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Useful Cooking Advice From The Pros Who Know

Mar 29
 
 
Many people attempt to cook at some point in their lives, but often, they fail. Their failure may result in recipes not turning out correctly, or even kitchen disasters such as burning food. If this has happened to you, then the cooking tips found in this article should help you.
 
North Carolina BBQ Association
 
Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don't discard them - saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn't throw away those unused salad greens!
 
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
 
Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.
 
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
 
When making sandwiches, follow this tip. Take a portion of mayonnaise and spread it on the bread from corner to corner. Spreading from corner to corner rather than the widely used method of spreading down the middle allows every area of the bread to be evenly coated with mayonnaise, making a more flavorful sandwich.
 
Use your hands to cook the perfect steak. Pressing the fleshy pad at the base of the thumb, when your hand is making an OK sign, will give the same resistance as steak will during cooking. Start with the index finger OK sign and the thumb base will resist at "rare" temperature. Moving towards the pinky you will register medium-rare with middle, medium with the ring finger and well-done with the pinky. Look for the resistance in your steak to match the resistance when pressing your hand.
 
During cooking, if the consistency of a sauce or gravy is too thin for your liking, try adding some corn starch to it in order to thicken it to your taste. Avoid using flour as it can make the sauce taste "chalky". Corn starch is an excellent thickening agent and blends very well with the sauce or gravy.
 
If you are deep frying, make sure to use tongs to add the food to the hot oil. If you submerge the food below the surface of the oil with the tongs for about five seconds before you "drop" it in, the outside of whatever you are deep frying is sealed. This prevents it from sticking to other food in the oil.
 
When frying frozen foods it is sometimes best to let them defrost. When water combines with hot oil it has a tendency to spark up violently, and since frozen foods generally have frost, or frozen water on their outside the interaction of the two, ice and oil, can be extremely dangerous. Unless directions explicitly say otherwise always let things reach a medium temperature with one another.
 
To keep lettuce fresher longer, do not wash it until you are ready to use it. When the leaves are refrigerated wet, they hold in the excess moisture, which speeds up the decomposition process. By keeping it dry when in the refrigerator, the lettuce will keep better and remain fresh.
 
Cook up the whole bag of potatoes at once! Slice them in half and put them in the freezer! Whether you boil or bake them, you'll always be ready to thaw out potatoes to use for a hastily put together potato bar dinner, to use as ingredients for potato salad or any other dishes that use cooked potatoes.
 
Use butter in your cooking instead of margarine. It naturally mixes better in your recipes and contains dairy products rather than vegetable oil so contains health benefits as well. Dairy products are higher in healthy fats and will provide more flavor and natural texture to your food than margarine will.
 
As stated before, many people attempt to cook, but they often fail. Whatever the reason is for their failure, it can result in some kitchen disasters. Using the cooking tips found in the article above, you can prevent kitchen disasters and improve your skills, making you a better cook in no time.
 
North Carolina BBQ Association