Quite a few people consider cooking a big hassle. This article has many excellent tips that can help you do just that.
When storing your herbs and spices, they should be kept in a cool, dark spot. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Spices in their whole forms have longer useful lifespans, lasting up to five years. Storing spices in glass containers with a tight-fitting lid will keep them best.
Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. You can spare yourself a great deal of hassle by doing prep work in advance.
Try adding oil to foods from the sides of a pot or pan in able to jump-start the heating process. This helps to bring out the flavor in your food.
Slicing meat into thin even strips is easier when the meat is partially frozen. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. Freezing the meat prior to slicing immobilizes the fibers and makes for cleaner, more efficient slices. However, to ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make sure that the meat is thawed before you cook it.
Regardless of the recipe, you can always bet that a fresh ingredient is better than its dried or frozen counterpart. Use fresh ingredients, as they bring out the flavor in a dish, and they are also less expensive.
Beans or tofu are excellent sources of protein that you may not have yet considered adding to your diet. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. The beans can be boiled with some herbs for a flavorful protein source.
Always read labels thoroughly when shopping for a recipe. Cooking staples can be full of not-so-nice things that can spoil your health. Avoid ingredients that have high sugar and sodium content, because they can cause health problems.
New spices should be purchased every six months. Spices lose their flavor if kept too long. If you purchase a new spice but doubt you can use it before the flavor dries up, share some of it with a fellow cook.
To add more flavor to your dishes, try adding some stock that you have prepared. Make a large amount and store it in the freezer. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. By making and having your own stock on hand, you will know it doesn’t contain preservatives.
When boiling pasta, salt the cooking water generously. Seasoning added while it cooks will “set” in the pasta. Salting pasta after cooking is often unsuccessful because the pasta will not absorb the salt then, it will only sit on top of the noodles.
Even a simple sandwich can be made immensely more attractive if you cover it evenly with mayonnaise across the entire bread slice. Many times, people are in a hurry and just put some mayo in the middle. If you cover the bread, each bite of the sandwich will have a delicious flavor.
When you are barbecuing, make sure that you prepare your grill beforehand so it is ready when you are. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. Your coals should all have a coat of ash at this point and be medium hot. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
As we have discussed, there are a large variety of things you can do to make cooking much more fun and enjoyable. Taking the advice offered here can change your meal preparation time from humdrum to lively.