Cooking at home should not be a chore, and there are some basics tips that will make your time in the kitchen more efficient and more enjoyable! And you don’t need to go to culinary school to learn them. Here are 3 simple cooking techniques that every home cook should master.
So many people are afraid of using salt while cooking. However, salt is not the enemy if you use the right amount. Salt is integral in the cooking process to draw out and enhance the natural flavors of most foods. There is a right and a wrong way to use this seasoning for misuse can ruin a dish! If you stay below 1 teaspoon of salt a day, you’ll be on the safe side when it comes to health. But when it comes to cooking, use a pinch more salt than you think you need with meat (before cooking) to draw out the flavors – yet salt your veggies lightly!
Boiling Pasta and Dressing It
If you took a survey, I would wager that most people don’t cook their pasta with their sauce. Most Americans cook their pasta and sauce separately and then combine the two in the serving dish. However, if you want optimal flavor, then do as the restaurants do – cook them together!
Let me explain. Cook pasta in lots of water with about 2 teaspoons of salt to flavor the pasta. Undercook the pasta by one or two minutes because you will finish it in the sauce. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot your used to boil it in. Then add the sauce and place over the heat. Simmering sauce allows the two to merge together and become one deliciously saucey dish.
Cooking Perfect Vegetables
Steaming and sautéing are two great ways to cook veggies. Steaming is a basic technique that once you try, you will use often. You boil a small amount of water in a pot, about one inch up the sides, fit a steamer basket or tray in the pot, add your trimmed vegetables (veggie should be uniform in size to promote even cooking) and cover with a lid.
The veggies cook via the steam in the closed pot. Every vegetable has a different cooking time, but most veggies take between 5 to 10 minutes. Check veggies for desired doneness by piercing with a fork. This is a great, healthy choice because it uses no fat and then you can choose what you want to top ’em off with, a squirt of honey mustard, a thin slice of butter or a spritz of lemon or lime.