Great Ideas To Help You Make Great Meals!


by Claire F Carlson


While there are some fabulous and some not so fabulous chefs out there, everyone has a thing or two to learn when it comes to cooking. One of the most beautiful things about cooking is that it is a skill you can cultivate for an entire lifetime. Before cooking your first meal, choose a simple recipe. The advice given here will help you to improve your technique and approach to cooking.

If serving salad, keep the dressing on the side, rather than pouring it on the salad. Some people prefer more dressing than others; let guests pour their own dressing. Give them a choice of salad dressings.

If you want to use up your leftover meats and veggies, put together some fried rice. Left over rice is optimum, but if you have to use fresh rice, use less water so the rice is not as moist. First saute the meat and vegetables in a little bit of oil, then add your leftover rice and season it to your liking with soy sauce, ginger and garlic.

If you are frying something, try using ketchup in the batter. In addition to dipping your cooked food in ketchup, it can be utilized as a pre-dip for foods before they are dipped in bread crumbs. Adding ketchup or another sauce will add more flavor to your recipe.

You can learn to cook in brine. Soak your duck, chicken, turkey, and goose in the brine for about an hour prior to preparation in order to have the tastiest poultry flavors for your recipe.

As you are cooking, develop a habit of washing your dishes right after you use them. When you are cooking, keep one side of the sink full of water with soap and a clean rinse in the other side. Most bowls, pots, pans and utensils are much easier to clean immediately after they're done being used, and this will ensure that they're ready go if you need them again during the preparation of your meal.

Being highly organized is necessary when you are preparing several dishes at the same time. If not, you are sure to burn or overcook something. A cooking station that is well-organized is more productive. Being disorganized means having difficulty finding things and quite possibly ruining an entire dish, wasting valuable time and money!

Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Both can be purchased at just about any grocery store. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. Soak and cook the beans with herbs, seasonings, and bits of meat for a flavorful soup, burrito filling, dip or other protein-rich application.

When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. This keeps your herbs on the cutting board and can add a bit of flavor, as well. Do not add any salt to the dish you are making to prevent over-salting. The salt you put on the board will stick to the herbs and add a bit of flavor.

Here is a handy trick you can use to save your sauce. Take one tablespoon corn starch, and combine with two tablespoons water in a mixing bowl. Stir it into your sauce as it simmers and it will get thicker. Add your starch slowly, then stir constantly to not over-thicken it.

When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. Allot at least 30 minutes for the process, prior to placing food on the grill, to get your fire started and coals ready. Make sure that the heat of the coals is medium and that they are covered with ash. Once the coals have reached this point, they have reached the prime grilling temperature.

Being organized is a key step when planning to prepare a meal for family or friends. Take an inventory to be sure that everything that you will need is available. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This will limit the amount of stress you experience when cooking the meal and help to ensure that you are able to cook the masterpiece you want.

Constantly learning about new things in cooking is exciting! Not only is it exciting, but wait til you try the food! Remember the tips you have just learned to try new things next time you are cooking. Even professional chefs can learn new recipes and cooking techniques.




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