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Thumb_413050348_fbba982ecaWhat does it mean to blanch something?

Thumb_413050348_fbba982ecaWhat does it mean to blanch something?

To blanch means to plunge food into boiling water for a very short amount of time. Most blanched foods are immediately rinsed in icy bath to stop the cooking process (this is known as "refreshing" or "shocking"). Blanching raw vegetables will brighten the color while maintaining a crisp, barely-cooked texture and flavor. Blanching also helps loosen the skin of tomatoes or stone fruit for peeling. Recipe: Blanched And Buttered Brussels Sprouts (Cookthink) Recipe: Blanched Asparagus With Vinaigrette (Cookthink)

Thumb_413049735_2cb8ee33c5What is canola oil?

Thumb_413049735_2cb8ee33c5What is canola oil?

The word "canola" is a derivative of the phrase "Canadian oil, low acid." Let's break that down a little further. Canola oil was first developed in Canada (in the 1970s), so that takes care of the "cano-" part of the word. What about the "-la" or "low acid" part? Canola oil is made from varieties of rapeseed that contain very little amounts of something called erucic acid. Rapeseed naturally contains high levels of erucic acid, which has been suspected of being toxic to some animals in high levels. People have been cooking with rapeseed oil for centuries. However, given the suspicions about its cumulative negative health effects, breeders began developing rapeseed that contained only small traces of erucic acid. And that's how "cano-" got its "-la".

Thumb_garlic minceHow to mince garlic

Thumb_garlic minceHow to mince garlic

When you want a dish to have quintessential garlic flavor that permeates each bite, mince it. You can mince with a knife, or a garlic press. Either way, you need to free the individual cloves. To do that, press down on the head with the heel of your palm. Apply firm, even pressure so the cloves don't fly all over the place. To peel an individual clove, cut of the hard stem end where the clove attached to the bulb. Either stop the cut just short of the skin on the other side and peel the skin around to remove it, or make the cut all the way through and squeeze out the clove. The older the clove, the easier the skin releases. You can also peel it by setting the side of your knife blade on the clove and pressing down until you feel the skin release, though not hard enough to pulverize it, or the skin will get mixed in with the garlic. To mince with a knife, smash the peeled clove with the side of the knife. Then just run your knife back and forth across the smashed clove, chopping as you go until it's as fine as you like. If you don't want individual little pieces of garlic and have a press, just put the whole peeled clove (or cloves, if you can fit them) in the press and squeeze. Use your knife to trim away any clinging garlic.

Thumb_445484199_a6fb96eaf2What does emulsify mean?

Thumb_445484199_a6fb96eaf2What does emulsify mean?

To emulsify means to bind two things together that don't naturally bind, like oil and vinegar. In order to make the combination work, you need an emulsifier, a bridge substance. Common emulsifiers include eggs (to bind oil and lemon juice for mayonnaise) and mustard (for vinaigrette). To emulsify, you'll need a whisk, blender or food processor. When a recipe doesn't call for an emulsifier to bind, say, a vinaigrette, whisk the oil and vinegar into a temporary emulsion just before serving. Reference: What makes a mustard "Dijon"? Reference: Homemade mayo: worth it? Recipe: Shallot-mustard vinaigrette Recipe: Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette (Kalyn's Kitchen)