You’ve probably seen famous chefs on television cooking up delicious meals and wished that you could enjoy gourmet dishes. The good thing is that you can, if you make it. Cooking is like any other activity; if you hone and develop your skills, you can be a very good chef. Here are 8 healthy snack ideas along with some great cooking tips that every good chef knows.
The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. First, check that you have everything you need to get started. Prepare everything the day prior, including the correct utensils and other cooking tools. Taking the time to prepare yourself will guarantee that the meal will be a success.
Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.
After removing corn from the cob, scrap the cob with the back of your knife. Doing this will extract the “milk” from it. Drizzle the “milk” over the corn to add extra flavor.
Purchase a quality loaf of bread that you can use as a side piece to a variety of meals. Bread goes great with any dish that has sauce or cheese, as you can dip it in a variety of different toppings. Include a loaf of Italian or French bread with your next meal.
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.
You can avoid sticky rice by removing the starch. To do just that wash the rice several times until the water coming from the rice is crystal clear. Remove all the water, and let the rice sit for 20 minutes. Adding a few drops of lemon to the water before cooking also helps to separate the grains.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.
Be sure to refresh your spices every few months. A lot of people keep spices too long, which makes them not taste very good. When you have to buy certain spices for specific dishes, be sure to give some of the spice away to a family or friend, if you do not plan on using all of it, before it will go bad.
Here is a good cooking tip to use when making meatloaf or meatballs. Take a portion of the meat used for the meatballs or meatloaf and fry it in a pan as if it were a hamburger. Doing so will allow you to test the meat before you make the loaf or a batch of balls. You will be able to taste the seasoning in the meat and adjust it before you produce the final result.
Start your sear in a cold pan when searing duck breasts. Duck can turn very dry very quickly if not properly cooked. Using the cold pan technique for searing allows the fat to render slowly which will keep your duck moist and juicy. It will also give you more time to develop flavors and take care of some side dishes.
Use these tips as a blueprint, paving the way ahead for you as a home chef. Don’t stop learning and getting ideas about cooking anywhere you can. If you make something once, and it doesn’t come out well, try it again. Keep trying. Anyone can be a terrific chef if they just keep at it–even you!