Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

RE: Preparation Times For Recipes

It takes a lot longer to develop a recipe than it does to replicate a recipe.

For that reason the prep times are not given.

To estimate the time for each procedure after the fact would not be accurate enough for my tastes.

The number of ingredients aren’t necessarily an indicator of preparation time.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES

TASTE THE BLOOD

SMOKED PAPRIKA

SMOKED PAPRIKA is the key ingredient added to animal-free recipes tasting of blood. Other additives that enhance the smoked paprika thus the blood taste are garlic powder, dry mustard, turmeric and sea salt.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight


AFC BLOOD RED ITALIAN SAUSAGE BURGER©

CGTS3



btn_donatecc_lg





Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

A Fruit Is A What?

Who does this? Who calls a fetus a fruit? And why?

Guilty people confusing the apple with the animal, so they can eat both.

If a fetus is a fruit in the womb, then a baby grown to an adult is a fruit outside the womb.

A fruit doesn’t change being a fruit when it pops from its pod. An animal doesn’t change being an animal after he/she is birthed.

I’m not a fruit and neither are you and neither is any other animal on the planet.

Animals don’t grow on vines. They don’t grow from soil.

It’s a bad analogy, precisely because it causes so much suffering.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

Simmering With Lids

When putting a lid on any sauce that’s going to simmer for a while, occasionally take a peek beneath the lid to make sure it isn’t boiling rapidly. Sauces tend to do that when you’re not looking.

If the burner is on the lowest setting and it’s still boiling rapidly, which happens sometimes, especially with electric stoves, then crack the lid just a hair to release some of the steam.






 

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MILK PRODUCTS CHEF'S HELPER

Softening Up Non-Dairy Ice-Cream

My freezer temperature has only one setting that has no bearing on anything else. If the refrigerator is plugged in, no matter the setting for the refrigerator part, the freezer acts the same way – like a blast of cold arctic air. We never have to worry about waiting for ice.

It’s not just that vegan ice-cream is harder than dairy ice-creams, because I really don’t know if it is, based on the way my freezer acts. It freezes everything rock solid.

That being the case, I always have to soften up the dairy free ice-cream. I remove the cover and a few seconds in the microwave does it. Start from ten seconds and work up, so it doesn’t actually melt.

Otherwise, if you don’t have use of a micro-wave, set the container in a larger container of hot tap water, about an inch from the top with the top closed tightly, again for a few seconds, working up in time to where it’s just right.






 

Categories
BANANAS CHEF'S HELPER

Discoloration Prevention

This is an easy one. Tired of seeing your apple cubes and banana slices turn brown right before your eyes, before you’ve hardly finished cutting them?

Here’s a solution that works. Combine the juice of 1-2 oranges (fresh) in bowl with a strong sprinkling of turmeric. Stir to dissolve. Then as you cut the fruit, add it to the bowl, stirring to coat as you add new fruit.

Let it set for up to a couple hours in the case of apples, and with bananas till you add the other ingredients. Stir as needed every so often.

For apples: Strain the apples and run under cold tap water to remove excess turmeric. Drain again then add to recipe.

With bananas, either use the turmeric and orange juice in the recipe or strain without rinsing.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES

Specialty Salts

Now that I’ve experienced them I’m always going to have them in my pantry, that is, as long as I can afford these high priced salts.

The two I’m talking about here are pink Himalayan salt and Celtic salt. I don’t really have a favorite, but I definitely use more of the pink, probably because the granulation is more similar to the table and sea salts I’m most familiar with. The Celtic salt has a powdery granulation that is nice but different.

I purchased Sherpa Pink Himalayan salt online – in both granulated and rock form. Sherpa refers to a member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet. Both pink salt products are Kosher, but that didn’t determine why I bought them.

Celtic salt is actually a French sea salt from the Bay of Biscay, Brittany Isles.

I did a tasting of both salts along with Morton’s iodized salt and somebody else’s sea salt that I also had on hand, and did discern a flavor difference outside of the texture consideration. However, once in the food of a recipe I doubt that I could tell one salt from the next.

However, since both salts tout purity in minerals and mining processing, I will stay with the higher-end salts. In pasta water, because I use so much of it, I still use either the iodized table salt or sea salt.

With both salts I use more in a recipe per teaspoon than if I were using the standard variety. Not much. If a recipe calls for one teaspoon regular salt, just add a little more of any sea or specialty salt.

