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					                                 HOW TO FOLLOW A RECIPE
                       By Barbara H. James, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University



Before You Begin
          Recipes are guides to help you cook. Beginning cooks, have the best results when
they use tested recipes from well-known cookbooks or other reliable sources such as this
letter study course. Before you start:

         -        Make sure you have all the ingredients.
         -        Gather the equipment and ingredients together in one place.
         -        Always read a recipe from beginning to end before you start to cook.
         -        Wash your hands and clean your fingernails.

Parts of A Recipe
        A recipe is usually made up of two parts--a list of ingredients and directions for
combining ingredients to make the dish you are preparing. A well-written recipe lists
ingredients in the order they will be added. Many recipes spell out how much of each
ingredient to use. However, you may find the following abbreviations:

c means cup
t or tsp means teaspoon
T or Tbs means tablespoon

         If the food is to be baked, the recipe will give you the size of the pan to use. It
will also tell the baking temperature and give baking time. This time may need to be
adjusted depending on the accuracy of your oven.

Terms Used in Cooking
      Sometimes the methods described in a recipe can be confusing. Here are some
common food preparation terms and their meanings.

Bake – To cook in an oven.          Blend – To mix two or more           Chop – To cut into pieces
When applied to meats in            ingredients thoroughly.              with a knife or other sharp
uncovered containers, it is                                              tool, blender, or food
generally called roasting.          Boil – To cook in a liquid           processor.
                                    that is at boiling temperature.
Baste – To moisten the foods        Bubbles will rise continually        Coat – To spread food with
during cooking to add flavor        and break on the surface.            or dip it into a substance such
and to prevent drying of the                                             as flour or a sauce until it is
surface. The liquid is usually      Bread – To coat a food with          covered.
melted fat, meat drippings,         bread or cracker crumbs or
fruit juice, sauce, or water.       other food. The surface may          Combine – To stir two or
                                    first be coated with beaten          more ingredients together
Beat – To stir a mixture            egg or other liquid.                 until the mixture looks
using rapid, regular motions,                                            uniform.
use a wire whisk, spoon,            Broil – To cook by direct
hand beater or mixer.               heat on a rack or spit.              Cream – To mix fat and
Method incorporates air and                                              sugar with a spoon or mixer
makes mixture light, fluffy or      Brown – To cook food with            until soft and smooth.
smooth.                             moderate or high heat until
                                    brown in color.                      Cube – To cut food into
                                                                         small cubes.
Cut – To divide food with a
knife or scissors.                  Grease – To rub the surface          Saute – To cook in a small
                                    of a pan or dish with a small        amount of fat.
Cut In – To mix fat                 amount of fat to prevent food
throughout with dry                 from sticking. Use a brush or        Scald – To heat liquid to just
ingredients using two knives        a bit of waxed paper or use          below the boiling point.
or a pastry blender until fat       cooking spray.
has coated the dry                                                       Score – To cut shallow slits
ingredients. Pieces should be       Grill – To cook food on a            on the surface of food.
the size of peas.                   rack with direct heat.
                                                                         Simmer – To cook food over
Dice – To cut into small            Macerate – To soak foods in          low heat in a liquid just
cubes.                              a liquid to soften them and to       below the boiling point.
                                    absorb flavor.                       Bubbles will form slowly and
Dredge – To cover or coat                                                break apart just below the
with flour or other fine            Marinate – To let food stand         surface.
substances such as bread            in a liquid.
crumbs or corn meal.                                                     Steam – To cook food in
                                    Mince – To chop or cut into          steam over boiling water in a
Fold – To combine one               very small pieces.                   closed container.
ingredient with another by
gently turning the mixture          Pare – To cut off the outside        Stew – To simmer food in a
with a spoon.                       covering such as skins of            liquid.
                                    vegetables or fruits.
Fry – To cook in fat. A                                                  Stir – To mix ingredients
small amount of fat is used         Peel – To remove the outer           with a circular motion.
for pan-frying, sauteing, or        covering of foods such as
stir-frying; deep-fat fried         oranges or bananas.                  Stir-fry – To fry thinly sliced
foods are submerged in fat.                                              food quickly in only a little
                                    Pinch – The amount of a              oil, continuously stirring with
Glaze – To coat with a glossy       substance that can be held           a tossing motion.
mixture that adds to flavor         between the thumb and
and appearance.                     forefinger and is smaller than       Toast – To brown by direct
                                    ¼ teaspoon.                          heat or in a hot oven.
Grate – To produce pieces of
a specific size by rubbing          Reduce – To decrease                 Toss – To mix foods lightly
food (such as carrots or            volume of liquid by rapidly          with a lifting motion.
cheese) on a grater or              boiling.
chopping in a blender or food                                            Whip – To beat food to
processor.                          Roast – To cook uncovered            incorporate air and increase
                                    in an oven.                          volume.



Sources: Adventures with Food, 4-H Bulletin 460, The Ohio State University, 1995. American
Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Handbook of Food Preparation, Kendall/Hunt Publishing
Company, 1993.

				
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