No matter how many people you are cooking for, learning to cook is an important life skill. You will be able to make better nutritional decisions and save money. The following advice will give you a large sum of knowledge on cooking.
Keep spices in a dark and cool place. Leaving your spices out will expose them to moisture and light, which will diminish their quality. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. You’ll taste the difference in your dishes.
There’s a neat trick you can use to save your sauce. Mix two spoons of water and one spoon of corn starch in a bowl. Stir the solution into the simmering thin sauce to make it thicker. You need to add this solution very slowly and stir while adding so the sauce does not become too thick or burn.
If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. By partially freezing the meat, it can be sliced with much less effort and with little damage, too, as the fibers will will be less likely to tear. However, the meat strips should be thawed to assure even cooking.
You can make healthier mashed potatoes with the same taste and texture you love by substituting cauliflower for potatoes in equal proportions. Cauliflower blends perfectly with your potatoes without changing the taste of your mashed potatoes. When they’re mashed, cauliflowers have the same appearance and consistency as potatoes, too. Adding a little cauliflower can take calories out of your favorite mashed potato recipes and add in a little vegetable goodness, too.
Quickly cooking vegetables makes them crispier and more nutrient-filled. With slower cook times, the overall value of the vegetables is decreased, mainly taste and nutrition. Using these techniques will mean putting healthier food on the table. Cooking better vegetables is all about cooking them for the least amount of time possible.
Are you going to cook with fresh basil? Take a large bunch of this fresh herb and place it in a glass. Fill the glass just enough with water so that the stems can absorb it. Keep it on a kitchen counter so you remember to use it. If you provide the basil with fresh water, it will eventually root in the water and sprout a new plant. All you need to do is keep the roots of the basil trimmed regularly and you will have fresh basil ready for use for quite some time.
Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.
Garlic is a wonderful ingredient in recipes, but the smell is quite difficult to remove from your hands. Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel, such as your sink, can help to get rid of these odors. This will help get rid of the smell so that it is not transfered to the next food item that you handle.
When you make chicken stock make as much as you can. If you prepare a large pot of stock, it can be frozen and stored for future use. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. Cut up vegetables and onions, put the meat in the marinade, or make the sauce before going to bed at night. Doing the prep work ahead of time will decrease stress, and increase your enjoyment of finishing the meal.
Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you buy too much of a spice, give it to someone you love!
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. This will add some flavor and the herbs will stay on the board. Remember to use moderation; you don’t want to add too much salt to your ingredients. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.
It can be very beneficial to know how to cook great meals for your family. No matter what your tastes are, these tips can hep you improve your cooking. A home cooked meal will always beat fast food.