Some won’t care. Salt is salt. But for me, it is always nicer to work with a quality product – and these two salts: pink Himalayan and Celtic are quality.







 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

Salmonella and Milk In The Wine

Did you know that many wine companies use egg whites and/or potassium caseinate (an animal milk protein) to purify their wines? They discovered years ago that unwanted particles in the wine would stick to these substances when added to the wine, making the removal of them easier, leaving a pure and clarified product.

You probably already know that food manufacturers have to label products made in a facility that uses milk and eggs, even though the actual recipe of the animal-free product you buy doesn’t contain animal products. It’s because some of the animal product, which also happens to be an allergen, ends up in your vegan product because it’s made on the same machinery – even though the policy is to clean the manufacturing machinery between recipes.

Many wine companies, because of the high cost of using egg whites are switching to a clay method which works just as well, and eliminates the salmonella and milk risk factors present in wines where those two animal-based methods are used. Many wine companies are using a combination of animal and clay method and many are sticking to the only animal-based method of clarifying their product.

Of the companies I called to inquire, most that are not using the clay method or are using a combination of the two are located in the Pacific Northwest. Foreign wine companies most often use the old method, whereas newer, progressive companies choose the clay method.

Unlike food companies, the wine, beer and spirit industry is not required to label the allergens either present in their product or used in the manufacturing of their product.

This needs to change and will change. We, the consumer, demand to know what we are putting into our bodies, regardless of the views of the owners of the recipe.

Remember this: The next time you have an allergic reaction to the alcohol beverage you’re drinking, or you get nauseated and sick after you’ve had a drink or two, maybe you shouldn’t automatically blame it on the sulfites or the mixer or the alcohol itself. Maybe it was the egg white and/or milk protein or other animal product we know nothing about. Maybe the insects used to color the wine.

We, the consumer, demand to know what you put in the product you sell to us. And if you don’t tell us and tell us truthfully and accurately, then we’ll start making our own wine, beer and spirits and leave yours in the dust where it belongs.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES

SMOKED PAPRIKA

SMOKED PAPRIKA is the key ingredient added to animal-free recipes tasting of blood. Other additives that enhance the smoked paprika thus the blood taste are garlic powder, dry mustard, turmeric and sea salt.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

The X-MAS TREE effect in plate presentation

When a chef is critiquing a plate of food one of the things they look for is color – all the major food colors.

You get so accustomed to that x-mas tree of colors on your plate, that if one is missing you go into x-mas tree withdrawal. Oh my God, I lost the  cooking contest because I didn’t put any green on my plate! Horrors!

Stop the insanity on the plate. If all colors belonged on every plate, then all food would look like a rainbow. Who made up that rule anyway?

When you dress yourself do you always have to add a touch of green or red or yellow? Stop the color insanity. Every plate doesn’t have to have the same colors on it.

Make the plate of food look good. Make it look beautiful if you want to create a work of art on the plate. Just be sure it tastes as good as it looks.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES NUTS & SEEDS

FENNEL SEED – the perfect plant meat spice

FENNEL SEEDIt’s not the same as star anise. It’s close, or should I say star anise is close to fennel seed – a cousin, seems like the same DNA, but is it really? I mean, do I really want to be putting licorice into my savory sauces? That’s what star anise is, basically, the taste of licorice – whatever makes licorice licorice, that’s what star anise tastes like.

Fennel on the other hand – a whiff of something like licorice, but until somebody pointed it out decades ago, I never connected the two – fennel with licorice. I connected it with Italian sausage. Pizzelles (an Italian pastry made on something that looks like a fancy waffle iron), now that’s made using star anise.

Fennel is a savory spice, not a dessert spice. Though now that I’m thinking about it, I think I will make a dessert out of fennel seed. Some day.

There’s a complexity to fennel seed that star anise lacks. Umami is what I’m talkin’ about here. Fennel seed and allspice – yeah I couldn’t leave that other mami out. Team those two and explosions occur in the kitchen, in the pot, in the sauce, in the plant meat…whoa.

Sorry Asians, but soy sauce doesn’t hold a candle to fennel and allspice in the umami department. I don’t know why cooks are putting soy sauce into everything they make. Cream soups even. Take it out.

Of course allspice is not exactly considered a savory spice. Sweet as in dessert is where it is most often used.

