AY Honors/Cooking/Answer Key
- Operating a stove
There are two major classes of stoves in common use in the United States today, the gas stove and the electric stove. Gas stoves burn either propane or natural gas and cook with an exposed flame. Most have automatic ignition so you do not need to strike a match to light a burner. Simply turn the knob and set the flame to the desired level. Electric stoves cook with a heating element which converts electrical energy into heat. Like gas stoves, the cook must turn a knob, but unlike gas stoves, there is no flame, so its level cannot be directly observed. Instead, the knobs are marked with numbers generally ranging from 1 to 9 or 10. The settings 1-3 corresponds to low heat, 4-6 correspond to medium heat, and 7-10 correspond to high heat.
- Putting out a grease fire
In case of a grease fire in a pan, cover the pan with its lid. This will deprive the fire of oxygen and it will go out. If the cover is already on the pan, you may need to use a fire extinguisher.
- Safety considerations
Stoves with knobs along the back of the unit are more appropriate in households with small children because the children cannot reach the knobs and turn the stove on. This does present a greater danger to the cook, as he or she must reach across the burners to adjust the knobs - don't wear loose clothing when cooking with such a stove.
Another hazard to children involving stoves are pot handles. A pot handle should always be turned so it does not overhang the edge of the stove where a child could grab it or run into it. An overturned pot of boiling water can cause severe burns.
Do not place flammable items on the stove, ever. This includes paper or plastic plates, or food packaging items (boxes and bags). It is easy to accidentally turn on the wrong burner, and if a flammable item is on that burner, tragedy may ensue.
Remember that the burners stay hot for several minutes after they have been turned off.
Many foods (especially pastas) are boiled in water and the water is then drained. Use a colander for this purpose. When transporting a pot full of boiling water from the stove to the sink, do not lift the pot over the head of a child who may be underfoot - clear the area first. While cooking, dishes and cooking implements pile up in the sinks of even the cleanest of kitchens. Remove any dishes from the sink before pouring boiling water into it. The sudden temperature increase can shatter glass, and you do not want boiling water to pool up in any dishes in the sink.
Measuring spoons and cups
Measuring spoons are used for measuring small amounts of dry or liquid ingredients. It is best to have two sets and use one for measuring dry ingredients and the other for measuring liquid ingredients. This will save you time because you won't have to wash and dry the spoons every time you need to switch between dry and liquid items.
For liquid measures, fill the spoon all the way to the top. For dry measures, level the spoon off with a knife.
Measuring cups are for measuring larger amounts of ingredients, and again, it is wise to have two to avoid mixing dry and wet ingredients during the measuring process, but even more importantly, a dry measure is not the same thing as a liquid measure. A dry measuring cup measures volume while a liquid measuring cup measures weight. It is unfortunate that these units are both named ounces. A one-ounce volume of water very nearly weighs one ounce, but a one-ounce volume of flour weighs quite a bit less than one ounce. Make sure you understand which type of ounce is being specified in a recipe.
Measure dry ingredients with a dry measuring cup using the same procedure as with a measuring spoon - that is, level it off with a knife. Liquid measuring cups are usually made of glass, and the measurements are marked on the side. Fill the measuring cup to the correct level by looking directly across the measuring line, not looking down at an angle.
A mixer is a kitchen appliance intended for mixing, folding, beating, and whipping food ingredients. Mixers come in two major variations, hand mixers and stand mixers.
A hand mixer, as the name implies, is a hand-held device. It typically consists of a handle mounted over a large enclosure containing the motor, which drives two beaters. The beaters are immersed in the food to be mixed. Be careful when removing the beaters from the food. If you have a deep bowl and can lift the beaters free of the food without lifting them above the rim of the bowl, you may lift them before turning off the mixer. This will fling food onto the sides of the bowl freeing it from the beaters. If you lift running beaters outside the bowl, you will fling food all over the kitchen, creating an unnecessary mess.
A stand mixer is essentially the same as a hand mixer, but is mounted on a stand which bears the weight of the device. Stand mixers are larger and have more powerful motors than their hand-held counterparts. They generally have a special bowl that is locked in place while the mixer is operating.
