The term flambé [flahm-BAY] is a French word meaning “flaming” or “flamed.” Flambé means to ignite foods that have liquor or liqueur added. This is done for a dramatic effect and to develop a rich flavor of the liqueur to the foods without adding the alcohol. Impress your family and friends by serving a flambé dish.raisins.

Source: What’s Cooking America

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Kneading is a process in the making of bread or pasta dough, used to mix the ingredients and add strength to the final product. Its importance lies in the mixing of flour with water. When these two ingredients are combined and kneaded, the gliadin and glutenin proteins in the flour expand and form strands of gluten, which gives bread its texture. (To aid gluten production, many recipes use bread flour, which is higher in protein than all-purpose flour.) The kneading process warms and stretches these gluten strands, eventually creating a springy and elastic dough. If bread dough is not kneaded enough, it will not be able to hold the tiny pockets of gas (CO2) created by the leavening agent (such as yeast or baking powder), and will collapse, leaving a heavy and dense loaf.

Kneading can be performed by hand (the traditional way), with a mixer equipped with a dough hook, or with a bread machine. The dough is put on a floured surface, pressed and stretched with the heel of the hand, folded over, and rotated through 90° repeatedly. This process continues until the dough is elastic and smooth. The dough can then be allowed to rise or “prove”.

Similar to kneading is knocking back or punching down, which is done to the dough after proving. The dough is punched once or twice, after which it is kneaded gently for a short time. The aim of this is to remove any large air pockets which have formed in the dough, create an even texture in the bread and redistribute the nutrients for the yeast, thus allowing fermentation to continue. The dough can then be proved a second time. Another method of knocking back (also known as “folding”) is to gently stretch and pat out the proved dough before folding the sides in towards the center.

In bread baking, kneading can be substituted by allowing a relatively wet, low-yeast dough to rise for more than twelve hours; this method is referred to as no-knead bread.

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Parboiling (or leaching) is the partial boiling of food as the first step in the cooking process.

The word is often used when referring to parboiled rice. Parboiling can also be used for removing poisonous or foul-tasting substances from foodstuffs. The technique may also be used to soften vegetables before roasting them.

Add the food items to boiling water and cook them until they start to soften, then remove them before they are fully cooked. Parboiling is usually used to precook an item which will then be cooked another way such as braising, grilling or stir-frying. Parboiling differs from blanching in that one does not cool the items using cold water or ice after removing them from the boiling water.

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A sieve, or sifter, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, typically using a woven screen such as a mesh or net.

The word “sift” derives from ‘sieve’. In cooking, a sifter is used to separate and break up clumps in dry ingredients such as flour, as well as to aerate and combine them. A strainer is a form of sieve used to separate solids from liquid.

Source: Wikipedia

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Separating Eggs

Separating eggs is a process, generally used in cooking, in which the egg yolk is removed from the egg white. This allows one part of the egg to be used without the other part, or each part to be treated in different ways. Recipes for custard call for egg yolks, for example. The most common reason for separating eggs is so the whites can be whipped.

All methods for separating eggs make use of the fact that the yolk can hold itself together while the white is more runny. Since the yolks of older eggs are more watery, which makes separation difficult, it is best to begin with the freshest eggs available.

Although many recipes require eggs to be at room temperature, it is easiest to separate eggs that are cold. Eggs that are at room temperature can be separated, but this requires greater caution to avoid breaking the yolk. One solution is to separate the eggs, cover them, and then allow them to come to room temperature. In this method eggs should not be allowed to sit too long because of the risk of bacteria growth. An alternate solution is to bring the bowl of egg whites (or yolks) up to temperature by placing it in another bowl of hot water.

Source: Wikipedia

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Cooking by exposing food to direct radiant heat, either on a grill over live coals or below a gas burner or electric coil. Broiling differs from roasting and baking in that the food is turned during the process so as to cook one side at a time. Temperatures are higher for broiling than for roasting; the broil indicator of a household range is typically set around 550°F (288°C), whereas larger commercial appliances broil between 700° and 1,000°F (371° and 538°C).

Fish, fowl, and most red meats are suitable for broiling. Steaks, popularly broiled over coals, can also be broiled in skillets or in the oven set on a seasoned wooden plank. In preparation of the entrée known as the London broil, or London mixed grill, flank steaks and other meats are garnished with vinegar, oil, and minced garlic before being placed on a rack and oven-broiled.

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Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking is the process of cooking food, using water or other cooking liquid, in a sealed vessel—known as a pressure cooker, which does not permit air or liquids to escape below a pre-set pressure. Pressure cookers are used for cooking food quicker than conventional cooking methods, which also saves energy.

Pressure cookers heat food quickly because the internal steam pressure from the boiling liquid causes saturated steam (or “wet steam”) to bombard and permeate the food. Thus, higher temperature water vapour (i.e., increased energy), which transfers heat more rapidly compared to dry air, cooks food very quickly.

Pressure cooking allows food to be cooked with greater humidity and higher temperatures than possible with conventional boiling or steaming methods. In an ordinary non-pressurised cooking vessel, the boiling point of water is 100°C (212°F) at standard pressure; the temperature of food is limited by the boiling point of water because excess heat causes boiling water to vaporize into steam. In a sealed pressure cooker, the boiling point of water increases as the pressure rises, resulting in superheated water. At a pressure of 15 psi (pounds per square inch) above the existing atmospheric pressure, water in a pressure cooker can reach a temperature of up to 121°C (250°F), depending on altitude.

Pressure is created initially by boiling a liquid such as water or broth inside the closed pressure cooker. The trapped steam increases the internal pressure and temperature. After use, the pressure is slowly released so that the vessel can be safely opened.

Pressure cooking can be used to quickly simulate the effects of long braising or simmering.

Almost any food which can be cooked in steam or water-based liquids can be cooked in a pressure cooker.

Source: Wikipedia

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