A cook never stops learning new recipes and secrets. Even experienced chefs are constantly learning new things to impress their hungry customers. And every beginner needs to learn all the tips and techniques that can make preparing food easier. For handy cooking advice that can apply to cooks of any skill level, read on.
When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Most ground spices will keep their flavor for at least one year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. Store your herbs and spices correctly, so that they will stay fresh and keep their full flavor!
Do all the prep work ahead of time. Save time by doing the prep work before you begin cooking the meal. Cooking can get stressful when you’re working to deadline. By doing all of your preparation in advance, you avoid the stress and just enjoy your meal.
Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. The golden color is a sign that the sugars in the crust have finally caramelized.
Slowly stir corn starch into simmering sauce to thicken. In a bowl, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir this into the sauce to thicken it up. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. It will keep veggies from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and add a little flavor. You can make your own chicken broth or you can buy it at most any supermarket at a very low price.
When you want to cook a pumpkin, stand it on its end and slice it in half. Lay each half on it’s own cookie sheet with the cut side facing down. Moisten each sheet with water, then place the pumpkin halves in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes.
Accurately measure the amounts of cooking oil you use! If you want to get rid of some of the fat in your recipe make sure to measure how much you’re using instead of just pouring it into the pan. This technique gives you greater control over the amount of oil you want to use.
Try drying your own fresh tomatoes. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.
Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Instead, slice up the remaining meat, put it in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and store it in your freezer. The turkey meat will keep its freshness and can later be used for making sandwiches or as a salad ingredient.
Even people who have enjoyed cooking for years still have things to learn in the kitchen. New cooks should prepare for failure and be confident in their successes. Try applying the tips from this article and come up with your own tips and secrets as you experiment.