Top Tips For The Kitchen

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Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by STINKY1207 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:04 pm

Am a reasonable cook but not up to some of your levels judging by your recipies so wondered if a topic like this might aid some of us more challenged cooks.  Some of the simpler ideas will be a revelation to some of us(I mean me).
Fresh ginger can be frozen and just the amount you need grated as and when.
If this topic fails I will just go back to relying on the S word.Laughing

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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by lady of leisure on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:57 pm

yes moi aussi challenged in the art of French cuisine I am an average cook nothing special all edible all help appreciated

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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by maryr on Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:49 pm

Common Cooking Terms

A glossary of common cooking terms that you may come across in recipes. If you have any term that is not listed, feel free to add to the list.

Acidulated water: water to which you've added a mild acid, usually lemon juice or vinegar, to prevent fruits such as apples or pears from discolouring. To make acidulated water, mix 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice to 2 cups (480 ml) water.

Al dente: an Italian phrase meaning "to the tooth" that describes pasta or other food that is cooked only until it offers a slight resistance when bitten into.

Bake: to cook using dry heat, either covered or uncovered, in an oven or oven-type appliance.

Bake Blind: to bake a pie crust or shell while empty. To prevent pastry from puffing up, the shell is usually lined with baking paper and filled with "blind beans". (see below)

Bard: to tie bacon or pork fat over a joint of meat or poultry before it is roasted to prevent it from drying out during cooking.

Baste: to moisten food during cooking by spooning the cooking liquids of the food so that the surface doesn't dry out and additional flavour is added to the food.

Beat: to make a mixture smooth by adding air. Use a brisk over and over stirring motion with a spoon, or a rotary motion using a manual beater or electric mixer.

Blanch:  placing food in cold water, bringing it to a boil for the time specified in the recipe, then draining well and refreshing in cold water to stop the cooking process. This technique is often used to loosen the skin of tomatoes for easier peeling or partially cooking fresh green beans or asparagus for use in a recipe.

Blend:  to mix two or more ingredients together with a spoon, beater, or electric mixer until well combined.

Blind Beans: dried beans, peas, rice, pasta or specially made beads used to fill pastry shells during baking and later removed.

Boil: heating a liquid until bubbles break the surface (212°F or 100°C) at sea level and considerably temperatures at high altitudes. A "full rolling boil" is one that can't be dissipated by stirring.

Bouquet Garni: usually bundled in a double layer of cheesecloth and tied with a piece of kitchen string, this is a combination of herbs to give flavour to stews, soups, or broths-traditionally parsley, thyme and bay leaf. It is removed before serving.

Braising: a cooking method where the food (usually meat) is browned first, then slowly cooked in a liquid such as stock, water, or wine.

Bread: to coat with flour, then dip into beaten egg or milk, then coat with crumbs from crushed stale bread, cereal or crackers.

Broil: to cook by direct heat, under a broiler or over hot coals.

Caramelize: to heat sugar over low heat until it melts and develops a flavourful, golden-brown colour.

Chiffonade: long thin ribbons of fresh greens or herbs made by rolling up the leaves and cutting crosswise to produce the thin ribbons.

Chop: to cut food into small pieces with a knife.

Clarify: to make a liquid (either butter, stock or broth) clear by skimming away or filtering out fat and impurities.

Coat: to cover food on all sides with flour, crumbs or batter.

Coddle: to cook food (especially eggs) slowly in water just below the boiling point.

Cool: to let hot food stand at room temperature until it is no longer hot.

Coulis: a thin puree of fruit, sometimes sweetened with sugar or sugar substitute.

Cream:  to make a fat, like butter or margarine, soft and smooth by beating it with a spoon or mixing with a mixer. Also, to combine a fat like butter with sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Crudités: raw vegetables, usually served with a dip or sauce.

Cube: to cut a solid food into squares of about 1/2" in size or larger.

Cut In: to mix a solid fat (eg butter, shortening or lard) evenly into dry ingredients by chopping with two knives or a pastry blender.

