Learning how to cook is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
If you would like to know more about cooking, do not be ashamed to go to cooking classes. These classes can give you some really good ideas to increase your cooking skills. Many locations offer cooking classes at reasonable prices and some even give you supplies that you can bring home with you.
Don’t skimp and use cheap olive oil. More expensive olive oil is not only fresher, it often has a richer flavor. High-quality olive oil can draw the flavor out of all your favorite dishes, including pizza, pasta and many types of fish and meat. Even a small drizzle of more expensive olive oil can make the difference that takes your meals from drab to fab!
Before you start cooking or baking make sure you have all the ingredients gathered together. This will save you time and prevent cooking mishaps. You’ll have a better product in the end.
Rather than pouring out leftover wine, pour it into an ice cube tray, then place the wine cubes in a labeled bag in the freezer. You can add these cubes to sauces, roasts, soups and other dishes for extra flavor, and wine that you don’t drink fast enough doesn’t go to waste.
For the best texture and mouth-feel, always slice meats against the grain. This method cuts through the muscle fibers and results in a more tender texture, whereas meat sliced with the grain can be chewy or overly tough. Beef or pork roasts, steaks, loins and chops tend to benefit most from this treatment, although it’s a good method for cutting turkey and chicken, as well.
You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.
When baking cookies, make sure to drop the batter in thick spoonfulls onto the cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. This reduces the flattening process that can happen when the baking process is taking place. When the edges are brown, remove the cookies from the oven, and you will be rewarded with a soft center.
Stop guessing on the taste of your meatballs and loafs. Take your mixture of meat and seasonings and fry up a small hamburger so you can get a taste of how your meatloaf or meatballs will turn out. This way you can add more seasonings or tone them down by adding more meat.
Use fresh products if available. Nothing packs the punch in cooking like the taste of fresh ingredients. Vegetables, meats and fruits all contain vibrant, savory and wholesome flavors that can be severely diminished by processing and canning or packaging. When cooked properly, fresh ingredients will make any dish more flavorful.
No matter what kind of cheese you may have in your refrigerator, be sure that air cannot enter it by wrapping it tightly. Air contributes to mold growth on cheese. If your cheese does happen to have a little bit of mold on it, you can still use it by just cutting off the part with mold.
Store your cheese in the fridge, wrapped tightly in plastic, and away from air. This will help to keep mold away. While a little mold is not harmful to cheese, excessive mold is dangerous to consume. It will certainly affect the quality of your cheese as well.
When it comes to meat, remember that cheap and tough definitely pay off in terms of flavor, with a bit of time and patience. Pork shoulder and chuck roasts are prime examples of meats that benefit from slow braising (cooking in liquid), which results in tender, delicious meat to serve with roasted veggies and gravy or to shred for BBQ sandwiches or tacos.
If you want to spice up your meal, add peppers. Peppers will not only give the meal that you are making flavor, but will increase the spice intensity to appeal to your taste buds. Try different types and variations of peppers so that you can hone in on the peppers that you prefer.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.