How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.
Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Another little known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. When spices are stored in the correct manner, they will stay fresh for much longer.
If you are first embarking on a quest to prepare more of your own food, head to the nearest library or bookstore and find a cookbook with simple, basic recipes that you will enjoy preparing. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. This works well for Asian dishes, like Chinese or Thai. By doing this, the meat becomes much easier to slice as the meat fibers are less likely to tear. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.
The process of boiling vegetables will remove a portion of their nutrients. If you are not serving the vegetables in their raw state, consider steaming, sautÃ©ing or even roasting your vegetables to protect their vitamin and nutrient content.
Do you plan on cooking with fresh basil? Place your basil into a large glass. Make sure the stems are in water. Put it on the counter of your kitchen in order to maintain its freshness for many weeks. Your basil will even send out new roots if you change its water regularly. You should also cut the basil so that it keeps growing.
One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. This way, when you want to make an easy meal another night, all you have to do is reheat it in a saute pan. Not to worry, it freezes well and is perfectly edible when stored this way.
You can dry out your own tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. The rack should then be placed on a baking sheet in an oven set to 190 degrees for no more than 10 hours. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. You can also store them in jars packed with herbs and olive oil. Use them within two weeks of refrigerating.
Store any spices you might use in a dark, cool place to help maintain their flavor and freshness. Do not store herbs and spices in cabinets over the stove, and avoid storing them in other warm areas, as their flavor will dissipate and you will have wasted your money.
Every six months to one year, replace spices that have grown dull. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. When you have to buy certain spices for specific dishes, be sure to give some of the spice away to a family or friend, if you do not plan on using all of it, before it will go bad.
Use these tips for your next meal. Once you taste them, you’ll be convinced that maybe cooking isn’t so bad after all! Preparing attractive, tasty meals may even become a hobby you enjoy. You will look forward to trying new recipes and cooking techniques. Start cooking now!