It is 2018, and if there is one thing that memes have taught society, it is that it is time for us all to learn how to cook better. Along with our need for paved streets, honest politicians, and forward progress, as a society, we need to feed ourselves better. Let fast food live in the past and embrace a new way of health: cooking more nutritional meals this year. Practicing healthy living is a gradual process, but we’ve got to begin somewhere. Leave the stress and start here with four useful tips for cooking more in 2018.
Out of all the useful tips on this list, this one matters most when it comes to your health. If you do not have two cutting boards, or even two knives (and don’t want to wash it in between cuts), prioritize your chopping. Choose to dice up any fruits or veggies before moving on to the meats. This will prevent any bacteria from your raw meat from contaminating your fruit or vegetables. If you forget to prioritize cutting, wash both your knife and cutting board before continuing to cut and cook.
One of the first things we should learn when it comes to cooking is how to handle stored food. We know that before we can cook something, it should be defrosted first. For example, if you take a pork chop out of the freezer and throw it on a flame, the outside will be seared and browned, but once you cut it open, the inside will be far undercooked. But did you know that even if you have defrosted that frozen pork chop in the fridge, you should still take it out and let it reach room temperature before cooking? The reason being is the same as with frozen: the outside will overcook by the time the internal temperature rises.
The same goes for frozen vegetables. Let them defrost before placing them in a greased and hot pan. If not, the steam that is created from the “frost” could very well burn you as you cook it.
The #1 rule of pasta making: salt the water when boiling. This gives your food flavor before any sauce is added to the noodles. And if it helps, most of the salt goes down the drain with the water, so no reason to be wary of consuming too much.
The #2 rule of pasta making: DO NOT RINSE the pasta. The water that boiled the pasta contained starches that make the pasta more flavorful and helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
The #3 rule of pasta making: DO NOT ADD oil to the boiling water. This will make your pasta slick which leads to the sauce not sticking. The only time to consider adding oil to pasta is after cooking. Adding a small amount of oil to sitting pasta allows it to cool without sticking together.
Let It Sit
There is a common tendency to move to food around while it is cooking. We think that this keeps the food from burning, so we continually move it, even though it actually can take away from the finished product. Instead, allow the food to sit until it is golden brown. This helps the juices to stay within the food and keeps the cook time to a minimum.