A blender is a kitchen appliance used to blend ingredients or puree food. The term typically refers to a stationary, upright electrical device, which is to be distinguished from a hand-powered or electric mixer that may be used for similar purposes.
A typical blender is built around a vessel for the ingredients to be blended. At the top of the vessel is a cap to prevent ingredients from escaping when the blender is switched on. At the bottom is a blade assembly, typically removable for cleaning purposes. The bottom seal is most likely watertight. The vessel rests upon a base containing a motor (for turning the blade assembly) with controls on its surface. Most modern blenders offer a number of possible speeds.
A food processor is a kitchen appliance used to facilitate various repetitive tasks in the process of preparation of food. Today, the term almost always refers to an electric-motor-driven appliance, although there are some manual devices also referred to as "food processors".
Food processors are similar to blenders in many ways. The primary difference is that food processors use swappable blades and disks (attachments) instead of a fixed blade. Also, their bowls are wider and shorter, a more appropriate shape for the solid or semi-solid foods usually worked in a food processor.
Its functions normally consist of:
- Chopping Vegetables
- Grinding items such as nuts, meat, or dried fruit
- Shredding or Grating cheese or vegetables
- Mixing and kneading doughs
The base of the unit houses a motor which turns a vertical shaft. A bowl, usually made of transparent plastic, fits around the shaft. Cutting blades can be attached to the shaft; these fit so as to operate near the bottom of the bowl. Shredding or slicing disks can be attached instead; these spin near the top of the bowl. A lid with a "feed tube" is then fitted onto the bowl.
The feed tube allows ingredients to be added while chopping, grinding or pureeing. It also serves as a chute through which items are introduced to shredding or slicing disks. A "pusher" is provided, sized to slide through the feed tube, protecting fingers.
Almost all modern food processors have safety devices which prevent the motor from operating if the bowl isn't properly affixed to the base or if the lid isn't properly affixed to the bowl.
Boiling is cooking food in boiling water, or other water-based liquid such as stock or milk. Simmering is gentle boiling, while in poaching the cooking liquid moves but scarcely bubbles.
In places where the available water supply is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, boiling water (and allowing it to cool) before drinking it is a valuable health measure. Boiling water for a few minutes kills most bacteria, amoebas, and other microbial pathogens. It thus can help prevent cholera, dysentery, and other diseases caused by these organisms.
Foods suitable for boiling include fish, vegetables, pasta, eggs, meats, sauces, stock, and soups.
- Older, tougher, cheaper joints of meat and poultry can be made digestible.
- It is appropriate for large-scale cookery
- Nutritious, well flavored stock is produced
- It is safe and simple
- Maximum colour and nutritive value is retained when cooking green vegetables, provided boiling time is kept to the minimum
- There is a loss of soluble vitamins in the water.
- It can be a slow method
- Foods can look unattractive
Boiling can be done in two ways: The food can be placed into already rapidly boiling water and left to cook, the heat can be turned down and the food can be simmered; or the food can also be placed into the pot, and cold water may be added to the pot. This may then be boiled until the food is satisfactory.
Broiling is a process of cooking food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food, most commonly from above. As it is a way of cooking without added oil, it is popular in low-fat diets.
In electric ovens, broiling is accomplished by placing the food near the upper heating element, with the lower heating element off and the oven door partially open. Gas ovens often have a separate compartment for broiling, as a drawer below the flame.
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or fat. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed.
Fats can reach much higher temperatures than water at normal atmospheric pressure. Through frying, one can sear or even carbonize the surface of foods while caramelizing sugars. The food is cooked much more quickly and has a special crispness and texture. Depending on the food, the fat will penetrate it to varying degrees, contributing richness, lubricity, and its own flavor.
Frying techniques vary in the amount of fat required, the cooking time, the type of cooking vessel required, and the manipulation of the food. Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying are all standard frying techniques.
Baking is the technique of cooking food in an oven by dry heat applied evenly throughout the oven or only from the bottom element. Breads, desserts, and meat are often baked, and baking is the primary cooking technique used to produce cakes and pastry-based goods such as pies, tarts, and quiches.