Deglaze: to add a liquid such as wine, broth, or water to the pan in which a food has been cooked to dissolve the cooking drippings so that they may be used to make a sauce.

Dice: to cut into small squares of 1/8" to 1/4".

Dredge: to dust or cover a food with a dry ingredient such as flour, cornmeal, or bread crumbs before cooking.

Dust: to sprinkle lightly with flour, sugar or another powdery ingredient.

Fillet: a piece of meat, poultry or fish with all bones removed. To fillet is to remove the bones.

Flake: to break food into small pieces, usually using a fork.

Flute: to make decorative indentations around the edge of pastries, vegetables or fruit.

Fold:  to combine two ingredients using a specific movement with a spoon.  To fold: Go down through the mixture on the far side of the bowl with a spoon or spatula. Bring the spoon across the bottom of the bowl and up the near side. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat. Keep doing this until the mixture is well blended.

Fry:  to cook in hot fat; to pan fry in a small amount of fat or deep fry in a large amount of fat that covers the food.

Glaze: to coat with a smooth mixture to give food a glossy look.

Grate:  to rub food against an appliance that cuts it into fine shreds or forms small particles. Often used with cheeses and rinds of citrus fruits.

Grill: to cook on a rack over hot coals or other direct heat source that simulates coals.

Grind: to reduce a food to fine particles using a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor.

Infuse: to steep or heat gently to extract flavour. For example to put a vanilla pod into sugar infuses the sugar with vanilla flavour.

Julienne: to cut vegetables, meat, or poultry into thin, matchstick-size strips.

Macerate: to soak a food (usually fruit) in a liquid in order to infuse the food with that liquid's flavour. This also softens the food while releasing its juices to blend with the macerating liquid.

Marinate:  to soak food (such as fish, meat, poultry, or vegetables) in a seasoned liquid to absorb flavour and, in some cases, to become more tender. Since most marinades contain an acid such as citrus juice, vinegar, or wine, the marinating should be done in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container, never in aluminium.

Poach: to cook a food such as chicken, fish, or eggs in simmering liquid.

Puree: (noun) a smooth, thick mixture made in a food processor or blender, or by pressing the ingredients through a sieve.

Puree: (verb) to grind or mash food until it forms a smooth, thick mixture.

Reconstitute: to return a dried form of food to its natural state, usually by adding water.

Reduce: through evaporation, to decrease the volume of liquid by boiling it rapidly in an uncovered pan to increase its flavour and thicken the consistency.

Sauté: to quickly cook in a small amount of oil (or spritz of cooking spray) over direct heat.

Scald: to heat a liquid (such as milk) to just below the boiling point.

Score: to cut shallow slits in the surface of a food before cooking to increase tenderness, to vent steam, or to serve as a decoration.

Sear: to brown the surface of a food quickly with high heat.

Shred: to cut food (such as cheese, carrots, or cabbage) into slivers or narrow strips, either by hand or using a hand-held grater, or a food processor fitted with a shredding disk. Cooked meat, fish, or poultry can be shredded by pulling it apart using two forks.

Shuck: to remove the husks and silks of an ear of corn or to remove the shell from shellfish such as oysters or clams.

Simmer: to cook food gently in liquid at a temperature that is low enough so that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface.

Steam: a method of cooking where a food is placed on a rack or special steamer basket over boiling or simmering water in a covered skillet or saucepan.

Steep:  to let food soak in hot liquid to extract colour and flavour.

Stir-fry: (noun)  any dish which has been cooked by a stir-fry method.

Stir-fry: (verb) to quickly cook small pieces of food over very high heat while constantly and briskly stirring the food until the food is crisply tender. A wok or large skillet is usually used with this Asian cooking technique.

Timbale: a small moulded mixture of food that is crustless.

