If your family doesn’t run to the table, maybe it is time to take an honest look at your cooking routine and see if you have fallen into a menu rut. Generate some mealtime enthusiasm and put a smile on your family’s faces with some fresh new ideas that are sure to please.
After cooking with a large amount of garlic, rub both hands on your stainless steel sink before washing them. Use a vigorous scrubbing action. This will help to get rid of that lingering garlic scent on your skin. It will not leave a scent on your stainless steel sink.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Ice water can save the color of your vegetables. Dull washed out vegetables do not look as appealing to eat. If you want bright and vibrant vegetables, then you should plunge them into ice water after blanching them. Vibrantly colored vegetables look much more appetizing in salads and pasta dishes.
Rising the dough requires patience and an optimal environment. Don’t just leave the bowl with the dough where it’s not in your way. Create the perfect conditions to get the best results. Find a place with constant, warmer temperature without draft. Constantly changing temperature and draft makes the dough rise slowly and unevenly.
Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.
To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to over-heat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!
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.
To get professional-looking results when dipping candy in melted chocolate, use a toothpick to dip the soft candy. Push the toothpick into the candy piece about halfway, ensuring not to go all the way through the candy. Dip the candy, drop it on waxed paper to cool, and quickly drop a tiny bit of the melted chocolate over the hole created by the toothpick. The toothpick hole is now cleverly filled with chocolate.
Never cook when you are tired. You need to be alert when you are cooking, to increase your level of safety, and put you in the best position to create quality food. Besides, you’re not going to enjoy the experience if you feel exhausted.
Place salad dressing off to the side of a salad, instead of on top of it, when serving salad to guests. This will allow your guests to control how much dressing they want to put on their salad. Also, give a variety of different dressings.
If you are going to braise meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. By doing it this way, the meat will stay tender and it will retain its juiciness, which in turns, leaves the meat tasting good. Cooking it a high temperature can dry the meat out.
Store vegetable trimmings in the freezer for a tasty vegetable stock. Save money and increase the flavor of your dishes by making your own vegetable stock. Throughout the week or even month, place vegetable trimmings and peels into plastic bags and store them in the freezer. When you have a spare afternoon, throw them in a pot with some water and let simmer. Once strained, you will have a flavorful broth that can also be frozen for later use.
If you are one of those people that does not eat a lot of vegetables so the fresh veggies you buy go bad very fast you should buy frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen so they are the same as eating fresh veggies and you only have to take as much as you need from the package and return the rest to the freezer.
One way to ensure that you are cooking in a nutritional manner is to make sure that you do not over cook your vegetables. This is important because overcooking can actually draw the nutrients out of your vegetables and also cause them to lose taste. Try steaming your veggies instead of boiling.
While it is very convenient to cook meats in a slow cooker, it is important that you are very careful or you can be at risk. Any meat that you plan on adding to a cooker needs to be browned first so that it reaches food-safety standards for temperature.
If you took an honest look at your mealtime offerings and decided that they could use some help, start with the fresh ideas in the article above and you will have your family running to the table in no time. These practical tips will get you on your way to success.