Becoming King (Or Queen) Of Your Cooking
You’ve probably seen famous chefs on television cooking up delicious meals and wished that you could enjoy gourmet dishes. The good thing is that you can, if you make it. Cooking is like any other activity; if you hone and develop your skills, you can be a very good chef. Here are some great cooking tips that every good chef knows.
You can avoid sticky rice by removing the starch. To do just that wash the rice several times until the water coming from the rice is crystal clear. Remove all the water, and let the rice sit for 20 minutes. Adding a few drops of lemon to the water before cooking also helps to separate the grains.
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
Cook perfect rice every time. When cooking plain white rice, follow these simple steps. Put 1 cup of long-grain rice into a heavy-based saucepan, with a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water. Put a lid on the saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Check the rice at this point: there should be no water left, and small steam holes should have appeared in the rice. Replace the lid, and let the rice sit for 2 minutes. Enjoy!
To keep salt in shakers fresh and dry, add uncooked white rice to the shaker. The rice will absorb any moisture from the environment instead of the salt, and stops the salt from dissolving or caking. Rice is not noticeable in a glass shaker and is too large to be shaken out with normal use.
Think about buying large beef roasts or pork shoulders to make during one of your weekend nights. After you have this for dinner, store it in your fridge so that you will be able to create many different types of sandwiches, as the week progresses. Maximize your value and limit your expenses by conserving food.
Let roasts rest before carving to allow the juices time to retract from the surface of the meat. Slicing beef, pork, poultry or lamb immediately after roasting lets most of the juice run out of the meat which makes it drier and less flavorful. Giving the meat time to rest prevents the loss of the juices.
Buying pasta sauce that already has vegetables, seasonings, meat, or cheese in it is a great way to save time and money when cooking. There’s a great variety to choose from, and you won’t have to chop up peppers and mushrooms or brown the beef. It’s all in one jar–just heat it up, and serve over your favorite pasta!
If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. If the recipe has called for water, you could easily use chicken broth, beef broth, or juice when suitable. Sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt make good milk substitutes. Using different liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.
When cutting onions, hold a match between your teeth while you cut. Make sure the match is not lit. This will keep those stinging eyes and unwanted tears away. Your experience cutting the onion will be more pleasant if you follow this simple tip each and every time.
When you are going to make vegetable soup, add your onions, tomatoes, carrots, peppers and other vegetables to oil or butter before you add them to water. By doing this, you will find that the soup has a richer taste to it and the sugars are more normalized this way.
Use this tip when cooking chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack to cook the chicken, slice an onion and put the slices in an oiled pan. Then take the chicken and place it on top of the onions. While cooking, the the onions will absorb the juices of the chicken. This is useful for later when you make a sauce from the onions by pouring water or stock into the pan and cooking on high heat for three minutes.
Cutting onions does not have to be a crying matter. The keys to success with onions are easy to follow and minimize tears. Chill the onions first before cutting, use your sharpest knife for cutting and turn exposed cuts down on your board. As you cut, be efficient, quick and constantly turn the largest exposed cuts down against the board. Running your vent hood will help circulate air as you cut as well.
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.
Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. You should always have access to stock when you are cooking other dishes. Creating your own stock allows you to avoid preservatives.
When you are making homemade soups that contain meat, they tend to have a lot of fat that needs to be skimmed from the top. One quick solution to that problem is dropping in a couple of ice cubes. As the ice melts, the fat will stiffen around it and you will be able to remove it with ease.
Whenever you make stock for soups or stews, make it in large quantities, and freeze the extra. That way, the next time you want to whip up a quick soup or stew, the most time-consuming part is already done. You just have to pull a bag from the freezer for a quick and delicious meal.
Have you ever looked for a specific recipe only to come up short? This is why it’s a good thing to have a recipe box or book to hold all those valuable, family favorites. You can categorize them by appetizer, pasta, soups, meats, casseroles, etc. The categories are endless and should be done in a way you will easily be able to find them. You don’t want to lose Grandma’s famous chocolate chip recipe, right?
Use these tips as a blueprint, paving the way ahead for you as a home chef. Don’t stop learning and getting ideas about cooking anywhere you can. If you make something once, and it doesn’t come out well, try it again. Keep trying. Anyone can be a terrific chef if they just keep at it–even you!