When’s the last time you cooked something truly extraordinary? Do you remember? Extraordinary cooking doesn’t have to be something that is a rare occurrence. You can make every meal new and exciting, if you have the information and skills to do so. Here are a few cooking tips that will help every meal be special.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
Have you ever wondered how your neighbor’s pie crusts turn out to be golden brown and glossy while yours is always pale? There is a trick to learn which guarantees the desired result every time. Beat some egg whites and brush it over the pie. You will take out beautiful, glossy, golden brown pies from your oven.
Make sure that if you are planning a party with friends and family, to have each course planned out in advance. You should have an appetizer course, salad course, main dish and dessert. Breaking your meal into courses will give people a chance to digest and appreciate what you have cooked for them.
A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.
If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.
Don’t forget to clean your grill before you use it by scrubbing the grilling surface with a wire brush while it heats up. This way the removed food and grease burn off. Built up food on the grill doesn’t add flavor to the meat, but make the fresh food stick to the metal much easier.
A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
You should cook chicken stew if you need to make a quick meal. Take a carton of chicken broth and put it in a large stock pot. Add cooked shredded chicken, diced potatoes, carrots, green beans and onions to the pot. Season to taste and cook for three hours on low. It is a tasty meal that does not take a lot of work.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
If you are going on a picnic, put lettuce and other vegetables in separate containers from condiments. Condiments are not to make sandwiches soggy, so by separating them, you are ensuring your sandwich will taste fresh. Also, do not place any food items next to drinks inside of the basket.
If you have left over wine in a bottle from dinner or drinks with friends, you can pour out the remaining wine in an ice tray and put it in the freezer. When you are making a sauce that has wine in the recipe you can drop in a couple of cubes.
Freeze some ice tea and other cold drinks up in ice cube trays. You can use the frozen drink cubes as ice on those particularly hot days. That way, your drink won’t be diluted by the quickly melting ice cubes. It makes for a nice change, not having to run back and forth to the refrigerator, just to top off your drink glass.
When cutting up apples for a fruit tray or lunch box, place the slices in a bowl of lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or pineapple juice to soak for 5 minutes or so. Any of these drinks will prevent the apples from turning that unappealing brown shade, and they won’t drastically alter the flavor of your apple slices.
Use these tips to spark your own ideas about what your meals can be like. With a little creativity and a little know-how, the food you prepare can be something wonderful, every single time. Get excited about cooking again and see what you can conjure up in your kitchen.