Vinaigrette: referred to as one of the "five mother sauces," a basic version is made from oil and vinegar and used to dress salad greens and any number of cold foods such as meats, poultry, fish, or vegetables. A more elaborate vinaigrette would include any number of herbs, spices, garlic, shallots, onions, mustard and so forth.

Whip: to beat ingredients such as egg whites to incorporate air into them, thereby increasing their volume until they are the consistency described in the recipe.

Whisk: to beat or whip ingredients with a kitchen utensil that consists of a series of looped wires that form a three-dimensional teardrop shape.

Zest: the colourful rind of citrus fruit (most commonly lemon, lime, or orange), containing aromatic oils that adds flavour to a food. When zesting, be careful to not include any of the white pith, as that adds a bitter taste.
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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by lady of leisure on Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:46 am

thank you Maryr some terms I have never heard of ..

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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by very19 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:57 pm

If you want vegetables with taste, use the gentle steam cooking. Forget cooking in boiling water, the flavor of vegetables goes with the cooking water.Mad 

This is a common mistake not only of the english cuisine, but among French cooks of a certain age ... I rediscovered and loved new vegetables that I could not swallow the time I lived with my dear mum!

And bonus you'll gain many vitamines and micronutrient.

A vegetable lover Wink
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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by maryr on Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:35 pm

Did you know that when cooking green vegetables - beans, broccoli etc - do not put a lid on the pan. When they are cooked to your taste but not being used immediately - rinse well in cold water to avoid further cooking and preserve their colour.

Here are some other vegetable hints that might be of interest

To chop parsley quickly, put a few sprigs in a teacup, snip with kitchen scissors, turning the cup as you work.

Garlic cloves will never dry out if stored in a jar of cooking oil. After the stored garlic is used, use the
flavoured oil for salad dressing. Or brush the oil on bread to make garlic toast for bruschetta.

When cauliflower has gone a little brown, 1tsp (5ml) milk added to the boiling water returns it to its fresh white colour.

Keep cabbage and cauliflower stumps − grate and mix with grated onion and mayonnaise for an inexpensive coleslaw.

A few strips of raw bacon rind tied together with thread and added to boiling cabbage adds a delicious flavour. Or use the water that bacon/ham has been cooked in.

A large piece of parsley placed in the saucepan when cooking cabbage or Brussels sprouts will minimise any odour. Or add a few bay leaves to the boiling water before adding the vegetables. This does not affect their flavour.

Use an egg-slicer to slice cooked beetroot for pickling.

Stand stuffed tomatoes and peppers in patty-pans before baking them and they’ll hold their shape better.

Restore a ‘fresh flavour’ to frozen vegetables by pouring boiling water over them and rinsing away the traces of the frozen water.

Some root vegetables such as carrots, onions or turnips have natural sweetness. To enhance this, add a pinch of sugar or orange juice while cooking.

Avoid using turnips for soups, stews, stock, etc, which you are not using the same day. Turnips go ‘off’ more quickly than other vegetables.

When peeling root vegetables, add a handful of salt to the water to prevent your hands becoming stained.

Make neat potato salad by cutting the raw potato into small cubes. Place in a deep-fry basket in boiling water and cook gently until soft. Drain well and cool.

If food has been over-salted, cut a fairly large potato into slices, add to the pan, and cook a little longer. Potatoes absorb salt.

Remove root vegetables from plastic bags when storing or they will sweat and sprout.

Keep boiled onions whole while cooking by cutting a small cross at the stem of each one. Or make a hole through the centre of the onion with a skewer.

Place any unused portion of onion in a screwtop jar in the fridge − it will keep fresh for several days.

To remove the smell from your hands after chopping onions, rub them with a little sugar or dry mustard. Then wash with warm water and soap, rinse and dry.

Store mushrooms in the door of the fridge, not the coldest part.

Mushrooms will taste better if you sprinkle them with lemon juice and a little salt, then leave for a few minutes before cooking.
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Re: Top Tips For The Kitchen

Post by Inkflo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:22 pm

Interesting tips maryr, thanks.

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