If you are a new stay at home dad, and new to the kitchen as well, here are some important cooking tips to help you make your transition to the home cook easy and fun. The information provided here will give you some ideas for simple approaches to cooking that can make your palate dance with delight. You do not have to be a chef to make outstanding meals that you will enjoy.
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Tip One – Don’t Pour it Out!
If you like to drink wine, don’t pour out left over wine. Instead, pour it into an ice cube tray, then place the wine cubes in a labeled bag in the freezer. You can add these frozen wine 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.
Tip Two – Don’t Get Burned
When deep-frying foods, use long tongs to place the pieces of food in the oil, but hold them just under the oil’s surface for a few seconds before releasing. This helps the outside of the food begin to cook, sealing the surface and preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the fryer or pot.
Tip Three – Wholly Potatoes
If you have more potatoes than you think you’ll use before they go bad, have no fear. Cook up the whole bag of potatoes at once, then slice them in half and put them in the freezer. Whether you boil or bake them, you’ll always have potatoes ready to thaw out to use when you need potatoes for your dinner.
Tip Four – Never Miss an Ingredient Again
This may see obvious, but so many home cooks get started on a recipe before confirming they have all the necessary ingredients. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe, only to realize that you are missing a vital ingredient. To save time and prevent getting caught missing an ingredient, or not having enough of a key ingredient, assemble everything ahead of time. Measure everything out, and prepare any ingredients in advance, especially ingredients that are time consuming to work with, like meat, potatoes, onion, garlic, and ginger. This way, you won’t suddenly find yourself having to chop an onion, peel cloves of garlic, or grate cheese when you are right in the middle of your recipe.
Before frying raw potatoes, let them sit in cold water for at least a half an hour. By doing this, you remove excess starch and will cut down on the time it takes for them to cook thoroughly and the fries will be more crispy.
When you are sautéing meat or chicken, make sure that you use a big enough pan to accommodate the amount of food that you are putting in it. You do not want to overcrowd the food, this will prevent food from being able to move around and you will ruin the sauté.
Tip Five – Let’s Chop
The most useful and important tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place, and their small and flat texture makes it hard to cut or chop. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs, and roll the herbs up into a bunch. This will keep them in place and make chopping herbs into small pieces much easier.
If you are cooking a meal and it calls for already cooked chicken and you don’t have time to cut up and bake or broil the the chicken, the best short cut is to stop by the deli counter at your local grocery store and buy a whole already cooked chicken. If they don’t have a deli counter, you can also buy frozen chicken that is already cooked as well. It may be a bit more expensive, but if you are in a pinch this will suffice nicely and no one will know you didn’t cook the chicken yourself.
These tips will help any new stay at home dad be a pro in the kitchen at no time, and you will impress your family and friends.