Once you understand the basics of cooking, it can be such a freeing and rewarding experience to create a simply delicious meal or baked item. The smells in your home and the faces of the people who you share it with are priceless. This article will give you some great tips on how you too can be an extraordinary chef.
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
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.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
Do you enjoy using fresh basil in your dishes? You can cut basil by the stems, bunch it together, and put it in a glass. Cover its stems with water. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. Most often times, basil will actually take root in water. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.
As your cooking prowess grows, you will learn to appreciate the versatility of stocks and broths. Rather than buying these useful ingredients at the store or wasting your time cooking them in small batches, prepare stocks in large quantities. You can store surplus stock in plastic bags in your freezer, ready for quick use in future recipes.
True butter should be used when cooking. Butter is typically not purchased by the average consumer because of its cost. It is well worth the investment because it is not filled with unhealthy oils or trans fats. You can buy the butter in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it in your freezer.
To make the perfect pasta, cook it one minute less than what you read on the box and cook it the rest of the way with the sauce you are serving with it. This ensures that you do not overcook the pasta if you were to toss it in with the sauce after you cooked the pasta until it was done in the pot of water.
So you might not be a food network star, but you can have the awe and respect of your family and friends as you whip up gorgeous and succulent meals for them. This article has given you those tools to be the best cook you can be. Go out and make a dinner to die for.