From Flames To Food, A Guide To Safely Learning To Cook.

Safely Learning To Cook

Food & Drink

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If you are having trouble lately in the kitchen when it comes to getting your cuisine just right, you are not alone. Many people have natural cooking talent but not quite enough know-how to cook with perfection. This article will give you the help that you need to get it right by providing invaluable cooking tips.

When you are having an important person over for dinner, prepare a meal that you are experienced with. You should never attempt to cook some new dish or even a new ingredient you’ve never attempted. Making a meal you are confident will taste good can make the night more enjoyable.

When it comes to cooking a good habit to do after preparing garlic is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will remove the unwanted odor from your hands. Washing them less than 30 seconds will not take all the odor away.

Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!

For fluffier pancakes, allow the batter to sit for about five minutes before you start pouring it into the pan. This will allow the flour to absorb more of the moisture in the mix, making for much lighter pancakes that will rise more when you cook them and give them that great restaurant flavor!

Chips

Brownies made for a bake sale are much more enticing when potential buyers can see what goodies are in them. To accomplish this task, when the pan of brownies has about eight minutes left of baking time, remove the pan from the oven, cover the top with a layer of miniature marshmallows and then sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, caramel chunks and anything else you like to add to your brownies on top of the marshmallows. Put the pan back into the oven for the final few minutes of baking to allow the marshmallows to soften and toast and give time for the chips to melt. When the pan comes out, you will have an irresistible pan of brownies that look as good as they taste.

For a more flavorful fried fish coating, replace the usual crackers with your favorite kind of chips. Salt and vinegar chips crush up just as nice as crackers while adding more depth to the final flavor of fish. You can also replace the usual milk dip with dressing for another pop of unexpected flavor.

Use pita crisps in place of tortilla chips. Rather than using store bought tortilla chips, try making your own pita crisps. Simply split 6 pita pockets, making 12 rounds. Combine 2 cloves of minced garlic with 1/4 cup of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Brush the mixture over the top of the split sides. Stack and cut into 6 to 8 wedges. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and crispy (about 5 minutes). They are absolutely delicious with guacamole, salsa or hummus!

If you are out of bread crumbs you can try these simple substitutions in your recipe: cracker crumbs, matzo, crushed cornflakes, grounds oats, or even potato chips. Simply substitute an equal amount of the replacement food for the bread crumbs. You can also make fresh bread crumbs by finely chopping four slices of bread per cup you need.

Chicken

Food & Drink

Spicy Baked Chicken Wings

For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.

Cook your chicken over other ingredients. If you are making a chicken dish that includes an ingredient like onions, cook the chicken over them. Oil the pan and cut the onion into slices. Put them in the pan and place the chicken over them. The juices from the chicken will soak into the onion.

Unleash the tremendous flavor power of Mediterranean cous-cous by using this cooking tip. Pour your dry cous-cous in a pot filled with boiling chicken stock instead of water. Mix for ten seconds, then turn off the heat and cover for five minutes. The cous-cous will absorb the tasty flavor of the chicken stock. This effect can also be achieved with vegetable or beef stock.

Use beef or chicken stock in the place of water in soups, mashed potatoes and more. This will add a great deal of flavor. You can also dissolve cubes of bouillon into the required amounts of water. Doing this gives your food all the moisture that it needs, but kicks the taste up a notch.

When roasting a chicken or turkey, maximize the flavor and juiciness by stuffing the cavity with halved or quartered lemons, onions, shallots, garlic cloves or oranges. These foods will add a great, subtle flavor to the meat while providing extra moisture as they roast in the oven. Simply remove the items from the cavity prior to carving the bird.

Put your ketchup right in the batter for more flavorful fried foods. Most people usually only use ketchup to dip their cooked foods in, but it is actually a great choice to dip uncooked foods into before they are dipped into the dry coating. Ketchup provides excellent flavor to fried foods, and your friends will love it.

Floor

If you are getting frustrated because the herbs are flying all over the place and landing on the floor when you are chopping them up, try tossing a little salt onto your cutting board. This will make for a coarser surface, and keep the small pieces from moving around the board too much.

Now that you have read the great tips in this article, you have a leg up on most people and you have the know-how that you need to perform in the kitchen. Get that apron out, dust off your mixing bowls and roll up your sleeves. You have some cooking to do.