When you are going to cook, make certain all the knives are sharp. Dull knives make it harder to cut and are more dangerous to use. A sharp knife, however, makes quick and clean work of vegetables, meat, and anything else that you're cutting. You won't have to force the issue; a sharp knife glides through the task.
Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? Gather a small bunch of freshly cut basil and place it in a glass. Next, put water on the stems until they are covered. This will allow it to stay fresh for weeks! You can even promote the growth of roots if you replace the water from time to time. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!
Mushrooms will soak up a large amount of water. Instead, you want to wet a clean cloth and use that to wipe the mushroom off.
Fresh garlic is ideal when preparing dishes that call for garlic. A rule of thumb for garlic: Fresher means sweeter. If it isn't soft, bruised or shriveled and it has some firm skin then you know that the garlic is fresh.
If you need to cook a roast quickly, do not remove the bone. The heat will focus in the bone and cook the meat from the inside. After it is finished, simply avoid the bone as you cut the meat.
Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
Keep herbs and spices fresh and tasty by storing them in an area that is dark and cold. Herbs and spices stored above the range or in direct sunlight will degrade their flavors.
If you want to have flavorful dishes, try to create your own stock. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. Your yummy stock will be ready for you when you're ready to create your next culinary treat or just make a simple soup. Creating your own stock allows you to avoid preservatives.
As a habit when cooking, make sure you wash the dishes after you are done using them. Have your sink full of soapy, hot water one side, and use the other side to rinse. This will prevent you from mixing clean dishes with dirty ones. This is the best method to clean up quickly after cooking.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. Following a recipe is not fun if you do not add a personal touch. Sometimes if you add a little extra, or refrain from using an ingredient you do not really enjoy, you can turn an ordinary dish into something extravagant. That's the true indication of a skilled chef!
Creating a delicious meal from basic ingredients is exciting. The process of making a new dish sometimes proves just as fun as when you get to eat it. Other useful hints and techniques are available in cookbooks, magazines and websites to help you continue improving your cooking abilities. Never settle for a microwave meal again!