Making the same meals every day can be oppressively boring. However, you can add some zest and zing to your routine by enhancing your knowledge of the creative skill of cooking. Doing so will allow you to not only cook healthy meals for yourself and your family, but also discover new and exciting dishes. To get you started, try these cooking tips below and see how cooking changes for you.
Always add oil to the side of the pan when sautéing. If you find that you need more oil in your pan while you are cooking, never put it right in the middle. Add it to the side of your pan. That way, it will be sufficiently heated by the time it reaches the food.
Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthy, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with a low-fat Greek-style yogurt. This will make the dressing much healthier.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
If you invest in nothing else in the line of cookware, purchase a non-stick roasting pan with a removable non-stick roasting rack. Instead of wrestling with a disposable roasting pan this Thanksgiving, praying it doesn’t collapse, a decent quality roasting pan can save you time, money and heartache. Look for a deep pan with steel handles, able to hold the largest turkey or piece of meat that you would normally buy for your family, along with a roasting rack that enables you to lift the meat from the pan effortlessly. The non-stick coating will make clean-up a breeze and the pan can also be used for a large sheet cake, a pan of lasagne and so much more.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
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.
When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.
Never use oil that has been used for other foods or has been sitting in a frying pan for a long time. It will give your food a foul taste. If you are unsure if the oil is good enough to cook with, smell it and use your finger to try a little of it.
When you have a recipe that calls for wine, you may be tempted to use a cheap wine or cooking wine. Avoid this mindset when you approach your cooking. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not you would drink the wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, do not use it to cook.
For an easy meal to put together, save the sauces from other meals you had earlier in the week. Put them in an ice cube tray. You can reheat the cubes in a sauté pan for a quick sauce. Add some veggies and you will have a yummy meal.
If you plan on using fresh herbs, like parsley or dill in your food, form them into bunches and cut them with scissors. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
Get your children to eat their veggies by including them in unexpected foods. Pumpkin is great in pancakes and muffins, and pureed carrots or butternut squash pair well with tomato-based pasta sauces. Grated zucchini takes on the flavor of nearly anything in which it is used, even chocolate or spice cake.
If you are a horrible cook, try a crock pot. Getting used to crock pot cooking is easy, hard to mess up and there are tons of books and articles on how to use a crock pot. Crock pot cooking is almost fool proof and is very helpful for a busy family.
When making large quantities of bacon, lay the bacon on a foil-wrapped baking sheet, and cook it in the oven (according to package directions) instead of on the stove top. The bacon will not only remain flat during cooking, but you will not have to cook batch after batch to reach the quantity you need.
When deep-frying foods, use long tongs to place the pieces in the oil, but hold them just under the oil’s surface for a few seconds before releasing. This helps the outside of the food begin to cook, sealing the surface and preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the fryer or pot.
To add a little interest to your pies, try a twist on the typical graham cracker crust. Substitute shortbread cookies for graham crackers for a more decadent and complex flavor. Just prepare as you would a graham cracker crust. Put the shortbread cookies in a food processor with butter and use with your favorite pie recipe.
Cooking can provide both healthy meals for your family, and a fascinating hobby for you to discover. Cooking is a great way to increase your knowledge of food and make delicious dishes. You can be even more self aware, as you discover what things you enjoy making. When cooking becomes less of a chore and more of an adventure, your meals will be tastier.