Simmering is a cooking technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just barely below the boiling point of water (at average sea level air pressure), 100 °C (212 °F). To keep a pot simmering, one brings it to a boil and then adjusts the heat downward until just before the formation of steam bubbles stops completely. Water normally begins to simmer at about 94 °C or 200 °F.
Simmering ensures gentler treatment than boiling to prevent toughening and prevent food from breaking up. Simmering is usually a rapid and efficient method of cooking.
Waterless cooking is a method of cooking food without adding water (there is already water in most foods), fats, or oils. This technique requires the use of some very expensive cookware designed expressly for this purpose, but there are some health benefits too. Boiling water will dissolve some nutrients which are then flushed from the food. Waterless cooking is done in a sealed container that locks in all the moisture already present in the food. Vitamins and flavor are also retained by the food, so there is no need to add butter, salt or oil to liven it up.
Microwave ovens have revolutionized cooking since their use became widespread in the 1970s.
Professional chefs generally find microwave ovens to be of limited usefulness. On the other hand, people who are lacking in free time, or not comfortable with their cooking skills, can use microwave ovens to reheat stored food (including commercially available pre-cooked frozen dishes) in only a few minutes.
Food is heated for so short a time that it is often cooked unevenly. Microwave ovens are frequently used for reheating previously cooked food, and bacterial contamination may not be killed by the reheating, resulting in foodborne illness. The uneven heating is partly due to the uneven distribution of microwave energy inside the oven, and partly due to the different rates of energy absorption in different parts of the food.
The first problem is reduced by a stirrer, a type of fan built in to the over (but hidden from view) that reflects microwave energy to different parts of the oven as it rotates, and by a turntable or carousel that turns the food.
It is also important not to place food or a container in the center of a microwave's turntable. That actually defeats its purpose. Rather, it should be placed a bit off-center so that the item travels all around the area of oven's cooking cavity, thus assuring even heating.
The second problem must be addressed by the cook, who should arrange the food so that it absorbs energy evenly, and periodically test and shield any parts of the food that overheat.
Many microwave ovens' performance drops after about 15 minutes of continuous usage, which means food takes longer to cook. When heating several meals, the last meal to be cooked may not be heated properly as a result.
Defrosting is another common weakness, as many microwave ovens may start to cook the edges of the frozen food, while the inside of the food remains frozen.
Closed containers and eggs can explode when heated in a microwave oven due to the pressure build-up of steam. Products that are heated too long can catch fire. Manuals of microwave ovens warn of such hazards.
Tin foil, aluminum foil, ceramics decorated with metal, and products containing other metals can cause sparks when they are used in a microwave.
Several microwave fires have been noted where Chinese takeout boxes with a metal handle are microwaved, and also where "homemade" microwave popcorn bags have been sealed using a metal staple, which is then heated and sets fire to the bag. This type of accident can pose a dangerous situation because of the extremely flammable mixture of popcorn and oil in the bag. Thus, it is good practice to remove any metal utensils or metal containing objects from a microwave oven before operating it, as the behavior of these objects when immersed in a strong microwave radiation field is unpredictable.
Most/Least Healthful Methods
Waterless cooking may be the most healthful way of cooking food, but baking is also a good choice. Fried foods are the least healthful way to cook food, and unfortunately, this is the technique used most frequently by "fast food" restaurants.
Grits may be sweetened with honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or jelly. Grits can also be flavored with cheese, sunnyside up egg, or vegetarian sausage. Serve while hot.
Recipe adapted from Effigy Mounds National Monument.
|Hot Apple Cider|
Pour the apple juice and maple syrup into a large pan. Place the cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and citrus peelings on the center of a piece of cheesecloth. Bundle it up and tie it up with a piece of string. Place the bundle in the apple juice and cook for 5 to 10 minutes over moderate heat - do not let it boil. Turn off the heat (or turn it way down) and discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into mugs and if desired, put another cinnamon stick in each cup.
