I am not the perfect cook, by no means. I can say that I love to cook. It means a lot for someone to appreciate my food, because it is a passion of mine. If they don’t like something I WANT them to tell me, because I will thrive to make it to their liking. It is that important to me. Anyways, over the years I have found some cooking secrets that may be of use to you.
If you are like me, you love pasta. Hey I guess that is the Italian in me, who knows. The heartburn that comes with it is another story. When I do cook pastas, it is on a rare occasion because there are family members that don’t like it. Lasagna happens to be my favorite dish. When I make spaghetti sauce I use the same recipe for lasagna or any red sauce Italian dish, such as manicotti. Okay, my half Italian Mother showed me a secret to getting rid of that acid in the sauce. While simmering the sauce add about 1-2 teaspoons of white sugar. Yes, it works. It lessons the acid and does make the pasta taste wonderful.
Do you like corn on the cob? Oh my goodness I can eat that stuff all day long. I love corn on the cob especially with bar-b-que dishes. Awhile back, when I was living with my sister in law, she had a visitor that showed me one of the best cooking secrets that I have ever known. First of all, canned veggies are good. Frozen veggies are better. Fresh is the bomb!!! Okay, well if you are stuck with canned corn you can make it taste fresh. Yes, get this, add about 1/4 cup of milk to 2 cans of canned corn, while it is cooking, and it tastes just like fresh corn on the cob. The next step after that is to toss the cobs into an oil-less air fryer and let them cook for another 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees.
How can you accidentally make a big dish taste the best? I don’t know, wait I do now. During the holidays, it can be hectic cooking for large crowds. Especially when this is the first time you made a turkey. All the hustle and stress of making sure you know what you are doing, can lead to the best and juiciest turkey ever. Well my lovely sister in law accidentally cooked her turkey upside down. Yes, she had it breast down, but wait. Think about it! The dark meat is the juiciest, right? Well, if it is upside down all that yummy juice will drain to the dry breast meat, right? It is the best turkey in the world. This Thanksgiving, remember this secret! You will not regret it!
I love to bake. I am not much on eating a lot of cakes or cookies, but I like brownies and so do my kids. I cheat with brownies though. I use boxed brownies. Well, for a long time I wondered why my brownies were so fluffy. They didn’t taste like brownies, but like cake. One day my sister in law caught me with that handy little mixer, just mixing away at those brownies. Big mistake! Next time I will read the directions. When it says mix well with fork, that is what it means. Hey, my brownies taste like brownies, now.
I love Mexican food and so does my family. My Mom taught me how to make homemade enchiladas. If you have a large family, you know as well as I do that there is a lot of steps to take to make an enchilada. You dip the shell in the sauce, add meat, add cheese, roll, put in casserole dish and repeat. Well, I am here to make your life a whole lot easier!! My handy sister in law suggested making it into a layered casserole, like lasagna. Wow, what a concept! So now we have enchilada casserole and I cut preparation time in half. I simply spray the casserole with cooking spray, dip my shells in the sauce and layer the shells, add meat, add cheese and repeat. Same great taste, new and easy way to prepare!
Another favorite Mexican food is fajitas. Oh and I love beef tips and rice. Then there is Chinese stir fry as well. That was a mouth full, ha ha. Well let me let you in on another secret. Usually when preparing these dishes, you have to julienne (slice longways) or chunk the meat, correct? To get the most tender cut is to cut against the grain. In other words, there are stripes in the meat that goes a certain direction. Instead of cutting in the same direction, flip the meat and cut in the opposite direction. This will cause the meat to come apart easier and is much easier to chew or cut.
These are a few secrets that have either made my life easier or my food taste better! Hope you can use them!