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If you have ever considered learning more about cooking, you may feel overwhelmed. Looking at a cookbook or watching the cooking channel, makes cooking seem like a complicated science. However, learning to cook does not have to be that difficult. Follow the tips presented here and you will be well on your way.

Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.

Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)

Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.

In brief, learning how to cook is learning how to avoid pre-packaged foods and meals. These convenience food products, all too common today, have speed as their solitary real benefit. Home-cooked meals will always beat them in taste and cost. In most cases – even with meals that are not especially healthy – the version made in the kitchen will be healthier than the packaged version.

Do you enjoy the flavor of fresh basil? Take the basil and place it in a glass. Make sure the stems are in water. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. You can encourage the basil’s growth even further by trimming it back from time to time, keeping it fresh and healthy even longer.

A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.

This article has presented several different tips to help you become the best cook you can be. IF you start with this advice and simply build on this, you will gain experience and become more comfortable in the kitchen. Soon, you will present your family with new meals and treats, that are sure to please their palates.

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