Cooking ground beef on the stove top seems simple enough, but so much can go wrong. Have you ever crowded the pan too much, and found yourself with rubbery, steamed ground beef? Does your beef seep out a ton of liquid, or do you struggle to chop the meat up into bite-size pieces, resulting in "meat rocks" (as one editor's boyfriend hilariously dubs it)? If cooking perfectly ground beef eludes you, have no fear. These pictures will show you how to properly brown ground beef — or any ground meat, for that matter — so that your tacos, tomato sauce, and sloppy joes turn out tasty every time.
I won't try to sugarcoat it (until later that is); tempering white chocolate is by no means an easy process. Why should you bother? Well, tempering chocolate melts the chocolate to a specific temperature so the fat and sugar molecules collide. When the chocolate cools and hardens, it appears smooth and shiny and has a toothsome snap. Not all chocolates are created equal. We've covered how to temper dark chocolate, but here's the technique for tempering white chocolate, which requires a similar technique but different temperatures.
Tempering chocolate can be done at home in about two hours, but you'll need a candy thermometer and the proper couverture chocolate, which has a higher cocoa fat percentage and will melt and coat things easier. If there are any two rules to remember, do not get any water on the chocolate or else it will seize. Also, stick to the exact temperatures or you run the risk of creating a myriad of unpalatable chocolate globs. Keep reading to learn how to temper white chocolate.
Good restaurant chefs run highly efficient kitchens: food is so time- and temperature-sensitive that even two minutes of neglect can mean a pot boiled over or a beautiful fillet of fish scorched beyond repair. If you're new to cooking or looking for ways to take your kitchen skills to the next level, you'll appreciate these five ways to streamline your cooking.
Have you bought a kitchen scale yet? If you're just getting acquainted with this essential baking tool, you may be wondering how to employ it to its full potential. While it's becoming increasingly more common for weights to be included in American recipes, many only list the volume equivalents. With that in mind, we've broken down what a standard cup of some common ingredients ought to weigh, so you can use this indispensable tool with confidence.
|All-purpose flour||Five ounces|
|Cake flour (sifted)||Three and a half ounces|
|Bread flour||Five ounces|
|Brown sugar (packed)||Eight ounces|
|Granulated sugar||Seven ounces|
|Powdered sugar||Four ounces|
Did you make a resolution to pick up a few new culinary tricks this year? If so, the first place to start isn't necessarily a cookbook full of complicated recipes. Rather, learn basic cooking techniques and knife skills first; all the recipes that follow are guaranteed to be much easier. To help you out, we've got a series, Know Your Techniques, wherein we introduce you to important culinary know-how. Keep reading for a few suggestions to get you on your way to culinary excellence.
Cooking en papillote (French for "in parchment") is a method of hand-sealing protein and vegetables in parchment paper, then oven-roasting them. While liquids aren't typically added to the pouch, ingredients seep out their own liquid and effectively steam in their own juices, resulting in a healthy meal that's bound to be filled with both moisture and flavor. In addition, other flavoring agents, like herbs and aromatics, get enveloped in the same steam-filled vessel, amping up the delicious factor.
To create a parchment paper pouch, arrange your ingredients on one half of a large piece of parchment (this method works with aluminum foil, too). Fold the other half on top of your ingredients. Fold up the open edges of the packet in pleats, working from one end to the other. Don't worry too much about how the package looks, as long as it's tightly sealed. When you open your parchment-wrapped meal, you'll find a moist, flavorful, and perfectly cooked meal ready to be plated.
Even though it is most commonly associated with fish and vegetables, other quick-cooking proteins like chicken breast can be cooked the same way. What do you like to cook in parchment?
A picture says a thousand words, and in 2012, we discovered that the best way to show prepping and cooking skills is through step-by-step instructionals. Whether you've always wanted to learn how to peel fava beans, cut through a tough squash, braid challah bread, or break down a turkey, keep clicking to learn 17 new skills in the kitchen.
Sometimes, a rough chop simply won't do, and a recipe will call for a dramatic, precise cut like a fine brunoise or 1/8-inch cubes. When it comes to spicy jalapeños, chopping them into small, uniform shapes ensures that the heat is evenly distributed throughout a dish, so no one ends up with a cough-inducing bite. Before you begin working with jalapeños, always wear powder-free disposable gloves, so the capsaicin (the spicy component of the pepper) does not burn your hands. Now that you're hands are protected, let's get down to business and cut a fine brunoise.
Rolling out dough: it's what deters people from making their own pie crust or homemade cutout sugar cookies. Sure, it seems simple enough: just use a rolling pin to glide the dough to and fro until it reaches paper-thin consistency. But before you know it, the dough often transforms into a lopsided splat, and cookies and pie end up undercooked on one side and burnt on the other.
Just like meditation, rolling out dough is all about awareness. These tricks will help you learn the art of mindfulness, so next time you are rolling out the dough, you can flatten picturesque sheets in no time.
- Choose the right rolling pin: A handle-less rolling pin allows for more control than a pin with handles. Roll out circle shapes for tart and pie dough with a curved, tapered pin. Otherwise, for cookie dough, use a straight rolling pin, which is designed to roll the dough out to a consistent width.
- Work on a flat, cold surface: Marble is the most ideal work surface, because it keeps the dough firm and cold, thus preventing it from becoming sticky. However, any flat countertop (like a wooden table) will do.
- Use parchment paper: In order to easily rotate the dough (without pulling and stretching it with your hands), place the dough on parchment paper or a silicone rolling mat.
See the rest of the steps when you keep reading.
If you've ever wondered what makes the chocolate in bonbons so smooth and shiny, it's a technique called tempering, which is a method of melting chocolate to a specific temperature in order for the fat and sugar molecules to collide so that when the chocolate sets, it creates an attractive sheen and toothsome snap. While it may seem like an elusive, mysterious technique that is better left to chocolatiers, it can be done at home in about two hours, as long as you have a candy thermometer and the proper chocolate. For the adventurous pastry cooks out there, here's how to temper dark chocolate, in pictures.