Using eggs that have been in the fridge for several days (but are still before the date on the shell or carton), will make it easier to peel the eggs once they are cooked. If you are using really fresh eggs, rather than commodity eggs from the store, you may have to keep them three weeks or more before they will be easily peeled.
Two major problems arise when making hard-boiled eggs: overcooking and cracking.
You can tell if an egg is overcooked by examining the yolk. If the egg was cooked too long the yolk will be a pale yellow surrounded by a green or greenish band. Overcooked eggs also give off the faint odor of sulfur.
Cracking of eggs while cooking is caused by the too rapid expansion of pressure in the air pocket inside the egg. Eggshell is porous and will allow the air to escape as the egg heats and its contents expand. However if the egg heats too quickly the air does not have time to escape. This causes an uneven pressure on the inside of the shell as the air pocket heats at a different rate than the white. The egg then cracks, often leaking into the cooking water.
There is one solution to these two problems. Place the eggs to be cooked in a pan or pot of cold water. There should be enough water to cover all the eggs completely. The pot should be large enough for all the eggs to lay on their sides with a little space between them. If they do touch it is alright, but there should be enough space that they don't have to be touching to fit.
Turn the stove on and bring the water to a rolling boil. Notice as you heat the eggs, you will see tiny air bubbles coming from the base (the big end) of the egg. This is air from the air pocket escaping. Once the water has been at a rolling boil for about a minute and a half, turn the stove off. Allow the water to gradually cool with the eggs in it. After about twenty minutes the water should be cool enough to reach in with your hands and remove the eggs. Not only have you allowed the air to escape, preventing the egg from cracking, but by gradually heating and then cooling the eggs they won't have overcooked. By the time the center of the egg has become hot enough to start really cooking the water will be cooling it down.
Enjoy your eggs!
Making Great Hard-boiled Eggs
|Cottage Cheese Eggs|
Serve with or on wheat toast.
The first step in making mashed potatoes is to boil them. Old potatoes normally need to be peeled before boiling. Many new potatoes are better when boiled in their skins, but you should of course wash them first. Small potatoes can be cooked whole. Larger potatoes will cook more evenly and quickly if you cut them into roughly egg-sized pieces. Put the potatoes in a large enough pan and add enough water to cover them easily. Add a little salt if you like. Bring to the boil. Potatoes will take around 25 minutes to cook through. To test whether they are done, press the tip of a cook's knife into one. It should be able to slip in and out easily. Drain the cooking water and attack the potatoes with a knife so that they are cut into small pieces. (This is very therapeutic.) You then need to add some milk and butter (according to taste and waistline) and puree all ingredients. Use a potato-ricer or a mixer for best results or a hand held masher for possibly lumpy mash. You can add salt and pepper or other herbs and spices as you wish.
On a cold day, few things are nicer than a baked potato. Use a large potato, with its skin on. Preheat the oven to very hot (gas mark 7) and put in the potatoes for about an hour. Especially when using an electric oven, it is important to protect the potatoes from drying by covering them with foil or coating them in oil. A lid over the whole batch will do, saving on foil and oil. You may put a metal skewer through the potato to help distribute heat evenly. Trial and error are, as usual, your friends. Serve the potato as hot as you can stand it. Fillings can include butter, grated cheese (something strong like cheddar), baked beans, pesto - you name it. And eat the skin - it really is good for you, like your mum said.
The most healthful way to prepare vegetables is to wash them and serve them raw (possibly slicing them first), but the requirement does say to cook them, so we'll have to go that route. Most vegetables can be steamed for a short amount of time - the shorter the better, as that's the closest to raw you're going to get and still cook them.
Plain cooked spinach is best served steamed or boiled in a minimum amount of water for no more than five minutes. The bulk of the leaves reduces enormously in cooking. Allow about 4 ounces per serving and use the biggest pan you have. Serve with lemon juice, or perhaps with salt.
Spinach is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, where it is known as saag. Try sprinkling the raw leaves with garam masala before cooking for a slightly different and low sodium alternative to salt.
