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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_379540522_eaac82621aWhat does it mean to let the butter's foam subside?

Thumb_379540522_eaac82621aWhat does it mean to let the butter's foam subside?

Certain phrases have become part of the recipe vernacular despite giving little in the way of good guidance. Most of us, for example, have seen something like this in recipes that call for cooking with butter: “Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. When the foam subsides, add the vegetables and stir.” Why does the butter's foam need to subside? It’s an indicator of temperature. Adding vegetables or meat to cold fat is a fast way to mess up a good dish. The ingredients soak up the butter rather than cook in it, and the finished dish can turn out excessively buttery and too moist on the surface. Hot fat, on the other hand, prevents sticking and encourages browning. Letting the butter's foam subside before adding ingredients ensures a hot cooking environment and adds a rich flavor to the dish. Of course, butter is hot well before its foam subsides. In some dishes like soups, where you're sweating vegetables, you may not want that extra richness. In these cases, you're looking for the point at which the butter begins to foam. But if a recipe does call for you to let the butter's foam subside, here's a rough guide: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Swirl the butter around in the pan. The milk solids will begin to separate out. The butter will sizzle and foam. After another minute or so the foam subsides. The butter looks more like oil now, and it’s hot. At this point you might add eggs for an omelette. For something like a sage butter sauce, let the butter go another 30 seconds or so to let it brown and take on a slightly nutty flavor. Like olive oil, butter has a low smoke point, so watch it closely. You don't want it to burn and smoke. If it does, rinse and dry the pan, then start over. Recipe: Tortellini With Sage, Brown Butter, And Parmesan (Cookthink) Related: Root Source: Unsalted Butter (Cookthink)

Thumb_212715245_b1ebbd2b89What's the difference between yellow squash and zucchini?

Thumb_212715245_b1ebbd2b89What's the difference between yellow squash and zucchini?

What's the difference between yellow squash and zucchini. As far as cooking goes, not much -- just their skin color. We substitute one for the other all the time.  Both are so-called summer squashes that are picked while still immature, so that their thin skins and soft seeds are still edible. A yellow squash is of course yellow, with either a straight body and smooth rind or a crookneck and bumpy skin (which looks odd but is perfectly fine to eat). Recipe: Zucchini Soup With Lime (Cookthink) Recipe: Grilled Shrimp And Squash Kebabs (Cookthink) Reference: Cucumber vs. zucchini (Cookthink)

Thumb_3026725413_9151756c5eWhat is harissa?

Thumb_3026725413_9151756c5eWhat is harissa?

Harissa is a spicy chili paste from North Africa and the Middle East that can be found in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, and is popular in France. Made with (often smoked) chili peppers, garlic, olive or caraway oil and coriander, it may also contain cumin, dried mint, verbena leaves, tomatoes or rose petals. The ingredients are pounded to a paste, which is left to develop its flavors for at least 12 hours. Harissa is used to flavor merguez sausage; as a condiment for falafel and other dishes; as a meat rub; and diluted in broth to add spice to couscous, stews and soups. Prepared harissa is available in jars, tubes and cans; homemade harissa can be covered with olive oil and kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Thumb_572440916_f83ef03bb2What exactly is feta cheese?

Thumb_572440916_f83ef03bb2What exactly is feta cheese?

Feta cheese is the most famous Greek invention since democracy. Traditionally made from sheep's (or goat's) milk, commercial producers now also use cow's milk to make the bright white, rindless cheese. Feta is cured and stored in a salty whey brine and has a distinct tangy taste and crumbly texture. Feta is made by draining curdled milk in molds or cloth bags. It is then cut into slices, salted, and these days, packed in whey brine-filled barrels or plastic tubs, although the best feta is salted and aged rather than drowned in brine. The flavor and level of moisture in the cheese depends on the cheesemaker. Feta-like cheese is now made in many parts of the world. In Europe the cheese is produced from Bulgaria to Denmark and France. But authentic Greek feta is now protected in Europe with an AOC designation of origin label, like Champagne or Bordeaux. Real feta must contain at least 70 percent sheep's milk and be made using traditional methods and in just seven regions of Greece. Feta cheese sold in the U.S. does not have to comply with these rules.