You’ve probably watched at least one celebrity chef on television and thought, “Hey, I can do that!” Well, until the TV network comes knocking, you can always use your own kitchen as a stage to create unforgettable meals. Whether you are new at cooking or an old pro, you can always use some cooking tips. Here are a few to get you started.
To make it easier to peel boiled eggs, run them under cold water immediately after removing from them the stove. Once they are cool enough to touch, tap them lightly to crack and roll on a counter. Once you begin peeling and have an opening in the shell, run this under cold water and you will find the rest of the shell will peel off with the greatest of ease!
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
When you are cutting garlic, one of the things that you can do is to put it in a plastic bag before you cut. Then, slice the garlic cloves inside the bag to protect your board from smelling. This will help to reduce the pungent odor that garlic can give off.
Frozen vegetables should only be used as a last resort in home cooking. Though they are cheap and usually available year-round, they fall far short of fresh vegetables in several important areas. Frozen vegetables have lost some of their healthy vitamins and nutrients. They often have unhealthy food additives. They also tend to taste worse than their fresh counterparts.
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.
Buying pasta sauce that already has vegetables, seasonings, meat, or cheese in it is a great way to save time and money when cooking. There’s a great variety to choose from, and you won’t have to chop up peppers and mushrooms or brown the beef. It’s all in one jar–just heat it up, and serve over your favorite pasta!
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.
Cooking can be great fun and a chance for you to show off. Make sure to keep these tips in mind to add to your cooking a bit, and to enhance the skills you already have. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the celebrity chef on a TV network!