Whether you are living away from home for the first time or have been out of the nest for years, you no doubt yearn every now and then for the home-cooking that you so fondly remember. This article will address some quick tips and advice on how to prepare some easy home cooked meals.
You should not boil pasta in water that has oil in it. When you add oil to the water that you are boiling your pasta in it keeps the sauce from sticking to the pasta. By leaving the oil out you can toss your pasta in the sauce and it will cling to it.
It’s nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don’t have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn’t create the pie from scratch.
Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.
Keep track of ingredients when baking. Sometimes, when you are adding a lot of dry ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s easy to lose track. An easy solution to this is to place each ingredient in a different part of the bowl. That way, every dry ingredient you add can be seen and counted.
Do you want to use fresh basil in your dishes? Gather a bunch and put it into a glass. Add water to cover the stems. Keep on the kitchen counter so it’ll be fresh for weeks! Most often times, basil will actually take root in water. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
Basic seasoning of the food you prepare goes a long way in proving your skills in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to taste your food as you work and adjust seasonings accordingly. Typically, some of the most expensive cuts of meat, as well as many many varieties of seafood, are rather dull without some help. Your guests will appreciate a well-seasoned dish that they don’t need to shake salt on until their arms goes numb or twist the pepper mill over for an hour to make palatable.
Check what you have at home and bring any new recipes with you when you go to the store. When you have the recipe with you, you’ll have a handy list of what you need to buy. If you don’t check what you already have, you may ending up buying more than you need. If you don’t bring the recipe, you may forget something that you won’t be able to cook without!
When you are cooking meat and adding seasoning to it, use an even sprinkling gesture to apply the seasoning. You should season from a decent height and aim to produce an even “snowfall” effect. Executed properly, this technique ensures consistent coverage and avoids leaving over-seasoned clumps or seasoning-free areas on the meat.
Although it may be a little bit more expensive, it is wise to get a high-quality olive oil. Just a small amount can help to bring out the flavor meat, fish, pasta, pizza, or whatever else you are making. Cheaper olive oils usually give food a less than desirable flavor.
If your time is short when making a roast, speed up the process by leaving in the bone while cooking. The bone can quicken the cooking process by distributing the heat directly to the inner portion of the joint. When the meat is finished being cooked, you can avoid the bone when you cut and serve it.
When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. You can put them in meal-size containers and keep them in the freezer. The turkey will remain fresh this way for a couple weeks, and you can use it for sandwiches and salads.
Here is a good cooking tip to use when making meatloaf or meatballs. Take a portion of the meat used for the meatballs or meatloaf and fry it in a pan as if it were a hamburger. Doing so will allow you to test the meat before you make the loaf or a batch of balls. You will be able to taste the seasoning in the meat and adjust it before you produce the final result.
Make sure that you let cookies cool down completely – at least 15 minutes – before removing them from the cookie sheet. Otherwise, they are more likely to stick to the sheet and break apart. Also, by eating them while they are still hot, you could possibly burn your mouth.
Make a habit of washing your dishes as you use them when you cook. With a two-bowl sink, you can keep one side full of hot suds and run clear water for rinsing in the other. Utensils that have been used recently, will be easier to clean if you leave them in this water.
Keep your pantry well stocked with a selection of canned meats. You never know when the power might go out for a day or two and you can’t get to the store. Canned hams, salmon, or other canned meats can save the day. Just add a few other ingredients from your pantry and you’ll have a great meal!
In addition to staples, condiments and seasonings, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy convenient foods and quick-fix items. A no-stress kitchen should include eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables, breads, baking products, canned and bottled items, grains, refrigerated and freezer items, and condiments. When you run out of a product, don’t forget to make a note of it, so you won’t be caught out if you need it in the future.
Start to use what you’ve learned here, and you’ll soon pick up enough knowledge to prepare home cooked meals for yourself and those you surround yourself with. You’ll be amazed at how one cooking tip or trick often leads to the learning of another, and you’ll soon be able to start teaching others what you know.