Even More Tips to Improve Your Cooking
This article is a follow-up to my really popular 21 Basic Tips to Improve Your Cooking article. The article was written to help people to change the way they cook, getting them out of the wrong mindset that healthy food is boring and bland. My aim is to show people they can eat really good food whilst still being healthy.
1. Don’t over-fill your pan with food. When you put too much in a pan, it reduces the temperature, which is rarely a good thing (especially when cooking meat). Make sure there is plenty of heat in the pan by only keeping the bare minimum of ingredients in there, adding more bit by bit.
2. Leave foods to sit in the pan for a while – they char, improving flavour. The temptation when you add something to a pan is to stir or shake it around. Don’t be tempted to do this too quickly as it interferes with the Maillard reaction (the caramelising of the proteins and sugars in food, giving it colour and flavour), leaving food without the great char flavour.
3. Cook meat in it’s own fat. By far and away the tastiest and best fat to cook meat in is it’s own. To do this, trim the fat off meat and put it in the pan first, allowing it to render. When the liquid fat is left, remove the crispy fat from the pan and use the liquid fat to cook your meat in.
4. Save time when cooking by using a blender. If a recipe calls for a fine dice or roughly chopped, don’t waste time and effort slaving over a chopping board. Just get yourself a good blender (this is the one I use)… Philips HR7761/01 Viva Food Processor
and use the various chopping settings. It’s quicker and your risk of cutting yourself is much lower!
5. Save the fat off a friend or roasted meat – it can be used again. (See tip 3). I always save the fat off meat – apart from being healthy, it’s also a great way to add flavour to a dish. Often I caramelise onions in lots of butter. When they’re done I drain the butter and save it – onion flavoured butter! In the picture below I have beef fat in the dish and pork fat in the tuppaware box.
6. Save the bones or carcass of a roasted meat and use them to make a good stock. Any time you roast a joint of meat or a chicken, keep the bones and use them to make a stock. They are FULL of vitamins and minerals, taste really good and can be added to all kinds of dishes. Check out How to Make Stock.
7. Use butter as a vehicle for flavour. Butter is an excellent carrier for flavours. If you cook something like onion, garlic or sage in butter, drain the excess from the pan when you are finished and save it for a later date. You will be able to use the butter, imparting flavour in any dish you use it in.
8. Use cooking liquids for gravy. When you cook vegetables in water, don’t drain the water down the plug hole – keep it and use it for a gravy or sauce base. It has flavour from the vegetables and lots of the vitamins and minerals from the food. That, plus it saves waste!
9. Use the olive oil from sun dried tomato jars for salad dressings – it’s tomato and herb infused! No need to spend money on expensive infused oils – just recycle what you already have. Only if it’s quality oil though – don’t buy tomatoes in vegetable oil. Extra virgin olive oil for dressings is better.
10. Always buy fresh herbs – they are far tastier than the dried version. Actually, they are really easy to grow – you don’t even need a garden! This little gadget is perfect and takes barely any effort, energy or space…. Kitchen Herb Garden Windowsill Planter with Seeds.
Follow these tips to improve your cooking and enjoy quicker, tastier and easier meals than ever before!
If you missed the first article on tips to improve your cooking, check it out here…21 BASIC TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR COOKING.