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.
If you have left over wine in a bottle from dinner or drinks with friends, you can pour out the remaining wine in an ice tray and put it in the freezer. When you are making a sauce that has wine in the recipe you can drop in a couple of cubes.
When roasting a whole chicken, remember to season well and separate the breasts from the legs. The legs need a longer cooking time than the breasts, if you don’t take out the breasts they will overcook.
For a pie that is browned underneath as well as on top, use a glass baking dish or dull metal pie plate. If you cook a pastry in a shiny metal pan, there is a chance that it will get soggy. If you use a disposable metal pan, be sure to choose a deep-dish pie pan, as this is very close to the size of a standard pie plate.
When you cook a steak you should prevent yourself from moving it around on the pan. By not moving the steak you allow it to get a crusty, sear quality that gives the steak a level of toughness on the outside; most steak eaters generally prefer the seared quality when compared to a homogenous inside and outside.
Rather than pouring out leftover wine, pour it into an ice cube tray, then place the wine cubes in a labeled bag in the freezer. You can add these cubes to sauces, roasts, soups and other dishes for extra flavor, and wine that you don’t drink fast enough doesn’t go to waste.
If you want to pan sear a nice tuna steak, you want to do it right! Make a baste for the tuna that is comprised of ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, pepper, and salt. Put oil on the pan and heat it, sear for one minute on each side. The middle of the fish should still be pink.
To get a glossy shine on your breads, pie crusts, and other dough-based confections, brush the surface with an egg wash. Just whisk one whole egg, and brush it over all of the exposed surfaces prior to popping the crust or loaf into the oven. The egg helps with browning and provides an appealing, shiny texture.
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.
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!