I use ground fennel in sauces, soups, salad dressings, plant meats, appetizers, veggie dishes and on and on.

I buy fennel seed in bulk and grind my own. If you live near an Italian grocery store, they’ll probably sell it finely ground, which is just as good as you doing it, since they do it from the seed just like you would. And they only grind what they know they’ll sell.

I use a coffee grinder with good results. It’s best to have two grinders, one for spices and seeds and one for coffee.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER ORANGE, LEMON, LIME

WASH BEFORE YOU ZEST

If you don’t wash your oranges and lemons before zesting them, and by wash I mean a thorough rub under running water, then you’re feeding your customers poisons through pesticides. Nobody wants neurotoxins served up on their savory and sweet dishes.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER WORKING WITH GARLIC

GARLIC: POWDER vs GRANULATED

Garlic powder textures like cornstarch. Granulated garlic textures like salt, but doesn’t melt or dissolve. The finer the granulation, the better. Shop around.

Most markets now carry only the granulated, yet label it as garlic powder. Ninety-nine percent of the time I use granulated labeled as powder. I know it’s confusing, but that’s what manufacturers do.

If you shop at a specialty market or wholesale food store, you’ll be able to buy granulated labeled as granulated, and powdered labeled as powder.

If you want extra smooth, then use powder. If it doesn’t matter, then use granulated labeled as powder, or labeled as granulated. The powder is white and the granulated is tan.

* The same is true for onion powder vs granulated onion.






Categories
CHEF'S HELPER MUSHROOMS

MINOR’S MUSHROOM BASE

I buy Minor’s Mushroom Base at Gordon’s Food Store.

It can also be purchased online at amazon.com and elsewhere.

It’s a great product that enhances the mushroom flavor of whatever dish you use it in.

It’s salty, because it’s highly concentrated, so you don’t need much. It’s also gluten-free.






 

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MILK PRODUCTS CHEF'S HELPER SANDWICHES

GRILLING VEG CHEESE SANDWICHES

Before grilling veg cheeses in a sandwich, always bring cheese to room temperature before assembling and grilling.

The cheese will melt quicker.

http://chefdavies-tight.com/2016/01/04/potato-bread-quesadilla/






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES TURMERIC

USING FRESH TURMERIC

FRESH TURMERIC

Lots of people are using fresh turmeric these days. Just as with fresh ginger vs powdered ginger, the benefits of fresh turmeric vs powdered are essentially the same. But if you worry that the powdered isn’t organic and/or you just want the taste of fresh, then buy fresh.

The first time I had fresh turmeric I peeled and cut off a piece and chewed it pretty much like one would chew tobacco to extract the juices for maximum benefit. I don’t however recommend this. Several hours later I noticed to my horror that my teeth, gums and tongue were all a bright orange. It took days of brushing to remove the stains. Others I talked to who had tried fresh turmeric said that didn’t happen to them, but they ate it along with something else – mainly fresh fruit.

It goes especially well with apples and pears. Use it in soups, where you add it peeled and grated into each bowl as a topper. Sprinkle it grated over salads. Including sliced radishes in the salad makes the turmeric not stand alone in texture and flavor.

I use powdered turmeric in a lot of different recipes. In scrambled, baked of fried tofu it imparts a hint of an egg taste. You can use it in bean dishes to enhance the flavor of the beans, and in rice dishes for color and flavor depth. I’ll often put it in homemade veggie burgers, even cookies. So, experiment.

As I’m writing this, I’m drinking a juice glass of carrot juice with a teaspoon of powdered turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory effects.  Rather than take an over the counter pain med, I’m going to give it a try once a day to see if it helps the pain in my hip.

Turmeric has a flavor whereby if you like it, you do, if you don’t, you don’t. Try it and see what you think.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC


Getting to the Root of the Turmeric Trend

US News
You may know turmeric as the deep-yellow spice in Indian curries. Or perhaps you recognize it as the ingredient that makes classic American mustard bright yellow. Maybe you have a jar of ground turmeric buried in your cupboards, or recently spotted fresh turmeric root in the produce aisle at your supermarket. It’s that knobby orange thing that looks like a cross between a small piece of ginger and a carrot.

All of a sudden, turmeric is having a moment — a big shiny moment in the spotlight. Headlines are touting the myriad health benefits of turmeric, Pinterest boards and blogs are bursting with turmeric-filled recipes, new cold-pressed juices and fancy teas infused with turmeric are hitting store shelves and trend trackers are declaring turmeric as the next big thing.

