No one likes the idea of serving their guest a meal that turns out to be a flop! Everyone needs a little help now and then. So, before you head to the kitchen, read up on some tips that will help you cook food that is not only edible, but spectacularly awesome. Follow these tips to impress your guests and improve ordinary family meals, as well.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry. For more info, check Thinkcook.com.
It's nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don't have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn't create the pie from scratch.
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won't be adding any extra work by trying this method.
One of the greatest things that you can do is to cook with family members or friends. When you cook with someone else, you will be able to pick up on tricks that they implement and will be able to better yourself as a cook. Talk to them to see how their thought process works, to elevate your expertise.
If you want to spice up your meal, add peppers. Peppers will not only give the meal that you are making flavor, but will increase the spice intensity to appeal to your taste buds. Try different types and variations of peppers so that you can hone in on the peppers that you prefer.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
Always soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before loading them with food and cooking. This is going to help ensure that they do not burn during the cooking process. Use two parallel skewers as opposed to a single skewer to keep food intact.
When attempting to make baked goods, less fattening, applesauce is a great ingredient to use. It can be used with cake mix, brownies or even pancakes. It is an inexpensive way to make foods that are usually fattening, healthier and delicious. When baking, it is a good idea to use unsweetened applesauce.
When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.
Avoid overcooking pasta when you boil it. Overcooked pasta loses some of its important health benefits, as well as its flavor. When you overcook pasta, the noodles absorb too much water and become swollen and limp. It is better to slightly under-cook it to retain the best texture and flavor.
Don't skimp and use cheap olive oil. More expensive olive oil is not only fresher, it often has a richer flavor. High-quality olive oil can draw the flavor out of all your favorite dishes, including pizza, pasta and many types of fish and meat. Even a small drizzle of more expensive olive oil can make the difference that takes your meals from drab to fab!
Keep a food thermometer around. It is always best to stick your meat when cooking when you are not sure if it is done for food safety. Poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F, Ground Beef, Fish, and Shellfish to 158 F, and Pork to 150.
Learn to enjoy brussels sprouts. Not many people enjoy brussels sprouts if they are cooked in the traditional manner of boiling them. Sprouts can be delicious if you try different methods of cooking, such as roasting them with carrots and parsnips for a delicious side dish. They are delicious if pan-fried with bacon. These cooking methods give them a nutty flavor. Always choose small brussels sprouts, as the larger ones tend to be very bitter.
To keep lettuce fresher longer, do not wash it until you are ready to use it. When the leaves are refrigerated wet, they hold in the excess moisture, which speeds up the decomposition process. By keeping it dry when in the refrigerator, the lettuce will keep better and remain fresh.
Now that you have read these great cooking tips, you can go into the kitchen armed with the knowledge that whatever dish you cook, you will impress your friends, family, and guests the way you want to! So, head over to the kitchen and get cracking.