So you have successfully made the transition from living in your parents’ house to becoming independent and having your own place. Do you want to take a guess the first skill that you have to develop when you start living on your own? Hint: It is definitely not knowing how to perform electrical installation. Please leave that to the professionals. What you need to acquire are decent cooking skills. Eating out can be expensive and unhealthy. It is always better to have the freshest food prepared so you can avoid much of the preservatives that are a huge part of takeaway food.
You may think that you already have all the basic skills needed to make yourself a good enough meal. But even the easiest dishes can still be botched with the wrong execution. Here are some cooking techniques you have to remember because these are always overlooked.
One of the pillars of cooking is heat. You have to know how to control it, and that will totally depend on which medium you are going to use in transferring it. Many people use cooking oil, which would yield mostly fried fare. When you use it, you have to be mindful of the intensity of your fire. Deep frying meat would take several minutes at medium. Anything higher, and there’s a great chance that you will burn the oil. That will introduce carcinogens to your dish, and that is dangerous to your health.
How long you cook your food depends on the ingredient. When it comes to meats, chicken and pork need to be thoroughly cooked, while high-grade beef can be done rare, and overcooking it could make it tough to chew. You can try to avoid or remedy this by using an acid-based marinade, like those with lemon or vinegar as foundations. This is something you can do to the other meats too.
Seafood is generally quick to cook. Squid is another one that gets tough when you overcook it. If you want an easy way to preserve the juiciness of fish or crustaceans, stick to steaming or boiling them.
There are runny sauces, and then there are the thick ones. For the latter, it is common knowledge that you should dissolve corn starch in water to get the effect. But did you know that you can substitute flour for it instead? You will have to use more of it and cook it for a little longer if you want to achieve the same results as using corn starch. Also, no matter what type of sauce you are making, always keep stirring. Not doing so will introduce unevenness to it, unless you intend to.
There are other ways to make gravy. You can make one that’s flavorful using a pan that has residues of fried meat. Just pour in wine over it to lift up whatever is stuck to the pan, and then add the corn starch and water mix.
Seasoning is the key to adding flavor to your food. If you are used to measuring it based on serving size, you have to learn how to scale it up when you cook it for several people. A common mistake is when the person who is cooking is afraid to put in too much salt or pepper. You can eliminate your doubts by constantly tasting your own cooking. In fact, that is a requirement when cooking up stuff, but some people just forget about it. Just as much as you admire your creations, you should also deal with criticisms for it, which can also come from you.
Preparing and making your own food are essential skills that everyone should know. It allows you to put your own spin on existing dishes, thereby giving you the most variety between meals. The key to making them delicious is by applying important techniques. Make sure that you have everything nailed down, even those that are easily overlooked.