Two cooking methods — roasting and baking — are nearly synonymous with the concept of the oven itself, yet they are seemingly identical techniques. They both take place in the oven; they both use dry heat. So what's the difference? Keep reading to learn the difference between roasting and baking.
After I made corned beef this past week, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about it, other than the fact that it's absolutely delicious. What, exactly, makes it different from that other deli favorite, pastrami? Corned beef and pastrami are both beef cuts that have been cured and cooked. But that's where the similarity ends.
Although brisket is commonly used for both, corned beef can also be made from lean round, while pastrami can also come from navel (plate) and round. Corned beef is first soaked in a salt water brine with pickling spices, then boiled.
The process for pastrami varies widely, but in general, the meat is first cured with a spice rub or soaked in brine. From that point, it's encrusted in peppercorns, then smoked. The beef may be hot-smoked all the way through; if not, it is then steamed or simmered. Were you aware of the difference between the two? Which do you ask for on a reuben?
Source: Flickr User Marshall Astor
Created by Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten, the process results in not only lower acidity but also a milder, less bitter taste and a darker color.
So how does this affect your recipes? Since Dutch process cocoa has a neutral pH, it doesn't react with baking soda. Instead, Dutch process cocoa should be mixed with baking powder for leavening. Although the two types of cocoa powder are certainly interchangeable in some recipes, the results will vary if you substitute one for the other.
What to remember: Dutch process cocoa is darker with a more complex flavor, while natural cocoa powder has a light color and a more fruity taste. Most recipes remove the guesswork, because directions typically state whether or not Dutch process cocoa is preferred.
Interested in baking with Dutch process cocoa? Here are a few recipes to try:
The dressing, which started out as a simple buttermilk-based dressing enjoyed by cowboys, was made popular when Hidden Valley Ranch began serving and selling the dressing in 1952. Ranch is essentially a combination of sour cream, mayonnaise, yogurt, and/or buttermilk (which accounts for its high fat content) mixed with various seasonings, like fresh herbs and garlic powder. With ingredients this simple and straight-forward, ranch dressing can be made at home with the seasonings adjusted to your own taste buds!
How do you feel about ranch dressing? Do you pour it all over everything you eat or shy away from its creamy consistency?
Source: Flickr User whitneyinchicago
Finger foods, starters, appetizers, hors d'oeuvres: call them what you will, but in the days leading up to yet another New Year's Eve celebration, they've been the talk of every media outlet food section. In reading them all and planning my own Saturday festivities, I've come to wonder: is there a difference between appetizers and hors d'oeuvres?
Although both are meant to foster an appetite and they're listed as the same thing in Wikipedia, there is a subtle difference between the two courses. The French term hors d'œuvre (pronounced "or-derves"), which literally means "out of work" but translates to "outside the meal," is a one-bite item that's either stationary or passed and served separate from or prior to a meal.
This means an hors d'oeuvre is typically finger food and might refer to, among other items, canapés, crudités, deviled eggs, and bruschetta. Appetizers, on the other hand, appear as the first courses when seated at the table. They're often slightly larger and composed in a way that complements the entrée and dessert courses to follow. Which do you prefer — or is it all the same to you?
The general consensus among cooks and culinary enthusiasts seems to be that flat leaf (also known as Italian) parsley has more flavor and should be used in recipes that call for parsley. The curly leaf variety is less flavorful and is mostly used as a garnish (or unless the recipe specifically calls for it). In both cases, fresh parsley has a lot more flavor than its dried version and is preferred to use in cooking. When choosing parsley, select bright green, healthy bunches. Rinse your parsley and wrap it in paper towels. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
What variety of parsley do you prefer to use?
Peking duck, pekin duck . . . goose! Only one letter separates a "Pekin duck" from a "Peking duck," so the terms are often used interchangeably. But one paltry letter can be a big poultry difference; these words are both descriptors of ducks, but they're definitely not the same!
A Pekin duck is a breed of duck. Also known as a Long Island duck, this domesticated descendant of the Mallard has a yellow bill, white plumage, and orange webs and is the most popular commercial duck breed in America, where they're raised primarily for egg and meat production.Peking duck is a famous roast duck dish that comes from China. Arguably China's national food, this imperial dish is made by roasting a duck until the skin is deep brown and crisp, then carving the skin to serve alongside steamed pancakes, julienned scallions, and hoisin sauce. The dish hails from Beijing, the country's capital, which was formerly known as Peking.
Peking duck originated in Nanjing, and the first ducks used to prepare the dish were small birds with dark feathers. Incidentally, these days, most Peking ducks are prepared using Pekin duck. How's that for irony?