You’ve probably watched at least one celebrity chef on television and thought, “Hey, I can do that!” Well, until the TV network comes knocking, you can always use your own kitchen as a stage to create unforgettable meals. Whether you are new at cooking or an old pro, you can always use some cooking tips. Here are a few to get you started.
When you shelve an herb or a spice, make sure it’s dark and cool. If they are exposed to light, heat or humidity, they will lose much of their flavor. You can plan on ground herbs and spices retaining their potency for a year. Spices in their whole forms have longer useful lifespans, lasting up to five years. They’ll last longest when stored properly.
Add flavor to boring roast chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack, place thick slices of onion in the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top of them. The chicken juices will be absorbed by the onion, creating a caramelization on the bottom of the pan. After roasting, remove the chicken, add a little water to the pan and cook on high heat for a few minutes. This will create a tasty sauce for your chicken.
It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.
After you have cooked a piece of food in the oven, you should give it several minutes to rest before serving. The last thing that you will want to do is serve any part of your meal that is too hot, which will ruin its overall quality for the person you are serving.
If you are boiling pasta, make sure that you do not put too much in the pot. This will not cook your food all the way through and will taste very raw and thick. Try to limit the amount of pasta that you put in the pot to maximize taste and quality.
Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
Cooking can be great fun and a chance for you to show off. Make sure to keep these tips in mind to add to your cooking a bit, and to enhance the skills you already have. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the celebrity chef on a TV network!