Many people love to cook, but for some people the thought of even making simple scrambled eggs is anxiety-inducing. Not everyone can stand the heat! Whether you are a home cook with a passion for flavors or someone with some food industry chops, it is a must that you know your way around the kitchen. While you can execute a flawless creme brulee, or excel at making the kinds of snacks that kids love, cooking is an important skill to have.
Whether you love to cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner dishes, knowing a few simple tricks can really stop you from spending your life savings on takeout. It is also healthier to cook from home, and skills in the kitchen always impress others. Nothing feels better, however, than making something delicious yourself from start to finish. Well, except maybe getting to enjoy it after it is done. Many people also enjoy cooking for their loved ones to show that they want to take care of them.
If you are a kitchen whiz with cooking skills as sharp as a carving knife, it's time to put yourself to the test. See if you can chop your way to the top of this fiery cooking quiz!
In the culinary arts, there are two main cooking methods that all cooking techniques fall under. These are moist heat cooking and dry heat cooking.
An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water. It is used to seal pastries and brushed on top before they are baked to give them a glossy look.
Using two skewers instead of one stops food from spinning. This can be especially handy on the grill.
Baking is the technique used to create cake and many other desserts. It is a type of dry heat cooking.
Curing are various processes through which food is preserved. Dehydration was the earliest form of food curing.
Shallots are in the same family as garlic and onions. If a recipe calls for some but you don't have any on hand or can't find them in the store, they can be replaced with onions and garlic.
Cooking times can depend on many factors, such as the product you are using and the size, shape and functionality of your oven. Cooking times on recipes give you a solid idea of about when your food will be done, but you will have to check yourself.
Always taste your food before adding seasoning. This is how you can make sure it tastes perfect.
Some starches benefit from being rinsed before cooked, like rice. Pasta is not one of those starches.
Spices can lose their flavor when exposed to heat, humidity and light. It's best to keep them safely tucked away in a cabinet.
Blanching usually involves fruits and vegetables. They are first boiled for a short time, and then plunged into iced water.
Steak should be at room temperature before it is seasoned and grilled. Whether it is from the freezer or fridge, this means it needs to come down in temperature before it is cooked.
Stale bread makes the best French toast. This is because it has hardened enough to soak up flavor without losing its structure.
Soaking your sliced potatoes before frying them helps remove some of their starch. This makes them crispier when fried.
Most recipes call for basic spices and oil. This is why they are pantry staples.
If you want to save half an avocado for later, make sure to save the half with the pit still in it in your fridge. This will give you more time to enjoy it.
Honey is a natural preservative. This means that it never spoils.
If you put too much in your skillet, heat will not distribute evenly. This can especially be a problem when cooking meat.
Vinaigrettes are a staple for all kinds of salads. The most classic ones involve 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
Confit is any food that has been cooked slowly over a long period of time in oil, grease or syrup. This was originally a French preservation technique.
Savvy shoppers might want to buy spices in bulk to save money. Be sure to smell your ground spices occasionally. If they don't smell like anything, they have lost their taste and you are cooking with flavorless powder.
According to an old wives tale, salting your water makes it boil faster. If you are really in a time crunch, put a lid on your boiling water pot.
Glass cutting boards are slippery and make terrible noises when used. They also dull your knives more than other types of cutting boards.
All of these vegetables have a natural sweetness that can really be brought out with a little sugar. However, don't overdo it.
Deep frying involves a food being fully submerged in oil to cook. This method involves a lot of oil.
You should pour liquids into your blender before solids. This takes the stress off your blender motor and makes for a smoother and creamier result.
Always slice meat against the grain. If you don't, it can make even the most tender and perfectly cooked piece of meat chewy.
Soak onions in ice water for 10 minutes before chopping them up. This removes a lot of their eye-burning sting.
Oils have different smoke points, or temperatures at which they burn and give food an odd flavor. For example, olive oil has a relatively low smoke point, so if you use it for high heat cooking such as deep frying, your food might taste off.
Add salt and olive oil to pasta water to season pasta. The salt adds flavor and the olive oil prevents the noodles from sticking together. Do NOT use the oil, however, if you are going to be adding a sauce that you want to stick to the noodles, such as marinara or pomodoro.
Roux are used to thicken gravy, sauces, and stews. They are a staple of Creole cooking and are made from flour and a source of fat whisked together over heat.
Caramelizing onions breaks them down and releases their sweetness. The key is cooking them for a long time over a low heat.
The longer you marinate meat, the more it will absorb those flavors. Many meats benefit from overnight marination.
Amandine is an old school culinary term. It refers to a dish that is garnished with whole, flaked or toasted almonds.
A reduction is the process of intensifying the flavor of a wine, sauce or other liquid by simmering or boiling it in a pan. This also makes the liquid thicker.