Begin your cooking career with simple recipes that include your favorite foods. Most people aren’t born with the ability to prepare the perfect meal. You can learn how to cook. There are a few things that are important to learn so you turn into a good cook. The article below will give some great tips on how to get yourself going on the path towards becoming a successful cook.
Keep herbs and spices in a location that is cool and dark. Moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor of your spices. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. When stored in the correct place, they will keep their freshness for longer.
Finish your prep work in advance. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. When you need to create a meal within a certain amount of time it can be stressful. Do your prep work in advance, if you can.
If you are working on creating more home-cooked meals, try the library for cookbooks that offer a variety of easy recipes that will be fun to prepare. Try different recipes until you come up with something that works for you.
When preparing stir-fry dishes, slice meat as thinly as possible and on its bias. This can take a lot of time and be hard to do. Take the meat out of the freezer when it’s firm to the touch, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Keep all spices stored out of the sunlight. The shelf life of spices is greatly reduced if they are exposed to heat, humidity, or light. Always keep your spices in a dark and cool location to extend their longevity. Fresh spices can greatly enhance your meals, making this effort well worth your time.
You can always save the sauce that you put so much effort into. Mix one tablespoon of starch and two tablespoons of water. Slowly add to the sauce while on simmer and your sauce will gradually thicken. Avoid over-thickening by adding the starch mixture slowly and stirring the sauce often.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.
If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. Freezing the sauce into cubes in the trays is safe and convenient!
Read the labels for any product that you buy to use in a recipe. Most cooking supplies have hidden ingredients that could be unhealthy. By reading the labels, you can check to see if the product contains sugars or sodium in high amounts. Sugars and sodium can be detrimental to your health if over consumed.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. Using different liquids is an easy way to make an old dish more interesting and more nutritious.
If you have a good recipe, the ability to follow directions and fresh ingredients, you can make a delicious meal. It may seem difficult, but it really isn’t. The tips mentioned in this article will help get you started on the road to gourmet bliss.