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.
Make slicing meat into strips easier by partially freezing it. This is a good way to cut strips for Asian dishes, such as Chinese and Thai. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice as the cold temperature prevents the meat fibers from stretching and tearing. Make sure to let the meat thaw before you cook it, frozen ice and hot oil do mix well together.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
It is possible to cook healthy without abandoning all of the rich, creamy dressings that can contribute so much flavor. One method is to use Greek-style yogurt as a replacement for mayonnaise. Half of the mayonnaise called for in the recipe should be replaced with the yogurt. This will give the same great taste while cutting down on the unhealthy effects of the mayo.
When you are going to fry a food, use long tongs to add food to the oil. For about five seconds, hold the food just underneath the surface of the oil and release it. By placing a food into oil this way, the exterior of the food will be sealed and it will not likely stick to the pan.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
If you have a lot of pets around the house, they should not be with you in the kitchen, if the stove is near the ground. This can present a safety hazard because you want to reduce any risk of your animals getting hurt. Keep all animals and small children away from hot ovens.
Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.
Don’t store your spices above the stove. While many traditional kitchens place the spice rack above the stove for convenience, this practice can actually reduce the flavor and shelf life of your herbs. Humidity, heat, and light can all cause spices to lose their flavor, and above the stove ensures they are exposed to all three.
A great cooking tip is to spray your pan with oil before you cook with it. Spraying the pan with oil will make it so that the food doesn’t stick to the pan. Trying to clean a pan with food stuck on it can be very frustrating and time consuming.
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.
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!