Trouble In The Kitchen? Try These Great Ideas

Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.

To prepare for the meal that you are going to cook, make a comprehensive list of everything that you are going to need to cook your meal when you go to the supermarket. This will allow you to stay as organized as possible so there is no part of your meal that you leave out.

Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)

Mushrooms discolor fast and they don’t look too appetizing when you serve them. You can prevent discoloration by following this technique. Squeeze the juice of a quarter lemon onto a paper towel and wipe the cap of each mushroom with it. This cleans the mushroom and prevents it from changing its original color.

If you are planning on grilling, make sure that you take your steaks out of the freezer at least one hour before you cook so that they can match the room temperature. This will allow you to cook them easier and achieve the quality that you are looking for, by cooking them on the grill.

Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.

By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. You can prepare a lot of food the day prior to actually cooking. Even if you are faced with a challenging recipe, it can make everything go quickly.

One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.

It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.

When you are going to crush garlic for a dish, put it in a resealable plastic bag. Then, smash it up with the end of a knife. By doing this, you will prevent your knife, cutting board and hands from smelling of garlic, which is a smell that is hard to get rid of.

Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.

You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.

No one can really say that they enjoy a dry hamburger. Instead of serving dry tasteless burgers at your next barbeque add some cold water to your beef before you grill. Try about 1/2 cup per 1 pound of meat. You will leave your guests amazed with your burgers every time.

Have you ever had to eat a cauliflower that was more off white then actually white? It can make people turn away from this wonderful vegetable. To keep that white color in your produce, add some milk to the water when cooking. This will not change the taste, just the look.

There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.

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