Cooking is an art. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.
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!
Cook your vegetables quickly to preserve flavor. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. It is worth it to take the time to use cooking methods that preserve the most nutrients.
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
If you are cooking for an important event, it is a good idea to make a meal that you have made before. You should never attempt to cook some new dish or even a new ingredient you've never attempted. This will make cooking less stressful.
Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers' market within shopping distance. These markets - usually held on a weekly basis - are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers' market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
Fresh garlic is ideal when preparing dishes that call for garlic. Usually when the garlic is most fresh, that is the point when it tastes the sweetest. You will want to look for the following characteristics; firm skin, and no bruises or shriveling.
If you are looking to reduce the sodium content of the meals you cook, take a careful look at your spice shelf. Many prepared spices are surprisingly high in sodium, whether or not they have a salty taste. And of course, avoid adding regular salt. Look to natural herbs and simpler spices to add flavor without sodium.
Put spices in a cold dark area to preserve their freshness and flavor. When you keep them in cabinets or in warmer areas, they tend to lose flavor.
You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is very easy to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
Don't spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.
If you are going to braise meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. By doing it this way, the meat will stay tender and it will retain its juiciness, which in turns, leaves the meat tasting good. Cooking it a high temperature can dry the meat out.
When it comes to cooking the fresher the better. Sure the bottled and shaker spices cost less but there is no taste comparable to the taste of fresh cut spices such as garlic and parsley. So make sure that you spend the extra fifteen minutes cutting your spices, instead of shaking them.
If you took an honest look at your mealtime offerings and decided that they could use some help, start with the fresh ideas in the article above and you will have your family running to the table in no time. These practical tips will get you on your way to success.