Cooking might be one of the oldest skills in the world. That does not mean that there are any limits to the knowledge available for the cook interested in increasing his or her skills. Even the finest cooks, even professionals, can always find new recipes, methods and techniques to improve their kitchen skills.
It’s nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don’t have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn’t create the pie from scratch.
Invest in a knife sharpener to make cutting any ingredient simple. Not only can it be difficult to cut with dull knives, but it is dangerous to use them too. Cutting vegetables with dulled blades can be difficult, and can result in the knife slipping, and cutting you instead.
Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.
One of the things that you can do if you are cooking cauliflower is to add milk, which will help to brighten your vegetable. This will add to the aesthetic appeal of your food and will also maintain the freshness until you decide to serve it to your friends or family.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to over-heat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
To have a meal ready when you get home from work use a slow cooker or crock pot. Some meals come prepackaged. All you have to do is pour it into the crock pot, maybe add some water and set the heat. If you like making your own meals you can prepare ingredients the night before. After you’ve prepared the ingredients put them in the fridge. Add everything to the crock pot in the morning before you go to work.
Write out a list for all of the ingredients that you will need for a recipe before you go to the grocery store. This way, you will not forget anything. Many people forget one or two important ingredients for the recipe, which causes them to not be able to make the meal.
Read the recipe fully before you begin any cooking endeavor! Just reading the list of ingredients does not ensure that you are fully prepared to complete the meal. There are many different techniques and tools that may be required so do not be too ambitious when tackling a new recipe.
Keep your pantry well stocked with a selection of canned meats. You never know when the power might go out for a day or two and you can’t get to the store. Canned hams, salmon, or other canned meats can save the day. Just add a few other ingredients from your pantry and you’ll have a great meal!
Store your spices and herbs in a area that is cool and dark, and keep them away from the stove. Doing this ensures your spices are always rich with flavor every time you reach for them. Heat, humidity and light will cause your herbs to lose their flavor much faster.
It is important to test the heat of oil before using it to pan fry your food. Pouring the oil into the pan and then sprinkling it with water should give you a series of cracks or sparkles. If it does not, then the pan isn’t currently up to frying or heating capacity and dumping the food in it will act closer to an oil sponge than a frying pan.
When you cook a steak you should prevent yourself from moving it around on the pan. By not moving the steak you allow it to get a crusty, sear quality that gives the steak a level of toughness on the outside; most steak eaters generally prefer the seared quality when compared to a homogenous inside and outside.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you know the allergy concerns of all of those who will be eating your meal. This is extremely important because the effects of food allergy can range anywhere from mild discomfort to death – both of which you want to avoid at all costs.
There is always something new to learn when it comes to cooking and every cook’s skill-set is open to improvement. This article included just a few ideas to help improve a cook’s performance. There are many more good tips out there and good cooks keep looking for them throughout their lives. Constant learning is the key to ever-improving cooking skills.