What’s going on?…

CONTINUE READING > http://news.yahoo.com/getting-root-turmeric-trend-130240897.html



BLACK STRIPE

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER RICE

NEW RICE POLICY

Since reading about high arsenic levels in rice, particularly brown rice, I now rinse all bagged rice till water runs clear before cooking it.

Place dried rice in wire mesh strainer. Run faucet water over rice, while holding the strainer over a saucepan, emptying pan as needed, till the water runs clear into the pan.

RINSING RICE 2






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

TASTING

TASTING. Taste and/or smell each ingredient before you add it to a dish, then taste and smell the dish to which you’ve added it, so that you become familiar with the way in which the flavor, texture, color and aroma achievements progress. Cooking is not only an art, but a science as well. Knowing how one ingredient in a particular form, under certain conditions interacts with another, and how those two interact with a third, and so on, will give you a solid foundation from which to begin the creative, more artistic aspect of cooking.

Keep in mind that the flavor, texture, color and aroma achievements are not complete until you serve the dish. This means that while the recipe is in progress it will not taste, feel, look or smell perfectly. Due to our impatient, pleasure-seeking natures, we frequently expect the full flavor, etc. achievement from the beginning, and when we don’t get it we become discouraged and begin altering the recipe, which inevitably leads to further frustration. Be patient; take your time and wait till the end for the full maturation of your achievements to occur.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

SIMMERING

SIMMERING generally means to cook just at or below the boiling point. When it makes a significant difference, you will be instructed as to the precise level required for any given recipe. For instance, we can simmer at a slow boil, just barely at the boiling point or just below the boiling point.

If we need to redefine these points further, you will be instructed to simmer at the breaking or rupture point (at that point when the bubble becomes just large enough to break–which is more like a hiccup than a boil–usually occurring in thick sauces); or just below the breaking or rupture point (when the bubble rises up from the sauce, but instead of rupturing, it subsides, and then rises again).

Simmering at the fizzle point refers to lots of tiny boiling bubbles in the liquid, giving the appearance of carbonation.

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

SCALLIONS

SCALLIONS. Just because you have scallion in the refrigerator doesn’t mean you should garnish every dish with it. However, if you really like scallion with everything, then try varying the cut: some tiny, thin rings, some sliced the long way into 2 inch long matchstick width or smaller.

Try frying up thick round disks of the white part of the scallion. Fry them hard without stirring them in the skillet. Flip gently, fry on the other side, then top whatever you’re topping.

When washing scallions, wash out the inside of the tubes by placing them under the faucet and filling them with water. Rinse several times. Peel off the sticky outer membranes, cut off the tops and store in a jar in refrigerator with a little water in the bottom and a baggie over the tops.

For cilantro or parsley: Wash well, shake dry, place in jar with water, place baggie over the top and refrigerate. Change the water every few days just like you would do a vase of flowers.

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER HERBS & SPICES

SALT

SALT. There’s a difference between Morton’s (or similar) table salt and sea salt. To achieve the same salt taste, it takes a little more sea salt.

You be the judge, since there are also differences among sea salts.

Re: Kosher salt–the rock kind. All the chefs on the food network use it. I’ve tried it, and don’t like it for two reasons.

1.  It’s too difficult to discern measurement. You can’t really measure it accurately. And since measurement is the primary way I communicate a recipe to you, I stay with the granulated/grain variety.

2.  It doesn’t always melt, especially in quick saute dishes, and ends up feeling like bits of glass in the mouth. That’s a texture achievement I don’t wish to achieve.


SALTING THE WATER. Don’t sprinkle a little salt over a large pot of water and expect the water to be salty. For large amounts of water, you need large amounts of salt, especially when cooking pasta, which without salt is especially bland.

 

Many chefs reduce the salt in recipes and some never use it, preferring instead to let the diner salt to their own tastes.

Personally, I prefer the dish come out to me finished, whereby I don’t need a salt shaker.

If I taste a dish and it needs salt, then my first impression of the dish is that it’s lacking something. I prefer a good first impression.

