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Good Eats Made As Simple As Possible

Cooking is one the great joys of some people's days. For others, it's a nightmare. Want to join the first group? Read on to find out some tips to make cooking easier and more enjoyable for you. You may just find that cooking isn't nearly as bad as you thought.

Learn to make a good roux. When you are learning to make the best bases for your cooking, consider learning the art of making a roux. It consists of mixing oils, fats, or butters and cooking with flour. If you enjoy making Cajun or French foods, roux is a mainstay.

Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9" X 13" pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

Check your meatloaf or meatballs by test cooking a small piece. You want your meat to taste perfect, so when you make a mini hamburger patty, and fry it up to taste it, you can decide if the seasoning is just right or if you need to add more flavor. Doing this ensures your meatloaves and meatballs are perfect when you pop them out of the oven.

When you are cooking pasta, follow this useful tip. Instead of strictly following the instructions given on the pasta box or package, try cooking the pasta one minute less than the time indicated. Then finish off the pasta by cooking it in a pan with sauce for the final minute. Doing so will give the pasta more flavor.

You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.

When it comes to cooking, be sure that you never leave anything unattended. This is important for the safety of you and everybody around you and deals with oven cooking, to stove top, to cooking on the grill. Grease can flame up easily and can cause a traumatic fire.

A great grilling tip to improve flavor and consistency is to try to cut similar foods into the same size pieces. This ensures that foods stay moist and grill evenly. A nice side benefit is that it also makes your workload a little easier. By cutting out the hassle of constantly monitoring foods for doneness, you have the peace of mind of knowing your foods will all be ready right about the same time.

Don't get caught out when entertaining. If you are entertaining 8 or more people, aim to serve four different kinds of hors d'oeuvres. Each from one of the following categories: fish or shellfish, meat, vegetables and cheese. Bite-sized pieces are ideal, with the exception of veggies for dipping. When figuring out the amount of hors d'oeuvres, try to offer 6 pieces per person per hour.

Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don't discard them - saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn't throw away those unused salad greens!

Try mixing course sea salt with a little bit of olive oil for added flavor instead of regular seasonings on your lettuce. Combine it with vinaigrette and you'll have a great tasting dinner salad or a nicely dressed lunchtime treat. The mixture will stay crunchy and stable on your crisp greens.

As was stated in the beginning of this article, it is common for people these days to not know how to cook, no matter what the reason may be. By reading this article, you have begun the process of becoming educated on cooking. Who knows, you may have what it takes to even become a chef!

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