So you want to throw a dinner party, plan a picnic or make a family feast but don’t know where you should begin? This article will provide you with plenty of simple clues and fancy tips, and you will be in the kitchen cooking up a storm in no time.
Consider recipes to be guidelines rather than rules. Feel free to branch out and switch up the spices or add an extra ingredient. Before long you will be compiling your own personal collection of altered recipes that are better than the original thing. Not only will you will also be able to impress your friends with unique dishes, but you will become a better cook as you experiment with changing recipes.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
Have you been making the same berry shortcake for a while? Make the flavor pop with the following tip. Mix your berries with a pinch of salt, a little fresh mint and a small spoon of lime juice. Your guests will never guess how you enhanced the flavor of the old family recipe.
An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.
If you plan to let your chicken sit in the oven for a while after it is baked, then subtract a few minutes from its baking time. Since chicken continues to bake even after it is taken away from a heat source, it can dry out quickly in an oven that is still hot.
Cooking a big meal? Do the preparations the day or night before! This way, you will have less to do on the day you are going to make your meal. For instance, if a salad will be part of your meal, make it the night before.
You need to remember to poke holes in a pie crust before you put it into the oven. A pie crust made from scratch can be very delicious, but if tiny holes are not poked with a fork, it will cause the crust to bubble in places which can make it difficult to fill with yummy ingredients.
When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
This is a great tip to use when making salad dressings. If you want to make a dressing that is creamy and rich, but without adding all of the fat, simply use a mixture of half mayonnaise and half greek yogurt. The greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to using all mayonnaise as there is less cholesterol.
Whenever possible, you should buy your food from the farmers market rather than a normal grocery store or supermarket. Food from the farmers market is fresh and sometimes requires less maintenance to bring out flavors rather than normal food. Remember to keep it simple when cooking with food from the farmers market.
Avoid limiting yourself to white potatoes in your cooking. They are very high in starch and have the least amount of nutritional content of any of the potatoes. Try varieties that come in blue, red, yellow, and orange. You can substitute almost any root vegetable as your usual white potato.
Use your hands to cook the perfect steak. Pressing the fleshy pad at the base of the thumb, when your hand is making an OK sign, will give the same resistance as steak will during cooking. Start with the index finger OK sign and the thumb base will resist at “rare” temperature. Moving towards the pinky you will register medium-rare with middle, medium with the ring finger and well-done with the pinky. Look for the resistance in your steak to match the resistance when pressing your hand.
You can make your pasta sauce tastier by saving some of the cooking water from the pasta. Use about a fourth of a cup for this tip. When you mix the pasta with this sauce, add the water as well. The water from the pasta contains starch, which can thicken your sauce.
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!
When it comes to cooking it is important to consider the dietary concerns of those who are going to be eating your food. Be sure to check if anybody has sodium or sugar concerns in order to prevent embarrassment on their part from having to refuse your otherwise delicious food.
Now that you’ve got some basics and some insider secrets down, you can’t help but have the confidence to start your adventures in cooking. Follow the tips that you have learned here, and you will soon be receiving high praise not only from loved ones, but also from your fellow want-to-be cooks.