Cooking Basics To Get You Started In The Kitchen


Fun Fact! Pie crusts and tart crusts should be cook a bit past the point that you think they should be cooked. They need to be a golden caramel color rather than pale blonde.

However, like any skill, learning to cook takes time and practice. Regardless of your motivation for learning to cook, you will surely be glad that you did. Here are some wonderful ideas to lead you down a tasty path.

Fun Fact! If you do any lengthy cooking process like boiling, many of the nutrients will be cooked out. You can keep all those healthy nutrients by using a quick method of cooking like steaming or by eating the vegetables raw.

You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. When exposed to light and heat, spices will lose their sharpness and flavor. Most spices will retain their flavor for about a year. If kept whole, spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.

Fun Fact! When you are cooking an important dinner you want to whip up something you know how to cook well. This is not the time for testing new recipes or new ingredients.

If you are first embarking on a quest to prepare more of your own food, head to the nearest library or bookstore and find a cookbook with simple, basic recipes that you will enjoy preparing. Experiment with a few, and be patient; remember, you’re learning new skills.

Fun Fact! Vegetables should be cooked rapidly to obtain peak results. When you cook veggies slowly, they lose many nutrients.

If you are cooking and you need to add some oil to the pan, drip it down the inside so that it will be a little warm when it hits the food. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.

Fun Fact! When trying to add protein to a diet, you need to remember that beans and tofu are great sources. Both are readily available in grocery stores.

If you are seasoning meat, cook a little piece of it to test the seasoning before cooking it all. A lot of foods require you to season them carefully; for instance meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. After you season the meat, do not cook all of the batch. Cook a tiny portion of it in the shape of a patty first. Once you’ve tasted the meat, change the seasoning accordingly, then cook the entire piece of meat.

Fresh Basil

Fun Fact! If you are preparing a recipe that calls for milk or water, try substituting with an alternate liquid to add new flavor to your meals. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water.

Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? You can cut basil by the stems, bunch it together, and put it in a glass. The stems should be thoroughly covered in water. Set the glass on the kitchen counter or windowsill to maintain its freshness for weeks. Your basil will even send out new roots if you change its water regularly. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time!

Fun Fact! If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs.

You can also use this seasoning on foods other than meat. Sprinkle it on roasted pumpkin seeds to create a savory snack, or add it to your scrambled eggs. You can cultivate a reputation as a mysterious wizard of flavor just by using a judicious dash of such seasonings.

Fun Fact! Tomatoes can be easily dried. Cut Romas tomatoes in lengthwise halves, or slice ripe regular tomatoes into half inch slices for drying.

Garlic is a wonderful taste, but not such a wonderful smell to have on your hands. However, rub your hands inside a stainless steel basin when you have finished working with any strong-odor ingredient. Not only does this remove the smell of the odoriferous food ingredient from your hands, it also keeps this odor from passing to other foods that you are about to handle.

Fun Fact! Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. You could contaminate what you’re going to cook if the utensils aren’t completely clean from previous cooking sessions.

Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.

Fun Fact! Make homemade stock to create tastier dishes. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer.

If you’re using wooden skewers to cook, try soaking them in water for half an hour first. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. You can keep your food on the skewers if you use two sticks parallel instead of just one.

Fun Fact! When you have a large or complicated meal to prepare, you can eliminate a lot of the stress by doing any prep work the day before. Get everything together beforehand; ensure you have all the ingredients, and chop or measure anything you can in advance.

Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Boiling the beans and then including them in a hearty vegetarian chili is also a wonderful dish for a cold winter night.

Fun Fact! Know the right care for wood cutting boards. Your wooden cutting board can be damaged by too much moisture or too much heat.

Avoid cooking with a wine that you ordinarily would not find palatable to drink. If you use a wine that you are not familiar with or do not enjoy, you are risking culinary disaster when it comes to the flavor of your food. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.

Fun Fact! Use brine in your cooking. First soak your duck, goose, chicken or turkey in brine about an hour before you are ready to prepare it, and you poultry will have a wonderful flavor.

By staying organized while cooking you can avoid making mistakes, such as burning your food. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.

Fun Fact! To circumvent a greasy mess when reheating a leftover meal that contains oil, place the meal in your oven it and bake it instead of reheating in the microwave. The high heats in a microwave can separate the oil from the rest of the dish.

Follow the instructions carefully whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. When following the directions, your macaroni and cheese will turn out perfectly, and you will love the great, cheesy flavor. When serving your macaroni and cheese, use a spoon with a solid face. If you want to add a little flavor to your macaroni and cheese, feel free to spice it up with some pepper.

Fun Fact! Fruit works especially well on the grill. Consider grilling a skewer of fresh, sliced melons, peaches or other juicy fruits.

Adding salt to the boiling water when cooking pasta will help flavor it while it cooks. Seasoning will impregnate the pasta more efficiently while it cooks. Salting the pasta after cooking it does not allow it to hold seasoning that well.

Cutting Board

Fun Fact! Here is a simple tip to make preparing those healthy dark leafy greens easier. Removing these stems can be difficult.

Care for your wood cutting board properly. To keep your wooden cutting board in top shape, avoid exposing it to excess moisture. It is never smart to immerse your board in water. Instead, sponge clean it with soapy, warm water. You should apply oil to a board that is damaged, or to an undamaged board which you want to keep in pristine condition. Before you use the board, make sure it is dry.

Fun Fact! To enjoy the freshest fish, go out on the lake and catch it yourself. Catching and preparing fish ensures that it’s as fresh as can be, and gives someone a great sense of satisfaction, knowing they have provided for the family.

It important to neither overcook or undercook a cake. There are recommended cooking times, which are guidelines only. These times can be a bit misleading because there are factors, such as your elevation, that help to determine the cake’s cooking time. You need to push a toothpick into the center of the cake. If your toothpick is clean, your cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. However, if there is batter left on the toothpick, keep baking for a longer period of time.

Fun Fact! Try experimenting with saffron. Saffron can impart a bright and sunny flavor that cannot be replicated with any other seasoning.

Do you feel that you are ready to begin following the advice from this article? Implement the discussed tips into your cooking. No matter what situation you’re cooking in, you will have a blast serving a meal you created. Becoming a good cook involves improving your cooking skills. The time and effort put into your dishes will make them all the more worthwhile.