What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten? It probably didn’t take you long to recall that delicious meal. Now, what if you could cook the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten or better yet, be the source of someone else’s greatest meal? Here are a few cooking tips to make that a reality.
Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. They should not be a pale blond color, they need to be golden brown. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
If you are cooking pasta and are tired of the same taste, you can add a hint of lemon. Lemon will give it the extra taste that you desire, and this additive is also a very powerful antioxidant. Adding spices and different flavors can help improve the quality of your meals.
Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Put some fresh basil into a glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. If you provide the basil with fresh water, it will eventually root in the water and sprout a new plant. You can cut the basil every once in a while in order to spur further growth, thereby making basil available for even longer.
When shaving vegetables for dishes such as a vinaigrette or a salad, use a coarse microplane, also known as a grater or zester, to grate them into smaller pieces. The flavors of the vegetables are truly unlocked when grated with the microplane.
When you feel like your dish is missing something but it isn’t salt, consider something acidic. Lemon, wine, and vinegar can all be great ways to add acid to a recipe. Healthy acidic balances out the flavor of anything sweet. It can also be a wonderful way to add a “salty” flavor if you’re on a low salt diet.
Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.
If you are trying to impress a new guest or important visitor, cook proven dishes that you excel in preparing. New recipes can be difficult to make and can create unnecessary stress. By using a recipe that you are comfortable cooking, you will be less stressed and can concentrate on your company.
Have you been making the same berry shortcake for a while? Make the flavor pop with the following tip. Mix your berries with a pinch of salt, a little fresh mint and a small spoon of lime juice. Your guests will never guess how you enhanced the flavor of the old family recipe.
Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.
It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.
Freeze your excess ginger root. When you buy a ginger root for cooking, the chances are you won’t use the whole thing in one recipe. Whatever you have left can be frozen. Not only will it keep for a long time, it’s really easy to shave off a piece with a sharp knife, or grate it when it’s frozen.
Use these tips as a springboard for your own cooking. Cooking is a never-ending journey, there’s always something new and fresh to learn and to try. Keep looking for ways to make meals special and one day, someone will remember you as the cook of the greatest thing that they’ve ever eaten.