Wash beans thoroughly in clear, cool water. Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise or diagonally, or French-cut (i.e., cut along the length of the bean). If you want sweet tasting, crisp fresh beans, cut them as little as possible. Cut older, more mature beans in the French style (i.e., lengthwise).
Stir-frying is one of the easiest ways to prepare green beans. This method maintains more nutrients than other cooking methods, although it also adds a little fat to them. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans as little as possible, using the least amount of water possible.
Boiling, steaming, and microwaving are other common methods for preparing green beans. When boiling, beans may release some nutrients into the water, so try to re-use the bean water to regain some of the nutrients lost. For example, you can use the water to boil rice.
To cook a decent-sized winter squash in the traditional way, first slice it in half from stem end to blossom end. If the squash is very large, cut it a few more times. Place the pieces into a baking dish. Cover the dish with foil to keep the squash from getting terribly dry. Cook the squash for a fairly long time, not at a very high temperature, so that it gets soft all the way to the inside. The squash is done when you can easily shove a spoon into it. Serve the squash as it is. Add butter and maple syrup at the table.
Green salads are an excellent source of vitamins and dietary fiber. Furthermore, salads are generally low in calories, and if served at the beginning of a meal, tend to satisfy the appetite before high-calorie items are introduced. A simple salad may start out with one or more types of lettuce (iceberg, romaine, etc.), and to that other vegetables are added, such as tomatoes, olives, cucumber slices, green peppers, mushrooms, radishes, or onions. This combination is then "tossed" to mix the ingredients together before serving. Salad dressing may be selected and added by the person eating the salad.
The food pyramid guide is updated every five years and published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The 2010 version is shown here:
Following the food pyramid helps ensure that a person gets a balanced and varied diet.
The values in the table below are for children who are physically active for 60 minutes or more per day. Use the USDA website for adults and for less active children.
|Food Group||Grains||Vegetables||Fruits||Milk||Meat & Beans|
|10 year-old Male||7 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6 ounces|
|10 year-old Female||6 oz||2.5 cups||2 cups||3 cups||5.5 ounces|
|11 year-old Male||7 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6 ounces|
|11 year-old Female||6 oz||2.5 cups||2 cups||3 cups||5.5 ounces|
|12 year-old Male||8 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6.5 ounces|
|12 year-old Female||7 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6 ounces|
|13 year-old Male||9 oz||3.5 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6.5 ounces|
|13 year-old Female||7 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6 ounces|
|14 year-old Male||10 oz||3.5 cups||2.5 cups||3 cups||7 ounces|
|14 year-old Female||8 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6.5 ounces|
|15 year-old Male||10 oz||5 cups||2.5 cups||3 cups||7 ounces|
|15 year-old Female||8 oz||3 cups||2 cups||3 cups||6.5 ounces|
Properly setting a table means not putting out utensils and dishes that will not be used in the meal. A casual table setting will do for the family evening meal, and since this one requires a salad, vegetable, and main dish, we can dispense with many of the formalities.
- Dinner Plate
- Start by setting the dinner plate on the center of the placemat (if a placemat is not used, set the plate on the table centered in front of the chair), about two inches from the edge of the table.
- You will need two forks - one for the salad (usually a smaller fork) and one for the main entrée and vegetables. Both forks should be placed to the left of the plate, with the dinner fork closest to the plate.
- Put a napkin to the left of the salad fork.
- Knife and Spoon
- The knife and spoon go to the right of the dinner plate, with the knife set closer to the plate. The knife's edge should face the plate, and the spoon should be placed right-side up (such that the bowl of the spoon would hold a liquid).
- The drinking glass should be placed above the knife.
- Salad Bowl
- The salad bowl should be placed above the forks.
This answer book already has eight recipes in it, so the Pathfinder should find two (or more!) recipes on his or her own. Also note that the recipes listed here are only suggestions. Individual taste may dictate that other recipes be used instead, and not only is that fine, it is highly encouraged. Bon Appetite!
"All should learn what to eat and how to cook it. Men, as well as women, need to understand the simple, healthful preparation of food. " Ministry of Healing page 323
Some recipes for this chapter were taken, or adapted from Wikibook's Cookbook.