<br/>Everyone starts with learning the basics when it comes to cooking. No one is born knowing how to cook. The truth is that anyone can learn to cook, it just takes a little time and effort to perfect the techniques necessary. In order to become a great cook, there are tricks you must know. The next few paragraphs will point you in the direction of amazing cooking.
<br/>It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. This will allow you to make sure that all the necessary ingredients are accounted for. Prepare everything you need for cooking ahead of time; don't forget the utensils! With a good plan and everything in place, you will feel far less anxious.
<br/>For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. When you soak sliced potatoes in cold water, it strengthens their fibers, so that they can stand up to the heat when being deep fried.
<br/>Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Chicken broth is an excellent base to use when preparing vegetable dishes that helps keep them from sticking and gives them some flavor. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
<br/>Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. Beans can be used in vegetarian chili, added to baked goods, or just boiled with herbs and vegetables.
<br/>Use vegetable or chicken stock to saute vegetables. This way you'll use less oil while still giving the veggies a nice flavor. This is a tasty way to cook your veggies.
<br/>When seasoning your food, add the seasoning in increments rather than putting it all on at once. This way, you're giving the food most of the flavoring and are making the best from your ingredients.
<br/>Do not use a random amount of cooking oil. It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring "enough" oil into a pan. You'll want to make sure to only use the amount of cooking oil that you need.
<br/>Don't use bitter, sour, or tasteless wine in your recipes. You run the risk of ruining the taste of the dish if you use a wine you haven't tried before. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.
<br/>Dry your own tomatoes. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2" thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Put them facing upwards onto a cooling rack and add a little salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Kept in the refrigerator, these tomatoes will keep for a couple of weeks.
<br/>Not everyone is born to be a professional chef, but by following certain directions pertaining to cooking in the kitchen, you can be a great amateur chef in a short time. It may seem difficult, but it really isn't. Just keep these tips in handy and you will soon be preparing delicious meals for your family and friends.