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Some people feel that you must be born with the gift of cooking to excel at it. But that isn't so. By educating yourself and immersing yourself in the subject of cooking, it can become something that you get better at. This article can help you to develop your skills and add to your confidence in cooking.
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
Freeze your excess ginger root. When you buy a ginger root for cooking, the chances are you won't use the whole thing in one recipe. Whatever you have left can be frozen. Not only will it keep for a long time, it's really easy to shave off a piece with a sharp knife, or grate it when it's frozen.
It has already been said that you don't have to be born with the gift of cooking. It is something that you can educate yourself about and learn to enjoy as you go along. Hopefully this article has added to your knowledge and has enhanced your ultimate enjoyment of cooking.
If you are looking to improve on your cooking skills, a refresher course in the basics can be a great investment of your time. But if you are too busy for that, the following tips can help you get back to some cooking basics that you may have forgotten or overlooked.
Indenting the center of a hamburger patty by up to one half inch will prevent bulging during cooking. Just a poke in the middle prior to cooking will allow a more even distribution of heat and will stop your burger from swelling on the top, something most of us are all too familiar with.
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.
Leftover vegetable pieces shouldn't go to waste. Broccoli tops, carrot pieces and onion peelings can be added to your vegetable, beef or chicken stock, to fill it with extra flavor. Don't forget to add the stock to your favorite meals to enhance their flavor and appear as a great cook in front of your friends and family.
Do not be afraid to experiment. There is no rule that says you need to follow a recipe exactly. If you do not care for an ingredient, leave it out. If you think a different ingredient would taste better, substitute it. If you think the dish is missing a little something, add it.
If you are making pastries, you should try to maximize the accuracy of your measurements as it is a very exact science. By adding one gram too much or too less, you are going to put the taste of your pastry in jeopardy. Always try to be precise when baking.
Use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for your cooking for the best results. Try to use as many fresh ingredients as you can, because they will bring out a lot more flavor in your dish, and they can be a lot less expensive in the long run as well.
When you broil a steak, heat your broiler to the appropriate temperature before putting the steak in. The result will be a seared steak on the outside, with a very juicy inside. The broiling process should also be quick, but will vary depending on how well done you want your steak to be. Over cooking can lead to a dried out end result.
If you are planning on buying fish from a supermarket or fish store, make sure that you ask the person behind the counter if you can smell the fish. The fish should be very firm and should not have any pungent odors to them. Otherwise, do not purchase it, as they are probably not fresh.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. "Mexican Monday" could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about "Tuscan Tuesday" featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And "Fish Friday" offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.
Rather than using a traditional store bought dressing when making a salad, try making your own vinaigrette. A vinaigrette that is homemade will contain less ingredients than store bought ones and have no preservatives. This makes the vinaigrette more natural and better tasting. Simply shake the ingredients in a sealed container and enjoy.
Invest in a good roll of parchment paper. When you are baking, line your pans with it and you will save yourself much time and mess. The baked goods slide right off of the paper and all your pan needs is a simple rinse in some hot soapy water!
While it is very convenient to cook meats in a slow cooker, it is important that you are very careful or you can be at risk. Any meat that you plan on adding to a cooker needs to be browned first so that it reaches food-safety standards for temperature.
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.
After cooking meat of any kind, it is very important that you let it sit a while before cutting. If you cut too soon, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board, leaving the meat dry and with less flavor. Letting the meat sit allows time for the juices to retract back into the meat.
Keep it familiar when you are having guests. Cooking can quickly go from fun to entertainment disaster when you try too many complicated things at the same time. A good rule of thumb successful cooks follow is to never-mix a new ingredient and new recipe in the same meal.
Buy your food at fresh markets. Food you buy from farmer markets and private gardens is going to be healthier for you. These foods are often free of the harmful chemicals that infect out mainstream grocery supply. Look out for the health of yourself and your family, and your cooking will automatically be better.
Rather, use both oven and watch timers. Using the alarm on your watch will help make sure that you hear it go off, and prevent from overcooking your food.
Cooking the daily meal can seem like a chore sometimes and throwing ingredients together quickly becomes tiresome. Cooking for pleasure can be relaxing, entertaining, and can be delicious. Remind yourself of some of the basic rules of cooking and make cooking fun again for you and your family.
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