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9 Myths We Learn About Cooking Are They True Or False?

Richard.Blaine's picture

CookingFor many people that like to cook or are new to cooking whether it is something they want to get involved in or it becomes necessary to learn how to cook there are things, habits, tips that have been picked up by people, articles, or television that are telling people the wrong things to do in the kitchen. This article is going to explore 9 common mistakes made in the kitchen. Learn these tips and your cooking will be much more pleasurable.




Tip 1:

People are taught to put oil in the water that they are going to cook pasta  in. Don’t do this! When cooking pasta the water in the pot should be salted and never oiled. If you use oil in the water it will coat your pasta and prevent the sauce from being soaked up when you plate your dish! It’s an accepted practice in cooking to place your pasta in another bowl or pot after cooking and then to add a touch of oil to keep the pasta from sticking together before plating!



Tip 2:

Along the way when cooking pasta  those who do add salt to the water may not have been told that adding salt to the water only brings out more of the texture and flavor of the semolina that is used to make the dry pasta. The accepted measure of salt is to use two tablespoons of salt for every pound of pasta. If you are one of those people that are concerned about your sodium intake don’t worry as most of the salt will wash away when you drain your pasta so your dish will not have an elevated amount of salt in it.



Tip 3:

Some people have been taught that after they cook pasta to wash it off with cool water to get the excess starch off of it. Don’t do this if you are going to be serving a hot pasta dish. On the other hand if you are going to be making a cold dish with the pasta or adding the pasta to some kind of cold this then it is a perfectly accepted practice to rinse off the pasta before adding it to this type of recipe.



Tip 4:

Do you like mushrooms? I love them! One of the biggest mistakes I see done with mushrooms by people is that they have been taught to rinse their mushrooms off with water to clean them before they use them in a dish. This is the incorrect way to prepare mushrooms for use. Mushrooms are a fungus and they are porous like a sponge and hence if you wash them in water they will soak up the water. The best way to clean mushrooms is by using a soft kitchen brush so that you can brush away the dirt particles. Now if you are going to use oil to cook dry mushrooms you will notice that the mushrooms will soak up all that oil quickly. In this case you can blanche the mushrooms a bit to get some water into them in order to slow down the absorption of the oil.



Tip 5:

Lots of people learned somewhere along the way that dried herbs and spices  never go bad. This is just not the case!It is not a matter of the dried spices and herbs going “bad,” they don’t. What happens is the natural oils in the herbs and spices dissipates with time and this in turn has an effect on the flavor of the herbs and spices. This will also change the color of your herbs and spices. A good general rule is that most of dried herbs and spice will have up to six month of viable shelf life. Do not put dried herbs and spices in the refrigerator as they can possilbe get dampened and grow mold. Your dried herbs and spices must remain dry!



Tip 6:

If you are cooking a meal and the recipe calls for alcohol then make sure you know how the recipe will handle the alcohol. In other words many folks are of the opinion when it comes to cooking with alcohol that ALL of the alcohol will burn off during the cooking process of your recipe. This is not so! If you are making a dish that calls for using alcohol in a saute then you can expect that only about half of the alcohol will burn off. If you are cooking a recipe that requires a flambe’ you can expect half or more of the alcohol to burn off but not 100% The same rule applies for baking and simmering and that is only about half of the alcohol will burn off.



Tip 7:

Now just because you buy a box of baking soda for the refrigerator or closet and just because you bought a box of baking powder for baking recipes don’t think that these things will stay fresh for forever. They won’t! The fact of the matter is that baking soda will stay fresh for a very long time but, on the other hand that box of baking powder that you bought will start to degrade from the time you open the box. Baking powder should be stored in a closet or pantry and not in the refrigerator. Baking soda can be stored in either place. Baking powder will remain good for six months for baking purposes and in some cases maybe a year if not subjected to major changes in temperature.



Tip 8:

Someone once told me in polite conversation about cooking that when they were younger their mother taught them that soaking potatoes in salt water before frying them up would make them crispier when done. I was living in Alabama at the time and this was one of the cooking myths handed down to a lot of southern families. Well, I had a friend who ran a kitchen in a bar and I had a job helping her years ago. She was from Georgia and she used to soak here cut potatoes in salt water before making french fries. Guess what? Yes! Soaking your raw spuds in salt water before frying them will produce crispier french fries, hash browns or even potatoes au gratin!



Tip 9:

Here is a good one! Someone once told me that if salted beans before you cooked them it would make them get tough. This is so not true! Soaking beans in salt water before cooking is a great thing to do. For one thing it will help to make the skin of the beans softer after they are cooked. Soaking your beans in salt water will also make the bean creamier when eaten. Soaking your beans in salt water will also cut down the cook time and will also leech out excess gases from the beans. I soak my beans overnight in salt water and then I rinse them off well and fill my pot with fresh water and cook them. If I don’t have any salt to soak with then I will use baking soda as it will do the same thing as salt!




To learn some really great recipes and more tips and tricks and how to’s then please visit my blog at:  today!


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9 Myths We Learn About Cooking Are They True Or False?