Learning To Cook? Advice That Makes It Easier

Many people are intimidated by the thought of trying new recipes and learning new ways to cook, but cooking can be fun if you know what you are doing. If you follow the tips in this article, you will be on your way to cooking gourmet food in your home kitchen.

Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don't discard them - saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn't throw away those unused salad greens!

Flouring the baking pan is called for by lots of recipes. It is necessary for the baking, but leaves an unattractive white coating on the side of the cake. Change the recipe a little and use dry cake mix instead of flour. The unattractive white residue from the side of the cake will disappear.

Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.

Don't forget to clean your grill before you use it by scrubbing the grilling surface with a wire brush while it heats up. This way the removed food and grease burn off. Built up food on the grill doesn't add flavor to the meat, but make the fresh food stick to the metal much easier.

When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.



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.

When you have a recipe that calls for wine, you may be tempted to use a cheap wine or cooking wine. Avoid this mindset when you approach your cooking. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not you would drink the wine. If you wouldn't drink it, do not use it to cook.

When applying seasoning to meat and fish, always remember to season evenly and thoroughly. Shake or grind the shaker as if the seasoning is snow falling from the sky. Doing so will allow the meat to be evenly coated with spices and seasoning and prevent clumps or over seasoning.

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.

Prepare ingredients for the week's dinners. One great way to get a jump on time is to plan your dinners for the week on Sunday. When you know what you will be fixing each night you can take some time to portion and precook some of your ingredients. Vegetables can also be chopped and stored in Tupperware which will easily keep until used later in the week. By utilizing weekend time, you can save a lot of time during the week.

Cooking pasta a minute short of its full cook time. When you short the cook time on your pasta you can finish the cooking process when mixing with the sauce. This will prevent your final steps in the dish from overcooking the pasta and destroying its texture or shape. Your dishes will maintain an inviting look this way.

If you like to bake for the holidays and give home-baked gifts from the kitchen, consider packaging your goodies in any of the readily available, multiple-use plastic storage containers instead of holiday print metal tins. The recipient of your tasty treats will not only love their cookies, but will also love the very re-useable container your baked goods came in. Fancy tins are pretty, but often get tossed away because they are rarely air-tight and tend to rust after washing.

Campsite cooking can be a breeze if you take along the right tools. Keep your campsite cooking utensils all washed up and stored away ready to go anytime the urge hits you. You can cook anything on a campfire that you cook at home so just plan accordingly. Don't forget a Dutch oven for the baking and the coffee pot for that morning cup of Joe!

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.

Stir-frying your rice is a great way to make use of surplus vegetables and meat in the fridge that you can't use in other recipes. Cool, day-old rice is best, but if you must make it fresh, cut the water by just a bit to make slightly drier rice. Fry the ingredients in oil and add rice with spices and sauce.

As was stated in the beginning of this article, cooking gourmet food at home is really just a matter of proper education and practice. Anyone can cook tasty, healthy food if they can follow directions. Apply the tips in this article and soon you will be known as the neighborhood's gourmet chef.