Cooking in a Pan
Image by ReneS
Cooking class at the Boston Center for Adult Education
What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten? It probably didn’t take you long to recall that delicious meal. Now, what if you could cook the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten or better yet, be the source of someone else’s greatest meal? Here are a few cooking tips to make that a reality.
When you are cooking meat you should never use a fork to turn the meat over. You should always use a pair of tongs or a spatula. The reason is because piercing meat with a fork allows all of the juices to run out causing your meat to be dry.
When you are going to the store, do not always have a large shopping list which can restrain you to just getting certain items. See what you like and what you are in the mood for and purchase based on that. This will give you the spontaneity to cook whatever you choose.
Invest in high quality cooking pans and tools. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for the most expensive, but quality does make a huge difference when it comes to what we use to cook with. A high quality pan will be able to handle higher heats without warping. Quality tools will be able to do their job longer and more effectively than cheap brands. Check reviews before purchasing new items for your kitchen.
Save your carrot peelings, the ends of onions, parmesan rinds, and celery leaves in a container in your freezer. The next time you roast a turkey, a chicken, or bone-in beef, place the bones or carcass into a stock pot with your frozen veggie parts and cover with enough water to cover it all. Let this simmer as long as you can stand it (up to 8 hours) for a rich, flavorful stock that you can use in recipes or as a base for soup.
When cooking a steak, place it in the pan on its side, and let the fat drip into the pan. The side has a pocket of fat on the narrow edge, and the flavorful, rich fat makes for great-added flavor when you continue to cook your steak flat on both sides.
This is a great tip to use when making salad dressings. If you want to make a dressing that is creamy and rich, but without adding all of the fat, simply use a mixture of half mayonnaise and half greek yogurt. The greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to using all mayonnaise as there is less cholesterol.
When planning a dinner party, prep the food the day before. By preparing it the day or night before, you will relieve yourself of a huge amount of stress, and you’ll have more time for the little details on the day of the party. Your guests will think that you’re just like one of TV’s top chefs!
Use these tips as a springboard for your own cooking. Cooking is a never-ending journey, there’s always something new and fresh to learn and to try. Keep looking for ways to make meals special and one day, someone will remember you as the cook of the greatest thing that they’ve ever eaten.