Food is such an essential part of our lives. Cooking is a survival skill, but it can also be a passion. The love and effort that can go into cooking even the simplest dish can shine through to the recipients of this food. By showing respect for your ingredients and paying attention to some small details, you can make the very most of your food no matter what ingredients to which you have access.
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
When cooking any recipe, use the best ingredients that you can afford. Splurge a little on imported cheeses or better quality meats when you can, so that you can experience a restaurant, quality-tasting meal at home. To enhance the experience even further, try to creatively plate up the meal with a little thought, for something different every now and then.
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.
Many individuals enjoy cooking with apples when it is cooler outside, but if stored improperly, they will no longer be usable. Apples rot in dry warm air, so store them in loosely tied plastic bags in the refrigerator or a cool basement. Cull bad apples from the bag to avoid rotting more of them.
If you are having a big party, one of the worst things that you can do is to put dressing on the salad. Since the salad will sit out for a long time, it will probably get soggy after a while. Instead, leave an assortment of dressings out for people to choose.
Cooking is an activity that is what you make of it. You can either let it be a chore or enjoy it as the creative process it is. Cooking can be very satisfying. The creation of an edible piece of artwork that started as such a different ingredient can be an almost miraculous event and is as rewarding for the cook as it is for the person who eats the final product.