For many people, the act of cooking is nothing more than another chore. Something that should be enjoyed is cooking. It can also help to contribute towards a healthier lifestyle. The best cooks are those who are always willing to learn new techniques. Furthering your knowledge also makes the cooking experience far more pleasurable; use the following tips to help you grow as a cook.
Are you aiming to reduce the amount of fat and calories you consume in your mashed potatoes without having to give up taste or texture? If so, consider replacing a certain amount of the potatoes with cauliflower. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. 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.
Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. Make sure the basil’s stems are covered in water. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. Many times the basil will root if the water is changed regularly. Trim your basil plants once in awhile to promote more growth, and enjoy your fresh basil for quite a long time.
In a lot of cases, burgers will become stuck on the grill, and forcibly removing them will make them all misshapen. You should brush a thin layer of vegetable oil over the grill before you begin cooking. This will keep the food from becoming stuck to the grill surface.
Make a lot of stock if you are going to make it ahead of time. Instead of making a single serving, make a whole stock pot and save the leftovers so you can freeze them. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables while keeping them from sticking to your pan. Chicken broth can be bought at almost any grocery store, and is so inexpensive.
If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to cut back on the fat by eliminating some of the cooking oils you use. Most oils, and butters, too, contain a very high fat content, and this fat is neither necessary or always the good kind. A god nonstick spray is a wonderful substitute for the oils and fats that you are using.
A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. Most grocery stores stock these items. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. To add some tasty protein to your plate, boil some beans with a touch of herbs for seasoning.
Carefully measure the oil you are going to cook with. The reason to do this is simple: You want to measure instead of just dumping the oil in the pan in order to keep track of how much you’re using. That way, you know exactly how much oil you use and you can monitor your caloric content of your meals easier.
If you are using garlic in the cooking, ensure it’s the freshest you can buy. For the most part, this ensures you will be getting the sweetest-tasting garlic. For you to figure out if garlic is still fresh make sure it isn’t soft, shriveled or bruised and it has firm skin.
Prepare things the day before if you cannot handle doing everything in one night. Make your sauces, cut your ingredients or marinate meat the day before. Cooking will be less stressful if you have prepared everything in advance.
Always begin your cooking with utensils that are spotlessly clean. If your utensils are not completely clean, you run the risk of introducing old food residue into whatever you are cooking. This is especially bad when bacteria is remaining on the utensil.
After you finish cooking, let your meal rest and soak in the juices. Many do not realize the importance of letting their cooked food rest. It can be quite tempting to serve meat as soon as you pull it off the grill. However, you will miss out on great food if you do. Give your meal enough time to cool, and new flavors will appear.
When you are making fresh salsa that will not be consumed within 20 minutes, be sure to wash the diced onions under cold water, followed by blotting to dry completely. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas. Fresh salsa can be ruined by this type of gas. By running cold water over the raw onions, the gas is removed.
Complete your prep work before you start cooking a meal. If you do so, you’ll save on electricity by not running an oven that you aren’t yet using. You are also adding a measure of safety by not getting distracted with another task and forgetting about a hot pan on the stove.
If you plan to prepare food outside for a cookout, make sure the grill itself is prepped beforehand. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the grill to heat to the proper temperature for cooking. Cover the coals with ashes, and allow them to reach a medium heat. That is the ideal grilling temperature.
Buying quality knives is an important investment in your kitchen. Dull knives make everything take longer and are also more dangerous. Many cuts and accidents are caused by dull utensils.
Again, good cooks are always looking for new ideas. Enjoyment of cooking encompasses not only the act of cooking, but also the excitement derived from learning about new foods and cooking techniques. A lot of the joy of cooking comes from sharing. Cooking is about sharing tips and secrets with your friends and family.