Wednesday, July 01, 2015
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Milk and Cream Cooking Preparation and Tips

What makes one type of milk different from another?

Pasteurized Milk - fresh whole milk heated to high temperatures to kill harmful organisms and prolong cold storage.
Sterilized Milk - canned milk heated to higher temperatures for a few seconds for longer shelf life.
Low fat Milk - milk containing no less than 2% fat
Evaporated Full Cream Milk - milk from which about half the water is removed and contains no less than 9% butterfat.
Buttermilk - a whitish, slightly sour liquid obtained after churning cream; used in cakes, soups and breads.
- make your own buttermilk by putting 1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup, add enough fresh, low fat or whole milk to make a cup.
How are creams different from one another?
Light Cream - contains 18-29% milk fat; Nestlé Cream and Nestlé Magnolia All-Purpose Cream are examples of this.
Medium Cream - contains 30-36% milk fat
Heavy Cream - contains 36-40% milk fat; is very viscous and thick.
Sour Cream - soured light cream using a harmless strain of bacteria which grow in the cream and convert the natural sugars lactose, into lactic acid; is a piquant flavored cream used for desserts, salad dressings, topping and even dips.
What is the best way to whip cream?
Chill cream, bowl and whisk to be used for about 1 hour; beat using a mixer for about 7-10 minutes or until the desired stiffness. Cream for whipping has to have___% fat, or it won't whip.
Can I store leftover cream or evaporated milk in their original can / packaging?
Transfer leftover creams or milk into plastic or glass airtight container; keep in the refrigerator(about a week). Do not freeze cream or milk, this will change the texture and probably affect desired finished product .
Spices & Sauces

What is five-spice powder?

A blend of 5 spices traditionally composed of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed and pepper; usually used in Chinese cooking.
What is hoisin sauce made of?
Fermented soybeans, chilis, garlic and other spices; slightly sweet, garlicky and piquant; popularly used for dipping sauce and marinades for ducks, shellfish and spareribs.
What is naw phak in some Thai dishes?
It's fish sauce much like our patis and also made from the extract of tiny anchovy-like fish.
What are the common spice substitutes?
Marjoram with oregano; fresh parsley mixed with dried basil for fresh basil pesto; chopped parsley with ground coriander for fresh coriander; turmeric or the local kasubha for saffron; if neither is available, experiment with what you have; you might yet discover a new flavor dimension.
How is lemongrass used?
Lemongrass has a subtle lemony flavor and aroma; used in marinades, stuffing to roast chicken or lechon. Also best in curries, some regional soups such as Laswa, Tinolang Manok and Thai Hot and Sour Soup. Lemongrass looks like the common cogon grass but has a woody texture at its base; bulb-like base of the stalk should be pounded or crushed or chopped into rounds to release its flavor.
How do you keep sesame seeds?
Best to store them in airtight containers in a cool dry place. Shelf Life of about 3 months in the pantry, 6 months in the fridge and a year in the freezer. Check freshness by tasting a few seeds before adding to your recipe.
What is rice wine vinegar?
Vinegar made from fermented rice wine. Japanese version is clear to pale amber in color; Chinese has white, red and black. Used to perk up the flavor of steamed vegetables, dress salads, as a dipping sauce for steamed crab and dim sum.

What's the best way to use cornstarch without getting it all lumpy?

Dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water (called slurry) before stirring into a hot mixture; cook, stirring constantly until thick.
What is deglazing and what is the proper way of doing it?
A technique used when making gravies or sauces using pan drippings as the base. Remove roasts, pan-fried fish, vegetables from pan, and pour a little liquid (red or white wine, broth, cream or water) into the pan. Put the pan over the heat to warm up the liquid and loosen the browned bits; simmer until liquid has reduced to half its quantity; result is a richly flavored sauce.
Why do I "cry" when cutting onions?
Chopping onions, garlic or shallots releases a sulfuric compound that reacts with the saline in our eyes to create a mild sulfuric acid. Our eyes "counterattack" by producing tears to wash away the acid. The sulfuric compound is more concentrated at the base of the onion so cut this portion last.
What is the correct proportion of oil and acid for vinaigrette?
For classic vinaigrette use 3 parts oil to one part acid (vinegar), season with salt and pepper to taste. You may substitute vinegar for, or combine any sour fruit-juice of choice.
How can I tell if the oil is still good to use?
Rancid oil (spoiled) has strong aroma, like plastic or gasoline. Smell the oil before using; a small amount of rancid oil will ruin entire dish.
How is it best to store oil?
Store in cool, dark place in a clean and dry, airtight container.
Why do some oils solidify in cool temperatures and some remain liquid even inside the ref.?
Winterized oil is cooled down to lower temperatures, filtered for any fat crystals that form at these lower temps. What remains is oil that remains liquid even when refrigerated.
Why is it necessary to cool angel food, sponge and chiffon cakes upside-down?
To allow their light, airy texture to cool evenly and retain its shape. If cooled topside up, these cakes collapse or shrink.

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