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By - Natasha

Preparing Meals Without Messing Up: Learn To Become A Successful Cook

For many people, cooking serves many purposes. It allows people to test their creativity by constructing new culinary masterpieces, improve their skills as they become better chefs, or simply to eat their favorite dish. Whatever the reason is for you cooking, the tips found in the following article will help you with cooking.

Ensure that you properly maintain your cooking utensils on a regular basis. A chef’s knife, for example, is of no use to you when blunt so ensure that these are sharpened on a regular basis. When purchasing a chef’s knife look for one with a long and wide blade as this will give you better control and chopping speed.

When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.

Put salt on your cutting board. It can be difficult to cut herbs on your cutting board. They tend to go all over the place. To keep this from happening, just sprinkle a little salt on your cutting board before you begin. This will work to keep them from slipping around.

Unleash the tremendous flavor power of Mediterranean cous-cous by using this cooking tip. Pour your dry cous-cous in a pot filled with boiling chicken stock instead of water. Mix for ten seconds, then turn off the heat and cover for five minutes. The cous-cous will absorb the tasty flavor of the chicken stock. This effect can also be achieved with vegetable or beef stock.

When cooking a meal for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, make separate sauces can be the best way to make sure everyone has enough to eat and knows what they can eat. Make rice or pasta, then let guests choose from a meatless sauce and one with meat. A dish with multiple components saves you from having to make two separate meals, and it makes both meat-eaters and vegetarians happy.

Beans stored for a longer period of time need to be checked for insect damage or mold. Instead of visually looking at each bean put them in a bowl of cold water. Use only the ones sinking to the bottom as those floating are either suffer from insect damage or mold.

It is possible to cut back on the amount of calories that are in your favorite dessert by simply using applesauce in the recipe. Many recipes call for unhealthy ingredients that add tons of calories to a desert that really are not needed. Applesauce will add sweetness to the dessert with adding tons of calories.

After you have drained pasta, add fresh Parmesan Cheese to it while it is still hot. By putting the cheese on this way, the sauce you will be using has something to stick it. Plus, the pasta will have more flavor this way than if you added the cheese after your pasta and sauce are mixed together.

Eggplants tend to turn black during cooking unless you treat them properly. Add a spoon of milk to the cold cooking water and add the plant to that milky water. The eggplant will not change its color during cooking and will make your dish more appetizing when you serve it.

You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.

Does your family love roasted vegetables? They taste wonderful but can get dried out and too crispy when roasted in the oven or on a grill. A little known secret is that vegetables will roast well in their own juices when placed in a crock pot. Hard root veggies like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and more, will roast to perfection when placed in the crockpot for 6-8 hours (depending on quantity) on low heat. You can add a little bit of salt and seasoning and a tablespoon or two of olive oil if you like, but they also roast perfectly well just in their own juices. Your vegetables will turn out delicious and healthy!

As stated before, cooking serves many purposes. It tests creativity, improves skills, and delights your friends and family. The tips from the article above should help you with cooking, no matter the reason. You will be able to successfully create your favorite flavorful dishes, and have a wonderful time preparing and eating them too!…

By - Natasha

Become A Professional Chef With These Tips

How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.

Add flavor to boring roast chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack, place thick slices of onion in the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top of them. The chicken juices will be absorbed by the onion, creating a caramelization on the bottom of the pan. After roasting, remove the chicken, add a little water to the pan and cook on high heat for a few minutes. This will create a tasty sauce for your chicken.

The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.

Pasta is one of the best things that you can cook during the course of the day for the nutrients and carbs that it brings and its pleasant aroma. Make sure that your water is boiling for at least two minutes before you put your pasta into the pot for maximum quality.

Place meat in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing easier. This is a good way to cut strips for Asian dishes, such as Chinese and Thai. If you freeze the meat, it will make it easier to cut into strips as the meat fibers will not stretch or tear as easily. Having said that, you must be certain to let the meat strips thaw out prior to cooking them to ensure even cooking.

When seasoning meats, try a little piece before cooking the entire thing. Meats such as meatballs, hamburgers and meatloaf need to be seasoned carefully. To ensure your seasoning is correct, do not cook all the mwat at one time. Rather, set aside a small bit of the meat and cook it the same way you will make the rest. You can adjust the seasoning if you don’t like it.

Make sure you are storing your spices in the right place. Many people store their spices right above their stove or near a light source. To stay fresh, put them in dry and dark spot that is cool. Humidity can also destroy spices so keep those several factors in mind.

When making a sandwich, spread the mayo from one corner of the bread to the other. People usually just quickly spread the mayo on so that one side of the bread has more than the other. By spreading it from one corner to the other, all parts of the bread will contain an equal amount of mayo.

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.

When you are going to the butcher to get meats or fish, do not be scared to ask to smell the product before purchasing it. Sometimes the meat or fish is bad and the butcher does not even know it, which is why it is important for you to smell it.

One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.

Incorporate the preceding tips into your meal preparation. When you finally make and taste your meals you can learn that your cooking isn’t all that bad. As a matter of fact, you may even begin actually enjoying it. Once you begin enjoying it, you’ll discover yourself trying lots of new recipes. Give cooking a shot!…

By - Natasha

Advice to Help You Become a Great Cook!

You’ve probably seen famous chefs on television cooking up delicious meals and wished that you could enjoy gourmet dishes. The good thing is that you can, if you make it. Cooking is like any other activity; if you hone and develop your skills, you can be a very good chef. Here are some great cooking tips that every good chef knows.

Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.

Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.

One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.

Cook your chicken over other ingredients. If you are making a chicken dish that includes an ingredient like onions, cook the chicken over them. Oil the pan and cut the onion into slices. Put them in the pan and place the chicken over them. The juices from the chicken will soak into the onion.

As you cook your meal during the course of the night, make sure that you taste it at several different points. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly when it is done, so that you do not run the risk of overcooking it. Tasting your food is important to achieve the quality you desire.

Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.

Cheese is one of the best things that you can add to pastas and different types of meats. If you are making pasta, do not forget to buy grated cheese and put it on the table for people to add to their dish. This will improve the quality and texture of the meal.

To reduce the fat and calories in a recipe that calls for a lot of mayonnaise, simply replace half the mayonnaise with sour cream. Since mayonnaise serves primarily a textural purpose in many of these recipes, replacing it with similarly textured sour cream gives you the same texture with a lighter, healthier taste.

Layered bar cookies, fudge and chewy brownies often fall apart or get torn up from trying to evenly cut them into squares. A good rotary pizza cutter can be used to accomplish this task without worrying about a sharp knife slipping and causing an injury. Make some light guidelines in your food with the tip of a knife first and follow up with the pizza cutter for perfectly cut bars, brownies and fudge every time.

An easy way to experiment with combining savory flavors in the kitchen and not spend a lot of money in food waste, is to turn your ideas into an omelet. Eggs, especially egg whites, are fairly flavor-free and provide a great “canvas” on which to “paint” the ingredients you want and then combining into a dish. Small batches of scrambled eggs that you can fold your ingredients into, will also give a neutral background for your flavor taste tests.

Use these tips as a blueprint, paving the way ahead for you as a home chef. Don’t stop learning and getting ideas about cooking anywhere you can. If you make something once, and it doesn’t come out well, try it again. Keep trying. Anyone can be a terrific chef if they just keep at it–even you!…