How To Pick Up The Right Dish To Prepare

By: Jon Caldwell

Cooking refers specially to the preparation of food following recipes by subjecting edible materials to the action of heat. But cooking involves much more. Cooking of food is a science as well as an art and it depends for its success on known and established principles.

In its full sense, cooking means not only the ability to follow recipes, thereby producing a successfully cooked dish, but also the ability to select materials, a knowledge of the ways in which to prepare them, an understanding of their value for the persons for whom they are prepared and ingenuity in serving foods attractively and in making the best use of food that may be left over from the previous meals, so that there will be practically no waste.

A factor that should not be disregarded in the problem of food is waste. We should understand the distinction between waste and refuse. These terms are thought by some to mean the same thing and are often confused, but there is a decided difference between them. Waste, as applied to food and cooking, is something that could be used but is not, whereas refuse is something that is rejected because it is unfit for use. For example, the fat of meat, which is often eaten, is waste if it is thrown away, but potato parings, which are not suitable for cooking, are refuse.

The base of the pyramid is the "carbohydrate" component. Thus rice, pasta and cereal products should make up the bulk of our food intake. The next tier consists of "protein" products like meat, seafood and soy. Proteins should comprise a proportionately smaller component of our diets than the carbohydrates. The smallest contribution should be from the "fat" group as this is linked to the development bof obesity and heart disease. Vitamins and minerals are trace elements that are found in varying quantities in the various food substances.

More recently, healthy eating advisors advocate the minimum daily consumption of two pieces of fruit and two portions of vegetables. This is to ensure the intake of fiber is adequate for the regulation of bowel movements.

Couscous is traditionally steamed and fluffed to separate the granules. Boiling and stirring can reduce quick-cooking couscous to a sticky, starchy mush. Like pasta, couscous does not have much of a flavor itself. Thus couscous dishes are made with flavored stocks, herbs, and spices, with vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and/or meat added or used as a topping.

Most packaged couscous is considered the instant variety and will cook very quickly off the stove by absorbing a boiling liquid. However, authentic couscous (roughly-ground hard durum wheat) will require significantly more time and a good steaming vessel called a couscoussiére.

Our forefathers dried meats and seafood into jerky as a matter of necessity, to preserve the food for long periods without refrigeration. Nowadays, we consider jerky as a convenience food, perfect for hikers, campers, or just an easy, non-messy snack. Commercial jerky products come in many flavors with any number of preservatives.

Homemade jerky is easy to make. It can be made from a variety of meats (wild and domestic), poultry and even seafood. By making your own jerky, you not only control the ingredients, you also save money.

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