by Dorsey T. Emanus
Cooking is more than assembling ingredients to make a dish. It is a way to express yourself. By selecting the dish, spicing up the dish and serving the dish, you are making a statement at each step. Take control of the message you are sending with these cooking tips.
Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the "what am I going to fix for dinner?" debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend - or whenever your free time occurs - think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.
Here is a great cooking tip to use when you are handling smelly garlic. After handling garlic, simply rub your hands with a piece of stainless steel for 30 seconds. This could be your sink or a doorknob. After doing this, wash your hands with soap as your normally would. The stainless steel helps to remove the odor from your hands.
Be careful when adding oil to a pan in which you are already cooking. If you just pour oil anywhere in the hot pan, it will not only lower the temperature of the food you are cooking, it may also splatter. To avoid this, you should slowly add oil to one spot away from the food.
To prevent your homemade pizza from becoming soggy with all of the juicy toppings you add, lightly coat the bare dough with olive oil. Pizza sauce, peppers and meats can all weigh down a pizza dough and cause it to be soggy even after baking so be sure to brush on a bit of olive oil for a crispier, firmer pizza!
Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant's seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base - it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.
Make Johnny cakes for a treat at home or in camp! All you need is flour, baking powder (the kind that comes in a can, not baking soda that comes in a box), and cooking oil. Mix about a teaspoon of baking powder thoroughly into a cup of flour. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Pour it into a hot greased skillet, and fry the cakes like you would a hot cake.
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.
Store your spices and herbs in a area that is cool and dark, and keep them away from the stove. Doing this ensures your spices are always rich with flavor every time you reach for them. Heat, humidity and light will cause your herbs to lose their flavor much faster.
The difference between a good chef and a bad cook boils down to effective education. By adding these tips to your existing cooking routine, you are sure to gain an edge over other chefs, impress your family and delight your own taste-buds with a medley of delicious meals. This information can take your dishes from dull to dazzling.