However, people can often adjust to a lower salted dish and actually like the change, whereby too salty cannot never be forgiven by the palate.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

QUALITY

QUALITY. The quality of the dish you prepare is only as good as the quality of the ingredients that go into it. But, the finest ingredients can be ruined by careless cooking practices. So, shop for quality and cook conscientiously.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

PLATE PRESENTATION

PLATE PRESENTATION. How does your plate look after you’ve arranged your food on it? Garnishing illuminates a dish, but be sure that you want what’s on your plate illuminated. Food piled or thrown on like slop gives an undesirable appearance; and appearances do count. No matter what you’re serving, arrange it on the plate in a way that pleases the eye. Then wipe the edges of the plate clean of food droppings and smears.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER PASTA

PASTA

PASTA. Cooking pasta need not require oil added to the water. It’s more important that you use lots of water, and the pasta is stirred continuously from the time of insertion until past the initial melting stage (when the starch softens and individual pastas tend to stick together). Beyond this and in the presence of a roaring boil further stirring is not required. However, I like to add a couple tablespoons of oil to the water. Even though chefs tell you that it doesn’t touch the pasta, since it is drained out, I believe that everything in the pot, when drained passes through the water and the oil, and that it does make a difference.

If served immediately after draining, rinsing pasta is not necessary, but if you still prefer to do so (as I do), then rinse very quickly under just a little cold water. If you like to toss it with a little melted margarine or olive oil, this is the time to do it.

If serving family style, reserve the hot water that the pasta was cooked in by draining pasta over another large pot. Put the water on the stove to reheat while you serve and eat. If, by the time second helpings become imminent, the pasta has gummed up and stuck together in the serving bowl, take it to the kitchen; submerge it in heated water; redrain and return it to the table. Your guests should enjoy all aspects of their meal–even seconds.

In pasta salads as well as hot pasta and vegetable tosses use at least as many vegetables as pasta. If not, the blandness of the pasta will overwhelm the dish and you will see your guests searching through it for more flavorful morsels.

Regarding fettucini: Fettucini, a popular pasta, is not a recipe, but a shape. Translated from Italian, fettucini means tape-or ribbon-shaped, thereby classifying any flat noodle, regardless of the thickness, length or width as fettucini. Consequently, there is great variation in the market place, ranging from short, thin, narrow noodles to long, thick, wide noodles with varying sizes in between. Some are sold fresh; some prepackaged dried. When called for in a recipe where the dimensions are not given, take into account the other ingredients and select a noodle accordingly. Hearty, robust ingredients and sauces go best with hearty noodles; and delicate ingredients and sauces go best with delicate noodles.

Salting pasta. Always salt your pasta water before cooking pasta. Pastas which are not cooked in salted water are bland and flavorless.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

PARTIALLY WILTED

PARTIALLY WILTED. This term is used to describe the cooking of a vegetable or fruit till it just begins to soften, that is, when the firm, crisp cellular structure breaks down and becomes pliable. This is not cooking to very soft, only till partially tender.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

PARTIALLY COVERED

PARTIALLY COVERED. This term refers to placing a lid slightly ajar on a pot, saucepan or skillet. The lid should be ajar by approximately 3/4-1 inch, allowing for either: the escape of excess steam or vapors, or the trapping of a portion of the steam or vapors.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

ORDER IN WHICH EACH DISH IS SERVED

ORDER IN WHICH EACH DISH IS SERVED. In some meals the order in which each dish is served is critical to the enjoyment of each dish. In other meals the order makes no difference whatsoever.  In this collection, I have noted when it does make a difference. For instance, some salads work best within the framework of the meal when served last. Some work best when served first, or midway, or on the same plate as the main dish. The specific flavor, texture, color and aroma qualities of each dish, and their potencies determine what will go with that dish, and in what order.

Generally, the meal is like a bell curve. You serve the blander dishes at each end of the curve, meaning the appetizer and dessert. The appetizer and/or soup work up to the salad in flavor potency to lead you to the entree, the most complex dish in flavors and textures. The sweet of dessert then eases you down from the excitement of the meal, leaving you contented.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER ONIONS

ONIONS

ONIONS. When onions are called for in a recipe, if it doesn’t specify the type, then use any type you like. However, when it does specify, then those recommended have been found to work the best in that recipe.

Sweet vs hot: When sweet onions are called for in a recipe, it refers to large Spanish yellow onions, Maui, Texas, Vidalia, Walla Walla, or others that taste comparably sweet. By using a hot or strong onion in a recipe that calls for sweet, you will be injecting too much onion flavor into that recipe.

