In today’s declining economy, there is a bright spot for families. More and more people are cooking at home instead of eating out. Cooking food at home can bring families together. The enjoyment of a shared meal is an important aspect of our social natures that dates back to the beginning of time.
Consider recipes to be guidelines rather than rules. Feel free to branch out and switch up the spices or add an extra ingredient. Before long you will be compiling your own personal collection of altered recipes that are better than the original thing. Not only will you will also be able to impress your friends with unique dishes, but you will become a better cook as you experiment with changing recipes.
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.
Before eating there is cooking, and before cooking there is preparation. This is a vital step to master if you want to produce impressive meals. First, check that you have everything you need to get started. Check the day before you start to cook to make sure that you have everything that you need to cook the dish you have planned. If you have everything ready, you won’t be as worried about preparing the meal, and it’s more likely to turn out well.
It’s nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don’t have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn’t create the pie from scratch.
When you are cutting garlic, one of the things that you can do is to put it in a plastic bag before you cut. Then, slice the garlic cloves inside the bag to protect your board from smelling. This will help to reduce the pungent odor that garlic can give off.
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.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
Food and family are almost synonymous. Whether it’s the holidays, or just the evening meal, it is a wonderful thing to see the return of the home cook. The shared act of cooking a meal can only strengthen our families and improve our overall health in this society.