Use The Best Cooking Ingredients

To Create A Soul Food Culinary Masterpiece

If I use the best cooking ingredients will my food taste better?  I think so, considering this reality.  Great cooks produce the best meals because they use the best ingredients their money can buy.  In order to be considered an excellent cook, you need more than just a good recipe. 

Come learn what great cooks already know about selecting the best ingredients.

Great cooks are well groomed in using herbs and spices to enhance the flavors of their meals.  

They also know how to select the best cuts of meat and dairy products to create a delectable and savory dish.

Grandma always seemed to know which herbs and spices worked well with certain meats. She knew to use evaporated can milk, as opposed to milk from a carton. Grandma knew all the ends and outs of working the kitchen.

How did grandma repeatedly produce mouthwatering results in the kitchen? The secret was using the best cooking ingredients. Your inability to use the best cooking ingredients can have detrimental consequences.

Did Grandma passed along her secrets to making your soul food favorites? For those of you who were not fortunate enough to have a teacher, a quick review of the three best cooking ingredients tips will tell you what you need to know.

  1. Herbs and Spices
  2. Quality cuts of meat
  3. Dairy Products

One word of caution. I'm an advocate of healthy eating. Therefore, all of the following tips are revised to reflect our changing dietary requirements of less cholesterol, fat, salt, sodium and sugar.

Herbs and Spices - What You Need to Know 

When you complement most cooks they'll surely say it's all in the seasonings. What they rally mean to say is the herbs and spices they used made the meal.  

What makes herb and spices most appealing to me is the fact that they can add tremendous flavor to your meals without all that extra cholesterol, calories, fat, salt, sodium and sugar.  

If you get the seasoning selections right you will definitely have a more palatable meal, without sacrificing flavor.

Herbs and spices can be used to enhance the flavor and visual appeal of breads, fruits, meats and vegetables.  

To enhance the flavor in meats such as beef, fish, pork and poultry consider using one or two of the following herbs and spices: basil, bay leaf, chervil, marjoram, paprika, pepper, rosemary or savory.

You can intensify the taste of fruits by adding herbs and spices such as allspice, cinnamon, mint and nutmeg.  

The previous lists were not all-inclusive and were meant as a guide to turn you on to a new way of thinking. The take away here is that by using what's abundant in nature, you can transform the taste of your foods.

Meats - What You Need to Know Before Buying

Do you want tough or tender meat?  

Whatever you decide, be sure to buy lean cuts of meat. If any fat is still visible, be sure to cut it away before cooking. If you're buying beef and looking to go lean choose select and choice grade. A prime grade is for you if you're not concerned with fat and want the most flavor.

When purchasing lamb go with prime and choice grades. This meat is taken from animals that are less than one year old. I've been told that the best meat comes from animals that have been butchered around or under seven months of age.  

Expect meat from the young lambs to be tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Stay away from mutton, which is meat from older sheep unless you are looking for a more gamey, tough taste.

Pork selection is relatively simple.  

Look for cuts with minimal fat and a small amount of marbling. This will ensure your selection is both tender and packed with flavor. It's important to note that pig breeders have changed the genetic makeup of pigs to produce leaner meats.

Like pork, poultry selection is also simple.  

You want to buy the bird whole and cut it into breast, legs, thighs, quarters, and wings.

Chicken is already very lean but you can reduce the fat considerable by removing the skin before cooking. Older birds are best used for soups while younger birds are ideal for frying, grilling, and baking.

Dairy Produce- How to Select the Best

Everybody knows "milk does the body good" by building strong bones and teeth. Dairy products are the riches source of natural calcium available to mankind.  

Today we are mostly concerned with reducing saturated fat and calories, therefore limit your consumption and use of whole milk. By using fat free, low fat, or reduced fat milk, you can still get the same nutritional benefits and reduce your intake of saturated fats and calories.

You can also get the same nutritional benefits from fat free, low fat,  or reduced fat cheese, yogurt and sour cream as you would for full fat dairy products.

Give these best cooking ingredients tips a try and you'll see major improvements in the taste and quality of the foods you prepare. If you found the best cooking ingredients tips useful, please review the best cooking utensil tips and get your kitchen in order.

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