However, many so-called sweet onions in the market these days are essentially hot, so when a sweet onion is called for it also refers to the texture and size, since sweet onions are larger than the small garden yellow variety, with thicker petals/layers and a broader bulb.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

OLIVE OILS

OLIVE OILS range in flavor from very mild to clearly distinct, with mild dishes generally requiring a mild oil, and spicy dishes a more flavorful one. But experiment with different varieties and combinations to discover your own preferences.

In Italy, olive oils are graded according to their pressing and acidity level. The first pressing, if done without heat or any other treatment is classified as virgin. This is the highest grade. Within the virgin category the oil is also graded for acidity. Extra virgin olive oil, considered to be the finest of the virgins, contains the least amount of acid found naturally in the oil: 1% or less. In Greece 1% or less is sometimes referred to as extra, extra virgin.

Store olive oil at room temperature. Cooling the oil congeals it, so if you make a dressing that needs to be refrigerated, bring to room temperature to melt before using.






 

Categories
ANIMAL-FREE MILK PRODUCTS CHEF'S HELPER

NON-DAIRY LIQUID CREAMER

NON-DAIRY LIQUID CREAMER. I use non-dairy liquid creamer freely in my kitchen. It is a superb product, tasting much like real cream.

Depending upon where you live in the country, brand names will vary. Locate in the dairy section of the market.

Much to my dismay, this product is no longer available in Cleveland, Ohio. There is a product called Rich’s Coffee Creamer that is sold frozen in some markets. It can substitute for skim milk, regular milk or cream depending on whether you add water to it.

It thaws well, but again it’s not in all grocery markets.

Animal-free chefs need a non-dairy creamer to make white sauces and puddings. Soy milk, cashew milk and almond milk, although great for many uses, isn’t generally rich enough for vegetable sauces or desserts. And, they usually are sweet and have a vanilla component, which aren’t conducive to savory cream sauces.

In whole food markets I’ve seen occasionally a suitable creamer, but it comes only in pints, and isn’t always available in the same market, and readily available elsewhere.

COFFEE RICH CONVERSION CHART 2

rich's creamer

RICH'S WHIP CREAM 1

http://richwhip.com






Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

ALTERING RECIPES

ALTERING RECIPES. There are two common temptations to alter a recipe. First: If we have a little bit extra of an ingredient we’ll add it to the dish rather than discard or store it. Please don’t add a little extra of anything no matter what the reason. Freeze it, store it, dump it. Do anything but upset the balance of the recipe. It’s not worth ruining a dish over, and an extra handful of some ingredients can do just that. If you feel strongly about throwing bits of food away, then store them in a covered container in your refrigerator throughout the week. At the end of the week challenge yourself by doing something creative with them.

The second temptation to alter a recipe is that we have preconceived notions of how much spice we’re going to allow ourselves to use in any given recipe, regardless of the recommendation. For instance, we’ll say to ourselves.”Oh, I don’t think I’ll like that much curry, so I’ll use just a dash”, instead of the recommended tablespoon. By doing this we deprive ourselves of new taste experiences, which is what cooking animal-free is all about. I understand that for some of you, trying something new will take a little or even a lot of courage. But accept the challenge and develop a sense of adventure by allowing yourself the freedom to try something different. You might just like it. Let your palate be the judge.

More importantly though, by changing the amount of spice in a recipe to suit what you think you’ll like or dislike, especially if you change it by a significant amount, you attempt to convert a spicy dish to a bland one (if you reduce the amount of spice), or a bland dish to a spicy one (if you increase the amount of spice). Frankly, this cannot be done successfully without altering the other ingredients in a recipe. Why is this so? Because a spicy dish is built around ingredients that support the spice, and a bland dish around ingredients that depend more upon the ingredients than the spice for flavor. So, it’s best to keep a bland dish bland, and a spicy dish spicy. Then you pick and choose those which you like.

Now, to get back to measurement of a different sort. It is a good idea to keep a ruler in the kitchen in case you forgot what 1/4, 1/2, or 1 inch looks like; and that’s pretty easy to do, especially when you get down to very small measurements. Get accustomed to measurement, since this is my primary way of communicating with you.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER LIQUID SMOKE

LIQUID SMOKE

LIQUID SMOKE. Liquid smoke is one of an animal-free chef’s greatest friends.

