To many people, cooking a meal is just another thing on their to-do list. Cooking can, however, be an enjoyably pastime. Also, learning to cook can improve your overall life and health. Every good cook constantly looks for ways to improve their cooking skills. Use the tips in this article to learn more about cooking and to start seeing cooking as an enjoyable activity.
You should store your spices and herbs in a cool dry space out of direct sunlight to avoid flavor loss. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Herbs and spices generally keep their taste and flavor for about one year. If kept whole, spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If they are stored properly, they will stay fresh longer.
For stir-fry dishes, meat should be sliced very thinly and on the bias. It can be difficult to slice the meat, and it takes some time. Take the meat out of the freezer once it gets firm, place a sharp knife at an oblique angle and start slicing.
Try this quick and handy trick to salvage your efforts. Start with about two tablespoons and add more until your sauce is at the desired consistency. Then, stir the resulting solution with the sauce to thicken it. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.
Partially freeze meat to make slicing into thin strips easier. This is ideal for Asian meals like Chinese or Thai dishes. If you freeze meat partially, you get a cleaner slice, without the stretching or tearing of fibers. To ensure that the meat cooks properly, be sure it is completely thawed before cooking.
When trying a new seasoning for your meat, season one small piece and sample prior to cooking the entire batch of meat. Many foods, like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs take careful seasoning to taste great. Don’t cook the entire meat directly after seasoning it. Rather, cook a small piece first and taste it. Doing this allows you to test the seasonings and make appropriate adjustments.
Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. Allowing the sliced potatoes to soak up more cold fluids helps to reinforce the fibers that are in the vegetable, that way when they are deep fried, they are better able to stand up to the heat and won’t completely break down.
Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. Using slow cooking methods can rob vegetable of their taste and nutritional value. These cooking techniques tend to preserve the health benefits of vegetables in general. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
As was mentioned, ongoing education is the hallmark of a good cook. The fun is not only in the cooking, but in the learning about new foods, styles and techniques to try. When you love to cook, and share the joy of cooking with others, it can be very rewarding. Cooking is not just a task to be mastered, but a gift that was meant to be shared with others.