Preparing A Meal For A Candlelight Dinner
Cooking can mean many things to different people. For some, cooking is a science, with the kitchen acting as a lab for different tasty experiments. Some think of cooking as a stress reliever, using time in the kitchen as a way to relax. Others think of cooking as difficult, finding it hard to even boil water. However you think of cooking, the tips in this article should help you be the best cook possible.
To make it easier to peel boiled eggs, run them under cold water immediately after removing from them the stove. Once they are cool enough to touch, tap them lightly to crack and roll on a counter. Once you begin peeling and have an opening in the shell, run this under cold water and you will find the rest of the shell will peel off with the greatest of ease!
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.
Get the most juice out of lemons. Fresh lemon juice is much more tasty than the kind that comes out of a bottle, but it is sometimes surprising how little juice you can get out of a lemon. Heat the lemon in a microwave for 20 seconds on high power. Then, roll the lemon on your cutting board using as much pressure as possible. This way, you will get about twice the amount of juice out of the lemon, and your dish will be much more flavorful!
One of the things that you will need to realize when you are making meats or fish is that you need to spread your seasoning evenly. Adding too much seasoning in one area of your food can reduce the flavor or lead to a tangy taste that will reduce the quality of your meal.
A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.
To get the best sear and the crispiest crust on everything from fish to meats to other pan fried foods, the secret is a hot pan. Getting a nice brown color on your food requires a pan that is as hot as possible before the food hits its surface. Because the exterior of the food cooks first, you get only one chance to create that perfect golden color and crispy texture, so heat your pan and oil for several minutes prior.
After you have cooked mashed potatoes, make sure that you return them to the hot pan so that they can steam for the next ten minutes. This will allow for the potatoes to dry out so that you can get a rich texture when you are applying your milk and butter.
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.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
One fun part of learning to cook is showing off your new-found skills. If you are cooking for someone special, though, leave the experimentation for another day. Do not try new recipes or new ingredients (or, worse, both at the same time) when you are cooking a meal for someone you really want to impress.
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.
If you must use oil in your cooking, choose extra virgin oil to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your dish. Oil and butter is mostly fat. Replace them with a nonstick cooking spray and you won’t notice the difference.
Pour off the grease from your browned hamburger before you add the rest of the ingredients. Your health will thank you for this small step and the meal is likely to taste much better without the unneeded fat. Keep an empty can or other container on your stove top expressly for that purpose.
Get creative when you cook your food. Cooking is an art-form. You should not limit yourself to the usual flavors and combinations. Try adding different fresh vegetables in place of canned vegetables. Use varieties not found in canned vegetable mixes. You will soon find your meals have much more flavor.
In conclusion, cooking has different meanings to everyone. Some think of it scientifically, some think of it therapeutically, and some think of it as a burden. With the cooking tips found in this article, any one can be a good cook, no matter what their perception of cooking is.