Cooking is a skill that can always get better. Even a cook with lots of experience can always learn something new in the kitchen to improve their skills and make it more fun. A few basic tips can make cooking much easier, if you are just getting started. Use this advice to learn more about cooking.
Finish your prep work in advance. It is quite important that the preparation is done well in advance of the cooking process. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Do your prep work in advance, if you can.
If you are learning to cook for yourself or your family, pick up a cookbook from your bookstore or library. Look for one that has basic, easy recipes that will be fun to cook. Experiment with several recipes, and give yourself the time in perfecting your cooking skills.
Cooking methods like boiling tend to destroy a lot of the nutrients that are in vegetables. To maintain their healthy reputation, prepare them quicker by steaming or sauteing, and you could always enjoy them naturally in their raw state.
For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Cauliflower tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. As a bonus, cauliflower is the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will be the wiser when you improve the nutritional content and lower the caloric content of your mashed potatoes.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. These methods usually create healthier vegetables. Only cook vegetables as much as you have to, in order to preserve their taste and nutritional value.
Mushrooms absorb large amounts of water, and this excess water will go into whatever you are cooking with. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
Garlic may be a tasty addition to your meals, but the smell that stays on your hands is a bit of a downside. To get rid of this odor, or any other strong cooking smell, rub your hands on the inside of your stainless steal sink. This trick removes the offending scent from your hands, which prevents them from migrating to the foods you touch next.
When you make chicken stock, a good piece of advice is to make it in a big quantity. If you make a large pot of stock, you can freeze it and store it for future use. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
To greatly enhance your chances of weight loss and a better diet, reduce the amount of oil you use in meal preparation. Oil and butter have lots of fat. As an alternative, try using non-stick cooking spray as it works the same while containing less unhealthy ingredients and fats.
If you have a recipe that requires water or milk, you can change out the liquids to create a whole new flavor. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream in place of milk. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
Don't mix unfamiliar wine into your food. The taste of the wine will be reflected in your meal. There are cooking-specific wines available at the supermarket.
It is a good idea to store unripened fruits in perforated plastic bags. As some fruits become more ripe, they can produce ethylene gas. When they are placed in a perforated bag, the air can circulate, which ensures the ethylene gas is absorbed, so the fruit retains its great taste.
As you cook, try to wash your dishes along the way. For a lot of people, the worst part of cooking is the cleaning up. Mixing bowls and your utensils rinse rather easily and can be cleaned and wiped before the next ingredients in your meal.
Having the prep work done a day in advance will make the cooking process less stressful. Make sure you have every ingredient you need, and measure out spices or herbs. Cut veggies as necessary. When you are ready to cook the meal it will be quick and easy because you will just have to throw the ingredients together and cook.
Applying some salt on a cutting board when chopping fresh herbs is a good idea. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Don't put too much salt on the board, though. Don't add salt later, either, as there should be enough absorbed when you are chopping. Any salt on your cutting board can stick to the herbs you are chopping and enhance their flavor.
When you're trying to cook with an ingredient that's new to you, learn a little about it first. You may be pleasantly surprised about the versatility of new food once you do a bit of research on it. By taking some time to educate yourself before starting anything new in the kitchen, it will certainly pay off in flavor and experience.
There are lots of great ways to cook oysters. Oysters can be prepared in many ways, although the most common way is to be eaten raw with some lemon juice on top. Place open-shell oysters on a baking sheet and put some cream on top of them. Try sprinkling them with some fresh Parmesan cheese and pepper, then broil until it bubbles. You can also prepare oysters by sauteing them. Cover them in a bit of seasoned flour, then fry them in some hot butter for about two minutes until they turn golden brown. Consider baking oysters while they are still in their shells. Use a casserole dish to bake the oysters. Then, dab a bit of butter along with some fresh breadcrumbs on top of each oyster. Set the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Carefully watch oysters that you are baking because the butter will quickly begin bubbling. Once you remove the baked oysters you can serve them with bread or some other side dish that you desire.
Even people who have enjoyed cooking for years still have things to learn in the kitchen. Inexperienced cooks need a wealth of information when they're learning how to cook. Try putting these tips to work for you in your own kitchen to expedite, improve and enjoy cooking even more.