Kosher Tips

 

Slick Tips for Cooking with Oil this Chanukah

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Chanukah might be known as the Festival of Lights, but for cooks, it’s really all about the deep fried oily foods that become an indispensable part of our menu. I’ve noticed that during this time, I smell like a fast food joint for 8 days straight; you’d think that I had deep fried my clothes, my shoes, everything I touch.

So what better time is there to discuss the oils we use in cooking? It is important to become familiar with the different types of vegetable oils for best results in baking, frying, and serving with fresh foods. Vegetable oil may be made from a single ingredient or a blend of several. Most will be available as either refined (lighter in color and bland) or unrefined. Depending on the refining process, oils will have varying smoke points. Refined oils (especially peanut or safflower oil) are recommended for high-heat frying. Unrefined oils are best as dressings, as an ingredient in marinades, and for low-temperature sautéing. Some of these are a healthier choice and will be full-bodied.


 

Rotisserie Chicken

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Nothing brings out our primal instincts in cooking more than preparing food on an open spit. What was once a necessary cooking method requiring nothing more than meat, fire and a big stick has now become all the rage in the best markets and butcher shops.  Walk down any main street and you will see large rotisserie ovens turning and churning out freshly roasted chicken, juices dripping down the window pane and appetites growing with every step.  The good news is; these succulent birds can be easily prepared at home for a fraction of the cost.

To achieve rotisserie nirvana, you can, of course, invest in a countertop rotisserie.  The manufacturers of “slice them and dice them” fame make affordable and practical models for your home, as does Cuisanart other name brand kitchen appliance companies.  The results are good and the clean up is generally easy.  If the weather is not a factor, you can brave the elements and cook your bird on an outdoor spit, your gas grill most likely comes with an attachment and the bird can roast outside, lid down until juicy perfection.   Some indoor ovens come fitted with a rotisserie option, and all you need to do is follow the manufacturer’s instructions, keep a watchful eye and spin your bird to delicious results.


 

How To Choose and Cook a Roast

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Let’s first get our terminology straight, what exactly is a roast? Basically, a large portion of meat cut from any region of the animal is a roast.  From those large pieces, thinner cuts are made and those are steaks and from those steaks, strips and chunks are cut and those are best for stir-fry and stews. Roasts are cooked in the oven at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time.  That’s why they need to be cut from regions of the animal that start out tenderer. Forget about the fancy schmancy made up names that every butcher has concocted. What you need to consider is that

cuts from the chuck or shoulder region are going to be tougher than those cut from the rib. For a solid piece of meat from the chuck look for the Square or French roast, or one of my favorites the Silver Tip.  That cut is lean and solid (good traits in a mate) and should be roasted to rare. However, if you want to dazzle your dinner guests then move next door to the best (and most expensive) roast from the rib section. This is a ritzy neighborhood known for its juicy beefy cuts.  The seven ribs in this section are used to create the glorious standing rib roast. Cuts from the short end will have less bone and a meatier eye. You can also cut a boneless version, which becomes a rib-eye roast. It is leaner but also less flavorful because it is usually trimmed of its fat and is missing the hearty bones.


 

Tip #27 – What is a Good Alternative to...

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Try Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or actual crushed cornflakes or rice krispies instead of breadcrumbs on chicken cutlets or fish sticks.


 

Tip #25 – What Do I Do if my Dough is Sticky...

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

When rolling out and braiding Challah if the dough is too sticky use canola oil instead of flour. Lightly grease your fingers when rolling.


 

Tip #24 – Removing Strings from Snap Peas

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

To remove the stem and strings at the same time from sugar snap peas, hold the stem between your thumb and index finger, snap and pull down.


 

Tip #23 – Which Tuna Has Less Mercury?

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna


 

Tip #22 – Should I Always Add Salt With...

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Check the label on your brand of curry powder and other spices: if it mentions added salt, you may omit the salt in the recipe or salt to taste.


 

Easy Tips for Using, Storing and Growing Herbs

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

There are so many kinds of herbs and they all impart their own unique flavor.  Some herbs, like basil and tarragon, add a sweet mellowness to summer’s bounty of tomatoes and squash.  Others are pungent, giving foods a new dimension: lemongrass, for instance, is bold and slightly sharp, complementing some fish and soups.  Many herbs can play together, like chervil and parsley, or marjoram and rosemary.   Your taste buds can be your guide.

Herbs are easy to find, but you can just as easily grow them, even if all you have to spare is a window sill!  If you have an outdoor garden it is best to choose a sunny side and plant herbs directly in the ground.  If you have a patio or terrace, you can plant herbs in large pots.  If you have a sunny window you can grow herbs all year-round.  Choose a window that has plenty of sun.  Remember to turn the pots every day so that all sides of the plant get sun.  Always cut the herbs from above so that new shoots can develop.


 

Tip #21 – How Do I Get Corn Off The Cob?

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

To remove corn kernels, stand a cob on its stem end in a bowl and slice them off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.


 

Tip #20 – What is Tahini?

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Tahini (also spelled Tehina) is a thick paste of ground sesame seeds. Look for it in supermarkets in the Middle Eastern section


 

Tip #19 – How Do I Toast Chopped Nuts?

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

To toast chopped nuts: Cook in small skillet over medium-low heat stirring constantly until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 mins.


 

Tip #18 – Which Whole Wheat Flour is Better...

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Whole wheat pastry flour has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole wheat flour, making it a better choice for tender baked goods.


 

Tip #17 – Do I Grease Cake Pans?

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

When using cake pans, they must be greased and floured to create a thin layer of protection against the oven’s heat.


 

Tip #16 – How to Get More Volume From Eggs

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

To get the most volume from beaten eggs, it’s best for them to be at room temperature