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To many people, cooking a meal is just another thing on their to-do list. You really can learn to enjoy it, though. It can also lead to healthier living. 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.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. You can save yourself a lot of stress by doing as much preparation ahead of time as you can.
If you are making stir-fry meals, you should slice the meat as thin as possible and cut it on the bias. Cutting meat thinly can be difficult and time-consuming. When the meat feels firm, pull it from the freezer and cut across the grain at a 45 degree angle.
Apples are used a great deal to cook in the winter and fall months, however it is important to store them properly to prevent spoiling. To keep apples at the peak of perfection, store them in your refrigerator or basement. However, you will still need to keep a watchful eye on your apples. Even properly stored apples can spoil. They’re a fickle fruit.
For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Their bland flavor blends effortlessly with the potatoes while taking flavor from the other ingredients. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.
Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Take some fresh basil and put some of it in a glass. Put enough water into the glass to cover the stems but not the leaves. It will remain fresh for a good amount of time just sitting on the kitchen counter! Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.
This seasoning not only goes well with meat, but it can also work with other foods. You can sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or on roasted nuts and seeds for a snack. Everyone at the table will be asking for your recipe!
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.
Burger patties often stick to the frying pan or grill during cooking and fall apart when you try to flip them. To prevent this, brush the grill with a bit of vegetable oil to keep your foods from sticking.
Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
As previously stated, the best cooks are always learning. The fun is not only in the cooking, but in the learning about new foods, styles and techniques to try. It is also important to pass off your knowledge to others. Cooking is not just a task to be mastered, but a gift that was meant to be shared with others.