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cooking tips
Foodie Tips

Cooking Tips Everyone Should Know

If you want to be a truly great cook, then as well as knowing the basics of cooking such as how to boil an egg or season a stew, there are a few other tips and tricks you should have memorized too. 

Below are some of the best tips to help you truly improve your food and become the best cook you can possibly be:

How to make a pan sauce

If all of your sauces currently come from jars, you are really missing a trick. Homemade sauces are actually very easy to make and they are typically much more packed with flavor than those store-bought options.

Speaking of flavor, pan sauces are hard to beat in that department, so it is well worth knowing how to make one….

After searing or roasting a piece of meat, you will probably notice lots of brown bits have clung to the bottom of your pan. These brown bits are usually packed full of slightly caramelized savory flavors that are perfect for turning into a source. Simply scape the pan a little to loosen them, then add stock, garlic, wine, and herbs to the pan, Stire and reduce before adding either butter or sour cream to thicken.

You can, of course, add any extras such as onions or chilis to the sauce as you desire, but this basic recipe will ensure that whatever you add, you’ll have a rich, thick, umami-packed accompaniment to your meat dishes.

The 321 Smoked ribs method

If you’re big into your BBQ, but you don’t yet know how to follow the 321 Smoked Ribs method, that is something you are going to want to change right now. Why? Because the 321 method will ensure that your ribs are always perfectly smoked and perfectly tender, and as the name suggests, there are only three simple steps to follow, so why not start learning more about the method right now? 

How to fix an oversalted dish

Many inexperienced chefs believe that if they accidentally add too much salt to a recipe, that recipe is ruined, but that really is not the case, and it is possible to save most overly-salted dishes if you know what you are doing, which means much less food waste and far more happy dinner guests!

For example, if you oversalt a starchy dish like corn and potato soup, you can rebalance it by adding more starch, such as potatoes, or even potato starch, which will take on some of the salt and make it more evenly distributed.

If a dish is creamy but you’ve added too much salt, adding sour cream, which has a bit of a tang, can often save it.

adding a little sugar can also work well to balance flavors, as can adding plain water to soups and stews where the stock has made the fish too salty.

Massage your potatoes

No, I haven’t gone mad! Every good chef knows that, if you are making baked potatoes, one of the best watts to make them extra fluffy and ensure that the skin is extra crispy is to give them a bit of a massage.

Simply take a small amount of vegetable oil and gently massage the baked potato. Sprinkle with a little salt, prick with a fork and wrap in foil before placing in a preheated oven. The oil will ensure that the skin really crisps up while the foil and skin pricks will help to keep the flesh fluffy and delicious.

Rice must be rinsed

So many people do not bother to rinse their rice because they are going to be cooking it in a pan full of water anyway, so they do not see the point. However, it is a really good idea to do so because most rice has a layer of starch coating the outside which means it does not always absorb the water it is cooked in as efficiently as it could. By pre-rinsing you can break this starch down, enabling the rice to take on the water and cook more quickly. This will also ensure your rice is cooked to the perfect consistency, and it is less likely to have a bitter taste to it too.

Warm steaks before cooking

If you are someone who cooks steak straight from the fridge, you are doing that beautifully marbled piece of meat, not to mention your tastebuds, a real disservice. Why? Because steak really needs to be at room temperature before it hits the pan. If it isn’t the muscles in the meat won’t be relaxed and the end product will not be nearly as tender as it could be. Around 15-30 minutes at room temperature should be enough to let your steak shine, so try to remember next time you’re cooking one. Oh, and remember to let it rest for a few minutes after cooking, so too!

Hot water will help you peel your tomatoes

Peeling tomatoes can be time-consuming, not to mention messy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone who knows anything about cooking will tell you that the secret to making your perfect salsa without the annoyance of peeling the tomatoes is hot water. Simply place your tomatoes in a pan of boiling water, after first cutting a small cross into the bottom, and leave for 15 seconds remove and leave to cool. Then, when you’re ready, you should be able to very quickly slide the skins off, no muss no fuss. 

Double the spices

If you’re cooking a recipe, particularly if you find it online, you will find that the writer has probably been conservative with the spice ratios in order to ensure the dish is palatable to everyone, Most of the time you can safely double the amount and it will taste even better, assuming, that is, that you are a spice fan.

Now that you know a few more cooking tricks than you did before you can not only cook your favorite recipes with a bit more confidence, but you can also ensure that every meal you make is a success! Time to get in the kitchen.

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