Kitchen Basics: The Proper Time To Cook Pasta

As millions of people have already found out, cooking is not only a necessity; it’s a luxury. Learning how to cook well is a great hobby choice for anyone. If you have good advice, tools and information anyone can be a good cook. The following article gets you started with learning some of that valuable information.

Keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool place. The flavor of herbs and spices will be diminished if they are subjected to humidity, heat, or light. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. If kept whole, spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.

Give pie and tart crust a little longer baking time than you normally would for the best results. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. This deeper color is evidence that the sugar has caramelized in the crust for added sweetness.

Slice your meat very thinly for stir-fry dishes. This can get a little tricky and does tend to take up some time. Once the meat is firm, not frozen, cut across the grain at a 45-degree angle.

Frozen Meat

Place meat in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing easier. This tip is particularly handy for Asian dishes. The knife can cut the partly frozen meat with less damage than if it were thawed. This is because the partially frozen meat fibers are not as easily stretched or torn. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.

If you are cooking an important meal for a significant person, such as a boss or a date, you should not serve a dish you’ve never attempted to cook before. Never experiment with a new ingredient or recipe in this situation. You will be more comfortable cooking, and there will be less of a risk of messing it up.

Garlic is a delicious ingredient that has a place in many recipes, but it has no place on your hands. An easy way to remove the smell is to rub your hands on a stainless steel surface like your sink. 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.

Freeze sauces by pouring leftovers into ice cube trays. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. The frozen sauce will keep extremely well until the next time you need it!

Do you have trouble deciding how long to grill your meat? It is always wise to utilize a good meat thermometer (a digital one is best to give you an exact reading) to ensure that the inner portions are cooked correctly. Try using a grilling lid to reduce the cooking time on thicker cuts of meat.

There are few things more frustrating in grilling than going to flip a burger and finding that it has stuck to the grill. To prevent your burgers from sticking, brush the grill with oil prior to cooking.

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. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. Try to use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream in place of milk. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.

When adding your seasonings during cooking, add small amounts of seasonings at a time, rather than adding everything at once. In this manner, you will be able to enhance the flavors of the final dish.

Tomatoes can be easily dried. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Place on a cooling rack, cut-side up and lightly salt them. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. Keep the tomatoes fresh by storing them in freezer bags. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. Place this in the refrigerator and be sure to use it within 2 weeks.

Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. The flavors of spices fade just a few months after opening the container. If you purchase a specific spice, knowing that you probably won’t use it all, split it with someone.

Cooking is much more than setting food on your table. It can be a fun and tasty skill to have. Everyone will screw up from time to time, but if you have the tips here you can make sure that happens less often. Use the aforementioned cooking tips in your own kitchen, and you will be on your way to culinary excellence.