Cooking shows can be inspiring, informative and entertaining. People watch cooking shows to learn about new kinds of foods and recipes, but I watch them for a different reason altogether. While sharing their amazing recipes and knowledge on various kinds of foods, the food experts also share some of their tips which come useful for any kind of cooking. It is this knowledge that I find extremely useful and enlightening.

So, here are a few tips I gathered by watching some wonderful cooking shows.

Use garlic powder in place of raw garlic in baked dishes

If your baked recipe calls for garlic, try using garlic powder in place of raw garlic pieces. Raw garlic turns brown, stiff and gives out a slightly burnt taste when cooked in the oven at high temperatures. Using garlic powder instead will solve the problem. Garlic powder will give the same taste and flavor without turning brown and bitter.

Never wash mushrooms

Mushrooms tend to absorb water immediately and a lot of it. So when cooking mushrooms, never wash them. Wipe them clean them with a wet towel gently. This way you will save the mushrooms from turning soggy and at the same time they will be clean enough to go ahead with cooking.

Cook rice in vegetable/chicken stock

Even plain rice can be delicious and full of flavor. Cook rice in vegetable or chicken stock and the end result will please you plenty. Do not use water, cook your plain rice in the stock, it will smell and taste wonderful. And did I mention, it will be more nutritious too? Well, that goes without saying.

Bring frozen ingredients to room temperature

Meat or vegetables, whatever it is that you intend to cook and is frozen, bring it to room temperature first. This is a better way to cook because ingredients, when brought to room temperature will absorb maximum amount of seasoning and retain it longer too. By doing so, you will also save some time as, once at room temperature; they will be cooked in lesser time.

Have you heard of Soy Sausage?

Now here is some good news for vegetarians. There is something called a “soy sausage” which is the vegetarian version of the usual sausage. It is made out of soy and tofu and is a great source of protein. So in case, you want to experiment with some delicious recipes, don’t let the meat in it prevent you. Go ahead and try this one out. Make a spicy jambalaya rice or add it on the side with pasta, anyways, it is going to be tasty and meatless.

The best way to cook greens

The best way to cook your greens without losing the nutrition or color is to drop them in boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. When cooked, drain the water and run cold water through the greens. They will retain their color, be crunchy enough and good to go as a salad or for further cooking.

The best way to season a pasta

The best way to season plain pasta uniformly is to season the water in which it is being cooked. To cook pasta, boil a pot full of water; add salt, pepper and olive oil to the water and than add the raw pasta. The salt and pepper in the water will season the pasta evenly and the oil will prevent it from sticking together.

Keep your herbs fresh

Fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary add so much more color and flavor to food. If you want to make them a part of your everyday cooking, here is how to make them stay fresh and last longer. Clean them, roughly chop the edges off and store the herbs in a sealed bag. Not only will you save time while cooking, but the herbs will stay fresh for a longer period of time if stored in this manner.

Use lemon to counter the spice

If the food you cooked has turned out too spicy, a small portion of lemon juice can help you out. Once the food cools down, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Lemon juice has the property to reduce spice and make it less hot to eat.

These invaluable tips have helped me out tons of time. Sharing them gives me great pleasure and satisfaction. Happy cooking!

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