Learning how to cook requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to eat the batches that aren’t quite ready for prime time. Learning new techniques for cooking is a life-long learning experience and your education begins here. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way to cooking success.
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
If you have already cooked before for someone that you know and love, try to shake things up a bit and add some new spices to the recipes. Changing things up can keep things fresh and make your cooking very spontaneous. This will improve your ability and skills in the kitchen.
To increase the texture and quality of the pasta that you cook at night, make sure that you finish cooking with the pasta in the pan with sauce. This will help to absorb the sauce so that it blends in properly and tastes great when you sit down to the table and eat.
Make sure that you never give up when you are cooking, as it is going to take a lot of practice and failures before you get it right. If you burn something, keep trying. You will only become a great cook if you maintain your persistence.
Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.
Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.
Purchase a quality loaf of bread that you can use as a side piece to a variety of meals. Bread goes great with any dish that has sauce or cheese, as you can dip it in a variety of different toppings. Include a loaf of Italian or French bread with your next meal.
Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.
Here is a great tip to use when you have to deep fry foods. While deep frying, hold the food with a set of long cooking tongues as you place them into the oil. Before releasing, hold the food for five seconds just below the oil, then release. This will prevent the food from sticking to other food or the side of the fryer by sealing it.
When applying seasoning to meat and fish, always remember to season evenly and thoroughly. Shake or grind the shaker as if the seasoning is snow falling from the sky. Doing so will allow the meat to be evenly coated with spices and seasoning and prevent clumps or over seasoning.
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
After you have cut up meats on your counter, be sure to thoroughly wipe the counters and chopping boards down with a disinfectant. You need to disinfect knives also. Keep separate chopping boards for uncooked and cooked foods. Many people get salmonella poisoning each year because they ingested food that was prepared on an unclean counter or chopping board. This is especially important if you prepare food for children or the elderly.
The best part of cooking is that you can eat your mistakes. Don’t be scared about trying something new. Even Julia Childs and Wolfgang Puck have made complete failures of dishes at one point or another. Cooking is all about learning and experimentation until you learn what works for you, so give it a shot!