Learning to master the basics of cooking can seem like a daunting task to someone who has never cooked before. If you do not know anything about cooking and are one of the people who burn water when trying to get it to boil, here are some tips to teach you the basics of cooking.
While cooking is fun, generally, the cleaning up that follows, is not. To avoid having to deal with a big mess after a day of experimenting or meal preparation in the kitchen, keep your sink filled with hot soapy water (refreshing when necessary) and clean up as you go along. Besides keeping your end of day cleaning down to a minimum, you will also have clean hands as you touch and prepare food throughout the day.
Using fresh ingredients can greatly improve the flavor in ones cooking. The freshest ingredients possible can add a richness and new level of flavor to an old favorite or whatever one is going to be cooking. If one wants to make a salad, then they should obtain the ingredients the day that they are going to make it to ensure freshness.
One way to ensure that you are cooking in a nutritional manner is to make sure that you do not over cook your vegetables. This is important because overcooking can actually draw the nutrients out of your vegetables and also cause them to lose taste. Try steaming your veggies instead of boiling.
Get your children to eat their veggies by including them in unexpected foods. Pumpkin is great in pancakes and muffins, and pureed carrots or butternut squash pair well with tomato-based pasta sauces. Grated zucchini takes on the flavor of nearly anything in which it is used, even chocolate or spice cake.
Stop grabbing breakfast out and whip up a quick breakfast sandwich at home to save money. To make the perfect round egg for topping a bagel or muffin, cut both the top and bottom off a tuna can and use it as a mold in the skillet while cooking your egg. You can wash and reuse your mold over and over again.
To make a fast and easy roux, you need a stick of butter and two to four tablespoons of flour. Melt the butter over medium heat until it is melted. Then add the flour. Remember, a smaller amount of flour is less likely to scorch. Stir constantly until the mixture is the color of milk chocolate.
While it is easy to just grab a spoon to scrape prepared, wet cake mix from the mixing bowl to put into pans for baking, do yourself a favor an invest in a good rubber scraper. A rubber scraper is made to be pliant, is curved on one side and straight on the other, just perfect for scraping the bowl of every last drop of cake and brownie mix. Using a rubber scraper gets all of the mix where it belongs in your baking pans and that quantity is what the baking time on boxes of mix are based upon. Too little mix in the pans leads to burnt goods when relying on the stated baking times.
Using the tips stated above, you should have a firm grasp on the basics of cooking and be able to cook for yourself. You can even try cooking for your family and friends as a learning experience. The great thing about cooking is that if it does not work the first time, you can try again.