Kitchen Stuff

This is going to be the Page-That-Never-Ends ... devoted to Kitchen-y and Cookery things, stuff I wanna remember.   BUT NOT RECIPES - I have my recipes over at Food dot com and Tasty Kitchen with lots of lovely advice on how to cook 'em so they turn out just right! 

And I thought some of you dearling ladies would also like to have this info in a handy spot, too.

MEASURING EQUIVALENTS

3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
2 T =             1/8 Cup
5 T + 1 t =     1/3 C.
8 T =             1/2 C.
10 T + 2 t =    2/3 C.
12 T =            3/4 C.
16 T =            1 C.
1 C =              8 fluid ounces (oz)
2 C =              1 pint
2 pints =          1 quart
4 C =              1 quart
4 quarts =        1 gallon
16 oz =           1 pound (lb)


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CANDY MAKING TEMPERATURES

Stage of Candy               Temperature (F*)
Thread                            223-234
Soft ball                          234-240
Firm ball                         244-248
Hard ball                         250-266
Soft crack                       270-290
Hard crack                      300-310
Light caramel                  320-338
Medium caramel             338-350
Dark caramel                  350-360



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SUBSTITUTIONS


Ingredient Needed                 Likely Candidates
Allspice (1 tsp)                      2/3 tsp cinnamon + 1/3 tsp cloves
Baking powder (1 tsp)           1 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Bread crumbs                       Equal amount of cracker or cornflake crumbs
Butter                                  Equal amount of margarine
Cream cheese                       Part-skim ricotta cheese OR low-fat cottage cheese - beaten smooth
Chicken/Beef broth (1 C)      1 bouillon cube in 1 C boiling water
Chives, chopped                   minced scallion tops
Chocolate, 1 square, unsw     3 T. unsweetened cocoa + 1 T melted butter
Chocolate, 1 square, semi      3 T. unsweetened cocoa, 2 T. melted butter + 3 T. sugar
Cornstarch (1 T)                   2 T. flour OR 4 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
Dates or currants                   Dark raisins
Flour, self-rising                    1 C. all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt
Gelatin (3 oz pkg) flavored     1 T. plain gelatin + 2 C fruit juice
Honey (1 C)                          1 1/4 C suar + 1/4 C water
Ketchup or chili sauce            1/3 C. tomato sauce, 2 T sugar + 1 T vinegar
Shallots                                 plain white onion OR white part of scallions
Sour cream                           equal amount of plain yogurt
Sugar (1 C)                           1 C. light brown sugar (packed) OR 2 C. powdered sugar
Sugar, Brown (1 C)               3/4 C. white sugar + 1/4 C molasses
Tomato juice (1 C)                1/2 C. tomato sauce + 1/2 C. water
Vinegar (1 tsp)                       2 tsp lemon juice


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CHICKEN DEFINED


Called                    Age/Info         Generally Weighs       What to Do With It                   
Broiler or Fryer      young bird       2-4 lbs                     Roast whole, broil split halves,        
                            loose joints                                                  fried pieces

Roaster                  young bird      3-5 lbs or more          Roast, grill, smoke whole or parts,

                        loose joints, fatty                                              fry up or bake the pieces

Capon                 "fixed" cockerel  4-10 lbs                    Roast whole or cook parts (above)
                             fattier

Stewing Hen          old bird            4-7 lbs                      Stew, braise, boil; flavorful broth;
"Spent"                tough joints                                             chix & dumplings

Cornish Hen           small birds       1-3 lbs                      Roast whole, one per person


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VOCABULARY


Bake:   cook in a heated oven; AKA "roasting" if applied to meat or veggies

Baste:  moisten food while cooking; spoon up the fat or liquid and dribble over the meat

Beat:  make the mixture smooth using a mixer, hand beater or spoon; lift mixture rapidly over and over; tilt the bowl if working by hand, bringing bottom to top and top to bottom; mix evenly

Blanch:  dip into boiling water, then immediately into cold, icy water; to remove skins

Blend:  combine two or more ingredients until very smooth

Boil:  cook in bubbling liquid; bubbles constantly rise and break on surface; once it boils, lower the temp just enough to keep bubbles bursting--slow boil

Braise:  brown meat in a little hot fat, on all sides; then cover and simmer over low heat until tender

Broil:  cook under the heat of a broiler or hot coals, often between two heated surfaces

Chill:  place in fridge or freezer to bring down temp (do NOT do this with feverish children!)

Chop:  Using a cutting board, hold tip of a sharp knife and the handle, then bring the handle up and down over the veggie or nuts, going in a circle, back-n-forth, so blade contacts uncut items.  Coarse pieces.  "Mince" is smaller pieces than chopped.  

