How often do you enjoy cooking? If you’re like most people, cooking can start to get boring after a while. Why? Because you are likely doing it multiple times a day. It’s not hard to fall into a rut where you’re eating the same things and cooking the same things. Here are a few tips to help you spice up your cooking.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
One of the things that you should spend a lot of money on, is your kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and other equipment. These are extremely valuable investments as they will serve as the foundation for all of your cooking. You will want to extend the life of these tools as long as possible. Cooking is so much easier if you are using high quality utensils and equipment.
A good tip to do when it comes cooking and preparing food is to prepare all the necessary ingredients that you need at night, that way when morning comes you are not stressing about them. This will help you concentrate at the task at hand which is preparing food in the best way possible.
If you are always in the kitchen cooking, invest in a knife sharpener. This will ensure that your utensils are sharp at all times, which will give you the ability to maximize the quality of your cuts. Keeping your utensils up to par is very important when cooking in the kitchen.
For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.
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.
One of the greatest things that you can do is to cook with family members or friends. When you cook with someone else, you will be able to pick up on tricks that they implement and will be able to better yourself as a cook. Talk to them to see how their thought process works, to elevate your expertise.
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!
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
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.
Use these tips to rekindle your love of cooking. Cooking is done every day, but that means that every day you have a new opportunity to make something great out of an everyday occurrence. Fall in love with cooking again, or for the first time, and make meals great again.