Whether you are teaching your children to cook or just looking for ways to maximize your own time in the kitchen, use these tips to help with meal preparation. Creating delicious and nutritious meals for yourself and your family can be easy and fun for everyone who is included in the cooking process.
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member. Be patient, and try several recipes. Like any skill, cooking can take practice.
For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.
Make sure that when you are making your pasta, not to use oil in the water upon cooking. This will reduce the risk that the pasta will stick to the sauce, which can ruin the quality of your meal. Avoid oil in water when you are cooking pasta for maximum results.
For pasta that is cooked perfectly all the way through, do not place it the in water until the water is boiling. Pasta cooks from the outside in, so to keep your pasta all one texture you need to cook it at the same consistent temperature from the beginning to the end.
Leave the bone in a roast to speed up cooking. By leaving the bone in, heat moves to the inside of the meat faster, speeding up the cooking process. Because the bone transmits heat, the entire roast cooks more evenly throughout the cut of meat by leaving it in rather than removing it.
Let roasts rest before carving to allow the juices time to retract from the surface of the meat. Slicing beef, pork, poultry or lamb immediately after roasting lets most of the juice run out of the meat which makes it drier and less flavorful. Giving the meat time to rest prevents the loss of the juices.
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.
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
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.
If you are looking to improve your cooking skills, learning from experienced cooks is a great way to avoid making their same mistakes. While testing out new recipes on your own can be fun, messing up in the kitchen can end up wasting time, as well as money that was spent on ingredients.
Leverage some or all of the tips in this article to help you prepare great meals for your family. Whether you are cooking a quick meal after a long day or a large meal for guests, use the tips provided in this article to best leverage your time and ingredients, in the kitchen.