Use to add a rich smoky dimension to dips, spreads, salad dressings, soups, sauces, main dishes, even some desserts.

Always keep on hand. Buy in small bottle in grocery store, or as I do now, a larger bottle from GFS (Gordon’s Food Store).

GFS LIQUID SMOKE DELISH MAPLE SYRUP







Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

HEATED PLATES

HEATED PLATES enhance the quality of cooked meals. Heat oven to 275 degrees and place oven-proof plates in oven till ready to use–a minimum of 10 minutes. Use pot holders to remove, and alert guests to hot plates.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

GUESTS

GUESTS. Since eating is one of the most important functions in life (eating is what keeps us alive), we approach it with a desire to make each experience – whether for 1 or 21 – the happiest and most healthful experience ever. Therefore everyone is treated as a guest – including family.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER GINGER

CRYSTALLIZED GINGER

CRYSTALLIZED GINGER. Sugar-coated dried ginger slices, also called candied ginger, are called for in some recipes. Purchase anywhere they sell dried fruits in containers usually packaged by the supermarket chains.

It also makes a great snack food – good way to get the benefits of ginger in a tasty treat.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

COOKING SURFACE

COOKING SURFACE: When doubling or tripling a recipe, expect all the ingredients to take longer to cook. In large recipes the amount of ingredient surface exposed to direct heat is less than with smaller recipes where a greater percentage of  ingredient surface is exposed to the heat, thereby cooking the ingredients faster. Any time you have food setting on top of food, or deep pots of soups or sauces, cooking times of all ingredients and throughout each step of the cooking process lengthens.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

GAS vs ELECTRIC STOVE

GAS vs ELECTRIC STOVE. Some of the recipes in this collection were developed on a gas stove, others on an electric stove. Low, medium or high can be precisely controlled on a gas stove, whereas on an electric stove it cannot, since it takes time for the element to either cool down or heat up. This will at times produce discrepancies in cooking times. So, when cooking any of these recipes, your cooking times may vary from mine depending upon the type of stove you have or whether your low, medium or high heat controls coincide with mine. The same goes for ovens. No two ovens are alike, even when they are both electric or gas.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER CUCUMBER

GARNISHING

GARNISHING is like lighting the candles on a cake. Such a simple gesture illuminates so brightly. You need not take special instruction to garnish effectively. Simple, colorful shapes make beautiful garnishes and can be made from nearly all fruits and vegetables: strips of pimento, green pepper, carrot, tomato or scallion placed over a dish; thinly sliced tomato or pickle arranged in fan formation; a fruit wedge or slice placed to the side; fresh herbs sprinkled over (please however, never sprinkle dried herbs over a dish for any reason unless they’re in powder form). Olives and cucumber slices; tomato or lemon wedges dipped in chopped fresh herbs, sprigs of fresh herbs, flowers, and on and on. Be creative and invent your own.






 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER WORKING WITH GARLIC

GARLIC

GARLIC. Fresh garlic is most often the garlic of choice in these recipes. However, when convenience or cost is a factor, or when a smooth texture is desired we use powdered. You’ll note that sometimes fresh and powdered garlic are called for in one recipe. This is done for greater garlic flavor. We put the powdered in first, then near end of cooking time add the fresh garlic. For instance, fresh garlic in a soup or sauce that’s going to cook for an hour or more will lose much of its flavor by the end of cooking time. Re: garlic salt: I never use it. I’d rather control the garlic and salt separately.

Grating garlic produces the most potent flavor results. Since every surface of the garlic is exposed and juices retained, greater flavor and aroma is released. Peel garlic and grate over small (but not miniscule) holes of the grater, then force the nub through the holes by pushing it against the grater with a fork. Take the grater and smack it against a hard surface (or break-proof bowl, if that’s where you’re adding it to) several times to release the gratings. If particles still remain on the grater, then draw the tines of a fork along the grater to set them free. Using a large knife, skim the top of the hard surface to gather all the gratings into a pile, which are now ready for use.





 

Categories
CHEF'S HELPER

CLEANING VEGETABLE GRATER

CLEANING VEGETABLE GRATER. To remove particles which have stuck in the holes of your grater, hold the grater under running water while you brush it with a toothbrush. Even when particles have dried on overnight, the toothbrush removes them with ease. Keep a clean toothbrush in your utility drawer.