The economy is not in the best shape right now, which may be preventing you from going out to eat as much. Chances are, however, that you still crave and enjoy a variety of foods that you have only experienced in a restaurant setting. Use the tips below, to learn how to create dishes to fulfill your cravings and budget!
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
Grilling is a very important step in preparing a Barbeque. You can grill over hot live fire made from real wood or charcoal. Gas flames or briquettes can also be used but they are only substitutes and are less ideal for this case. Read this article about best wood for smoking pork to learn more.
Put salt on your cutting board. It can be difficult to cut herbs on your cutting board. They tend to go all over the place. To keep this from happening, just sprinkle a little salt on your cutting board before you begin. This will work to keep them from slipping around.
Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.
Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. Warm, dry air can cause apples to rot, so keep your excess stock for cooking and eating in plastic bags, and place them where they will stay cool and moist, such as the basement or refrigerator. Keep an eye on them though, because one rotten apple in the bag will spoil the rest of them in no time.
Don’t substitute romaine lettuce when making caesar salad. Romaine has the perfect texture and flavor to stand up to the strong ingredients in a classic caesar dressing, such as garlic, anchovies and parmesan cheese. Select romaine that has dark green outer leaves that curl away from the center. To store, leave the head whole and unwashed in the refrigerator, and tear off leaves as needed.
Mushrooms soak up water that you don’t want to be added to the recipe. Instead, you want to wet a clean cloth and use that to wipe the mushroom off.
Don’t be afraid to over season your meat. Most people actually under season, because the cooking process will weaken the flavor of some spices. With the exception of salt, most seasonings will better enhance the flavor if you use about twice as much as you think you should.
If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it on a pan, almost like a hamburger.
True butter should be used when cooking. Butter is typically not purchased by the average consumer because of its cost. It is well worth the investment because it is not filled with unhealthy oils or trans fats. You can buy the butter in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it in your freezer.
You need to stay organized when you are cooking, so that you can be sure the food is as great as it can be and that nothing burns. A cooking station that is well-organized is more productive. Stay organized, as it will help you keep up with what you have and you won’t be wasting food or money.
Pour off the grease from your browned hamburger before you add the rest of the ingredients. Your health will thank you for this small step and the meal is likely to taste much better without the unneeded fat. Keep an empty can or other container on your stove top expressly for that purpose.
How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.
Treat your herbs like fresh flowers. If you are tired of your fresh herbs going to waste before you can use them all, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, trim the stems and place them in a vase in which you would like to keep freshly cut flowers. You will keep the herbs alive and healthy much longer.
Prepare ingredients for the week’s dinners. One great way to get a jump on time is to plan your dinners for the week on Sunday. When you know what you will be fixing each night you can take some time to portion and precook some of your ingredients. Vegetables can also be chopped and stored in Tupperware which will easily keep until used later in the week. By utilizing weekend time, you can save a lot of time during the week.
Do not let the economy make you despair! The tips above, will help you become a better cook so you can prepare all sorts of dishes, meals and desserts! You do not have to go to culinary school, in order to cook delicious, economical meals for you and your family.