|Broiling||There's a difference between broiling with gas and with electricity. Gas flames consume smoke and absorb moisture, so it's advisable to broil with the door closed. It's frequently a good idea to broil with the oven door slightly ajar when using electricity to expel moisture from the oven.
Broiling pan: When you line your pan with foil, you are frying instead of broiling, since, unless you use a rack, the food sits in the drippings and fries.
|Eggs|| Hard cooked: To avoid discolored yolks, start eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover pan, let stand for 15 minutes and then cool in running water.
Omelet In many countries omelets are thinned with water instead of milk. It is believed that milk makes omelets tough.
Sunny-side up If yolks tend to break apart in pan, it generally means the eggs are old.
|Fish|| Meat is cooked to be tenderized, and fish is cooked to develop flavor - just long enough for it to be done and absorb whatever spices are used with it. Cook fish no more than five minutes per inch of thickness.|
Fillet of fish: When baked in a sauce, fillets require an additional five minutes for each inch of thickness.
Frozen fish: No matter what you read on packages of frozen fish, the best method is to thaw completely and to cook immediately. If you can't thaw first, cooking time should be doubled.
|Meat|| Broiling: To keep oven clean, put a slice of bread in the pan during broiling. Fat will be absorbed and spatter less.|
To prevent fat burning, pour a cup of water in the bottom of the broiler pan. With most meats this helps the gravy, too.
Pot roast: If it looks tough, plant to add tomatoes to the pot. Their acid helps break down the fibers in the meat.
|Poultry|| Cook poultry completely - never partially cook to finish cooking later.|
Chicken (broiled halves): Sprinkle lightly with ½ teaspoon white sugar, especially in hollows. Granulated or powdered sugar adds caramel color, not sweetness. And instead of drying, the skin browns moistly.
|Rice||Put a lump of butter in, and the rice won't boil over or stick so easily. For whiter, lighter, fluffier grains, add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice.|
|Vegetables|| Those grown beneath the ground (root vegetables) should be washed in cold water and cooked in cold water in a covered pan. Those grown above the ground (green vegetables) grow in hot sun, uncovered, therefore start them in boiling water and don't use a lid.|
Broccoli: The flowerets cook more quickly then the stems, so divide them. Peel stalks down to the white flesh and cut into short lengths. Cook for five minutes, then add the flowerets.
Corn: Yellow is more nutritious than white. Add sugar to the water when you boil corn; salt makes it tough.
Onions: Onions cook slowly in hot fat; garlic cooks rapidly even over a low heat. They should not be cooked together at the same time.
Red cabbage: Should always be cooked with something acid (lemon or vinegar), otherwise it's color becomes an unpleasant, unappetizing color.
|Herbs and Spices|| More is not better. Often only the tiniest amount changes a blah dish into a special one. |
Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh. The ratio is about 1 to 3, so in recipes calling for 1 teaspoon of dry herbs, use 3 of fresh-chopped herbs.
Long-cooking foods: For best results, the length of time seasonings are left in food should vary. Seasonings go into soups, stews, etc., during the last hour of cooking. Or, if herbs are added at the beginning, immerse all in a teaball caddy.
Quickly cooked foods: Fresh herbs go right in with the other ingredients. Dried herbs should be soaked in a bit of milk or salad oil a half-hour before blending them into food that can be cooked in a few minutes.
Salad dressing: Let dried herbs stand in unchilled oil dressings a couple of hours, then chill slightly before serving. In mayonnaise and other creamy dressings, blend the herbs into the dressing several hours before serving. When a dressing has to be prepared on a moment's notice, add a little oil to the herbs and mash them thoroughly with the back of a spoon before mixing.
|In a hurry?|| For a pungent undertone, add a generous pinch of basil leaves to canned beef stew.|
Add sesame or caraway seeds to melted butter for noodles and macaroni.
Mix chervil leaves into canned or frozen peas as they are being heated.
Add a little ground ginger to mayonnaise as a dressing for canned or fresh fruit salad.
Add ground mustard to the cheese sauce for macaroni.