Cooking Tips

Things to Keep in Mind When Cooking
The difference between a good cook and a great cook can generally be as small as a handful of good cooking suggestions. Cooking ideas can help us make preparing dishes much simpler and side step the many obstacles in cooking. While it is true that experience, patience and knowledge are key when cooking, a few practical cooking tips can fortunately make many good cooks look like master chefs. Following are just a few cooking tips that will ultimately help you in the kitchen.

Food Safety Tips
First off, the best way to make sure that your food tastes the very best that it can is to use fresh food. When shopping in the grocery store or produce market be sure you view each item that you buy, looking it over for freshness or ripeness. While many packaged foods will have an expiration date located on the container, almost all foods such as fruits and vegetables must be viewed individually. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with general produce and the art of finding high quality produce in your local supermarket.

When it comes to meat, make sure that the meats (beef, poultry and fish) you purchase are fresh. In addition, when preparing meat for a meal keep all meats refrigerated until using, any utensils you use with the meat or that come into contact with the meat should be cleaned with soap and water. Regarding serving, make sure that meats are cooked thoroughly and reach a safe temperature. Cooked foods should reach at least 140 degrees F. Use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature. It should be noted that while cooked foods should reach 140 degrees F., foods that are chilled such as dairy products should always be stored refrigerated less than 40 degrees F.

Tools of the Trade
Just like a good car mechanic has the proper tools to fix a car, make sure your kitchen is stocked with items that will help you create dishes easily and correctly. This includes a good set of knives, pots, pans and measuring cups. You might also want to invest in a nice blender and food processor.

Low Fat Cooking
A lot of people make the mistake of associating low fat cooking with bland, tasteless cooking. This is not the case. In fact, low fat cooking can be colorful, vibrant and extremely tasty. The trick is to utilize a variety of fresh spices, herbs, olive oil and put some thought into the dishes you select. For example, you can make almost any dish a low fact dish just by ensuring the least amount of oil is used, and selecting lean cuts of beef and pork. In general, chicken and turkey are usually low fat and fish is also a great choice for any low fat dish.

Choose the Right Beverage
Keep in mind that a meal includes not just the food, but the beverage as well. You can enhance almost any meal by pairing it with a quality beverage. Whether it is a nice wine, delicious sparkling mineral water or a high quality cocktail, a beverage can easily make a regular meal extra special.

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About The Author, Christine Steendahl