Coat:  Sprinkle with or roll in flour, sugar until coated; can also shake in a bag (paper or plastic)

Cool:  let stand at room temp until no longer warm to touch

Cream:  With spoon or mixer/beater, work or rub softened shortening or butter with sugar (usually) against the sides of the bowl until very creamy.

Cube:  cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cut-in:   usually shortening (butter or margarine), use a pastry cutter utensil to blend shortening with flour or flour mixture until particles are of the desired size (often "pea" size); without a pastry cutter use two table knives--one in each hand--to cut shortening into smaller and smaller pieces with the flour.   Get a pastry blender, it's MUCH easier.   Important for pie crusts!

Deep fry:   heat oil to desired temp; drop coated meat or veggie into hot oil; fry as needed; remove with tongs to paper toweling; use a kitchen thermometer to be sure of temp.

Dice:  cut into very small cubes (1/4-inch); smaller than "cube"

Dissolve:  Mix dry substance with liquid until incorporated.

Dot:   scatter small bits of butter over the surface of a casserole or pie

Double boiler:   two pans nested together, bottom pan has water in it--that should NOT touch the top pan's bottom; top pan has food item in it (usually something that is persnickety about being heated--like chocolate); cook over hot or boiling water as recipe directs.

Dredge:  Coat or drag item in flour, sugar, mixture (can often just put in a bag and shake it, too).

Fold:  combine a light (airy) mixture with a heavier one (egg whites with custard); use a rubber spatula or a wire wipe or spoon; evenly combined--but kept light and airy!

Grate:  rub on a grater to produce fine, medium or coarse particles

Grease:  rub a pan lightly with butter or oil

Grind:  run item through a meat grinder (you can also use an electric chopper or food processor)

Julienne:  vegetables cut into thin matchsticks; used for stir-fries or salads

Knead:  mix dough into a pliable lump; use your floured hands OR a dough hook on your mixer.

Marinade:   liquid used for marinaTing (d vs t); flavors and sometimes tenderizes meat

Melt:  place item in small bowl or custard cup over hot water (not boiling) OR in a saucepan at lowest heat or PREFERABLY in the microwave with small time segments

Mince:  cut food into very tiny pieces (smaller than "chopped")

Pan-broil:  cook, uncovered in ungreased or lightly greased hot skillet, pouring off fat as it accumulates.

Pan-fry:  cook in small amount of hot fat in skillet

Par-boil (partially boil):  boil in water or other liquid until partially cooked, preliminary to another form of cooking, usually.

Pare:  with a knife or peeler, remove outer covering or skin (apples)

Peel:  pull off outer covering (bananas or oranges)

Pit:  remove the seed or pit (avocados or prunes)

Preheat:  turn on the oven to the desired temp BEFORE putting food in

Puree:  (pronouced "pure-aaay")  press mixture through a sieve or food mill; blended very smooth and lump-free

Reduce:  cook slowly so liquid evaporates and intensifies the flavors

Saute:  ("saw-tay")  cook quickly in small amount of fat or oil in a frying pan or skillet

Scald:  dip fruits or vegetables (peaches or tomatoes) into lightly boiling water for ONE MINUTE OR LESS to facilitate peeling/removing skins  (I also dip them immediately into very cold water to stop the cooking process)

Scallop:  bake in layers with a sauce; often topped with crumbs

Score:   with a knife or fork, make shallow hashes, slits or gashes across the surface of a meat or vegetable

Sear:  brown briefly over very or just high heat to lock in those juices

Season:  add or sprinkle with salt or herbs, to taste

Sift:  put dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc) through a flour sifter or fine sieve

Simmer:  cook in a liquid, gentle bubbles along edges of the pan

Singe:  hold poultry over heat/flame to burn off any hairs; use a match or lighter or gas flame--just BE CAREFUL!!!

Skewer:  hold meat pieces or veggies or fruit in place by means of metal or wooden sticks

Skim:  remove a layer of fat from gravy; spoon it off while hot OR chill the item--the fat will harden and can be taken off in one piece

Sliver:  cut or split into long, thin pieces

Steam:  cook in steam, usually in a basket above the liquid

Steep:  let stand in hot liquid

Stir:   mix with a spoon, in a circular motion by hand--not as much as blending, not as "hard" as beating; until all ingredients are well mixed

Thicken:  measure liquid to be thickened; for every cup-ful, mix 1 1/2 T flour with 3 T water until smooth; stir this paste into the hot liquid, cook until desired thickness.

Toast:  brown in a broiler, oven, toaster or over hot coals

Toss:  mix lightly with two forks or fork & spoon; gently, gently so as not to crush tender items

Whip:  Beat rapidly to incorporate air and increase volume, by hand or with an electric mixer

Truss:  to tie with twine or skewers to help chicken or other meat hold its shape during cooking or roasting

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