Showing posts with label culinary word of the week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culinary word of the week. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week

Our culinary word of the week is CREAM. In other words, when you are making a cake, and you need to mix together the butter and the sugar. Creaming is the mixing of the sugar and a solid fat, usually butter. The butter
should be room temperature. When you mix the two together, tiny air bubbles are created, which increase the amount of mix and makes it light and fluffy.It is important that this step be done correctly because these air bubbles expand and becomes the leavening agent as the cake is being baked.
Butter being mixed in bowl.
Adding sugar so they can cream together.
Ignore the egg. Thankfully it has not been mixed in yet,
so you can get a good look at the butter and 
sugar that are creamed together. You can see the 
increase in volume.
(Sorry, I had no pic without the egg!!)

This is creaming!!
We will be doing this later in the week!!

Thanks for joining me today.

Stop by tomorrow for next weeks 
menu and grocery list.

Hope to see you then!!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week

The culinary word of the week is trifle. We made a trifle, so we should probably know what it is!! The trifle has a long history, and it has changed a lot through time. It is basically a dessert made with cake, custard, and fruit. It is layered in a clear bowl so the beauty of the layers can be seen. They are always covered with whipped cream as a rule.
A trifle has an infinite amount of various ways to be created. The sky is the limit. There is only one rule that I know of. The bottom layer must be cake. After that you can layer it with custard, or pastry cream, curd, or even chocolate. The fruit can be cut pieces, or jam or even a mix of the two.
You can also add liquor to your trifle. The liquor should compliment the other ingredients. Sherry, white wine, rum, Kirsch, and Angelica are favorites, but of course, not the only ones that can be used.
So, there is no particular ingredient to a trifle, but there is a general guideline. Imagine the possibilities!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week- Compound Butter

What is compound butter? It is butter that is softened, and then mixed with either sweet or savory ingredients. Compound butters are delicious when left as a spread, to use on toasts or refrigerated and then sliced to put on a steak. You can mix the butter with honey, or syrup, fresh herbs, or dried herbs, and even fruit juice. The only limit is your imagination. The compound butter we are making today will be perfect served on grilled chicken, grilled corn or cornbread.
Herb Butter
(adapted from Land O Lakes)
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 tablespoons Finely chopped Red Pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried Oregano Leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried Basil Leaves
Pinch of dried rubbed Sage
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Cut about 1/3 of a large red pepper into strips.
Place in a food processor and chop. If you do not have 
a food processor, chop the pepper strips to a very fine size. 
It should look about this size.
Add the chopped red pepper, and the spices to the butter,
and mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.
Cover the mix and set it aside for 1 hour to let the 
butter absorb the herbs.
After the hour is up, place the butter on a piece of plastic.
Use the plastic to form the butter into a log.
Cover the log with the plastic.
Refrigerate the log until it has hardened
After it has hardened, unwrap.
Slice into small pieces and place on corn or grilled chicken 
as they come off the grill! Delicious!
Thanks for joining me today!
Later today I will be posting the menu and grocery list
for this week. It's hot outside here in Las Vegas, and it's muggy too!
We are spoiled and not used to that!! So our menu this week
is a cool one. Very little heat!
See you then!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week-Zester

This week our culinary word is Zester. What is a Zester? It is a tool used to remove the zest from various fruits, such as oranges, limes, and lemons.  What is zest? Zest is the colored part of the outer skin of the fruits. Under the colored part is a white part. While the colored part of the skin is wonderful smelling, and adds a rich and deep flavor to your recipe, the white part is very bitter, and can ruin a recipe. You never want to use the white part when you need to add zest to a recipe.
You use a zester by lightly scraping the fruit across the 
tiny sharp pieces on the stainless part of the zester. 
The result will be very small pieces of the skin, 
ready for your recipe.  Make sure to wash the fruit first, 
and use the zest right away. It does not hold. You can also 
zest with a box cheese grater or a paring knife, 
or a vegetable peeler. If you do use one of these
to create your zest, make sure you chop it down to 
very small size. The finer the zest, the easier it 
incorporates itself into the recipe.

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow and get
the menu & grocery list for next week.

See you then!
Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week-Mise en Place

What is Mise en Place? It is a french word that when translated means "to put in place". What it means to cooking is often an organized, prepared kitchen that is a pleasure to work in, and a garden for creative ideas. If you utulize mise en place, you can prepare meals that come together in a calm manner, with no last minute frantic search through a crowded pantry, trying to find the elusive ingredient that you know you bought sometime last year,  month, week.

     To me, true mise en place in the restaurant environment is when each station is prepped with the necessary ingredients to serve the breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal with ease. Everything needed should be with in reaching distance from the assigned station, and the ingredients should be ready to use. By that I mean that they should be diced, chopped, blanched, or whatever is necessary to minimize the cook time without sacrificing the taste or quality or your product. The best scenario is that the cook never has to leave the station. Once they leave, things can get hairy!!!

     When you are cooking at home, mise en place is pretty much the same.  When you are planning on cooking something, look at your recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients. When you do, then look at your recipe again and see if there are some things that you can do ahead of time to make the dinner preparation less hectic. Often times, I will be cutting an onion for lunch or a sandwich, and knowing that I will be needing onion for an upcoming meal, I will go ahead and dice what I need while I have the onion out. I don't do it too far ahead of time, just a little. Or, maybe you know you will be making deviled eggs later in the week. Go ahead and hard boil the eggs when, or if, you have some down time.

     Another kind of mise en place I like to utilize is simply gathering all the necessary ingredients out on my counter before I begin cooking, baking, or even prepping. I put everything that is not needed away, so that the recipe ingredients have their own area. The reason is this: I have almost never made a recipe at home where I haven't been interrupted at some point. It may be someone coming into the room, a phone call, someone wants to talk to me,  whatever it is, it breaks my concentration. ( Not real hard to do anyway!!)  As I am using the ingredients, I put them away, if at all possible. If it is not possible, I set them in a place away from the unused ingredients, so I know they have been used. Why? I once cooked in a BBQ restaurant where we smoked all kinds of meats. Some of the meats had rubs on them. One of the rub recipes had 14 different ingredients, almost all spices. They all looked alike when they were tossed in the bowl. If I was interrupted, and I usually was, I had no idea what I had put in last, or what was next. Putting the ingredients away as you use them, eliminates this problem. Also, the best part is, this leaves your kitchen less cluttered automatically. What a bonus!!

So, try to incorporate mise en place into your cooking routine. It will be common place in no time, and you will be so glad you are using it.

Thanks for joining me today!

I hope you will come back tomorrow when 
we will have a menu and grocery list
for next week's meal!

It's the All American Meal !!

See you then!