Cooking is an art. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it's best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
Garlic is one of the more pungent odors that you will ever experience, and you will want to have tricks to get rid of it as soon as possible. Here is a suggestion, after you cook something with garlic, rub your hands on the base of your stainless steel sink for a minute to eliminate the pungent odor off of your skin.
For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.
One of the things that you will need to realize when you are making meats or fish is that you need to spread your seasoning evenly. Adding too much seasoning one area of your food can reduce the flavor or lead to a tangy taste that will reduce the quality of your meal.
As you are seasoning the meats, break off a tiny piece before you continue to season the rest of it. Many foods, like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs take careful seasoning to taste great. Don't cook the entire meat directly after seasoning it. Instead, make a small piece in the shape of a patty and initially cook that first. You can then cook the entire piece, or change the seasoning as needed.
When it comes to cooking a good habit to do after preparing garlic is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will remove the unwanted odor from your hands. Washing them less than 30 seconds will not take all the odor away.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally "sucks out" the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can't afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.
This is a rich and bountiful set of cooking tips and lore to help both the novice and the chef. We hope they will challenge you to try new dishes and expand your list of ingredients. This can bring new enjoyment to you and those who share your table.