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.
Cooking veggies improves the quality of them. Though slow cooking is popular in some cultures, the process actually eliminates important nutrients and renders the vegetables tasteless. These cooking techniques tend to preserve the health benefits of vegetables in general. The less time you take to cook them, the better your vegetables will be.
When cooking steak, make sure the pan you are using is really hot so that it sears the outside of the meat and keeps all of the juices inside. This will make your steak taste great, and it won’t be dried out, since all of the flavor is still sealed inside of the meat.
It is possible to cook healthy without abandoning all of the rich, creamy dressings that can contribute so much flavor. One method is to use Greek-style yogurt as a replacement for mayonnaise. Half of the mayonnaise called for in the recipe should be replaced with the yogurt. This will give the same great taste while cutting down on the unhealthy effects of the mayo.
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.
Be careful with frozen spinach. After thawing, squeeze the water out before cooking or the extra water will come out during cooking possibly destroying your recipe. You can squeeze it by hand or use any other suitable device to do it. Lay the spinach on paper towel to drain the excessive moisture.
An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.
Make sure that prior to cooking, your utensils are sparkling clean. If there is food leftover after washing, this could ruin whatever you are going to cook. Bacteria will develop and spread on unclean utensils.
Stay organized when you are preparing a meal to avoid kitchen catastrophes. A well-organized cooking area is conducive to great results. A lack of organization in your kitchen work areas can cause you to lose focus, among other things, and can easily result in wasted time, money, and food.
Avoid overcooking pasta when you boil it. Overcooked pasta loses some of its important health benefits, as well as its flavor. When you overcook pasta, the noodles absorb too much water and become swollen and limp. It is better to slightly under-cook it to retain the best texture and flavor.
When you are making mashed potatoes, you need to be extra careful and make sure not to whip them for too long. While it might seem that mixing them for longer would make them smoother, it actually has an opposite effect. Doing so actually makes them come out gummy in texture.
Cooking pasta a minute short of its full cook time. When you short the cook time on your pasta you can finish the cooking process when mixing with the sauce. This will prevent your final steps in the dish from overcooking the pasta and destroying its texture or shape. Your dishes will maintain an inviting look this way.
Impress your friends and family by creating an especially tasty sandwich, by making sure the dressing and fillings are adequate and there are no dry corners to the bread. A haphazard chef might just rush through and slop a dollop of mayonnaise in the middle of the bread and call it done. If you spread it evenly, your sandwiches are complete with overall flavor.
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.