Learning how to cook is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
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.
When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.
When working with recipes that call for eggs, cream cheese or butter, leave those ingredients out overnight the day before you plan to execute your special recipe. All of these things are much easier to work with and blend into other ingredients when they are brought down to room temperature.
Here is a good cooking tip to use when making meatloaf or meatballs. Take a portion of the meat used for the meatballs or meatloaf and fry it in a pan as if it were a hamburger. Doing so will allow you to test the meat before you make the loaf or a batch of balls. You will be able to taste the seasoning in the meat and adjust it before you produce the final result.
Damp paper towel and a plastic bag can extend the life of your greens. If you wrap your fresh herbs or fresh greens with a damp paper towel and then place them in a plastic bag, they will last longer. They will normally stay fresh three to four days longer if you do.
You may or may not have heard of schmaltz, but it is a very useful component when cooking. Schmaltz, otherwise known as chicken fat, is very rich. The flavor of schmaltz is deeper than duck fat and can be used for many things, such as cooking meats or poaching fish.
To keep your spices and herbs at their freshest, do not store them above your stove. The steam and heat can alter and weaken their flavors and textures, and may even cause clumping. Try to find a dry, cool place such as a drawer or pantry for storing these items.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.