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How To Become A Better Cook Quickly
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Learning how to cook requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to eat the batches that aren't quite ready for prime time. Learning new techniques for cooking is a life-long learning experience and your education begins here. We've compiled a few tips to help you on your way to cooking success.
You can remove the garlic odor from your hands by rubbing them for thirty seconds on your stainless steel stove before washing them. Garlic adds a delightful flavor to many recipes, but the unmistakable odor can linger on your hands. Using this tip, you can enjoy your dinner without your hands smelling strongly of garlic.
When baking pie or tart crusts, bake them longer than you think you should. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
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.
A good piece of advice you can observe when cooking with oil is to pour it down the sides of the hot pan. When the oil reaches the food in the middle, it will already be hot. The flavor will be greatly enhanced when it has completed cooking.
One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.
Try to plan for a week's worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.
If you are cooking pastries or foods that can get very messy, make sure that you wear an apron at all times. The last thing that you will want to do is to get food on your clothes and have to change before you eat your meal with friends or family.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally "sucks out" the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can't afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
The best part of cooking is that you can eat your mistakes. Don't be scared about trying something new. Even Julia Childs and Wolfgang Puck have made complete failures of dishes at one point or another. Cooking is all about learning and experimentation until you learn what works for you, so give it a shot!
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