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Cookery

meat, boiling, water, cold, temperature and cooking

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COOKERY. The fundamental principles of cookery may for general consideration be divided as following under the headings of Par-boiling, Boiling, Steaming, Stewing, Roasting and Baking, Broiling, Frying and Sauter.

Par-boiling

is a process principally designed to improve the appearance of poultry, tongues, etc. It imparts a whiter color and softens some items, while adding firmness to others (as Sweetbreads). The usual method is to put the article in cold water, gradually raise the temperature to the boiling point, then take it out, plunge in cold water and leave there until quite cold. It is later removed and wiped dry, prepara tory to dressing.

Par-boiling meat, although it renders it more sightly, lessens the nutritive quali ties by abstracting a portion of the soluble salts which it contains, especially the phos phates, and thus deprives it of one of the principal features which distinguish fresh from salted meat. Animal food, before being dressed, may be washed or rinsed in cold water without injury, provided it be quickly done ; but it cannot be soaked in water at any temperature much below the boiling point without the surface, and the parts near it, being rendered less nutritious.

The term "blanching" (which see) is sometimes but incorrectly employed in place of "par-boiling." Boiling, in the general culinary acceptance of the word, is the simplest and, when properly performed, the most economical method of cooking, as the cooked flesh and the accompanying broth represent practically the entire nutritive value of the raw food.

The actual boiling temperature, 212° Fahr., should be maintained throughout the cooking of all green and a majority of other vegetables, but in the cooking of meats it should be restricted to the first five or ten minutes—after that, the meat should be "simmered" at a temperature of 175° to 185° Fahr. The first few minutes' boiling coagulates the albumen in the surface of the meat,. forming a kind of hard envelope which prevents an excessive amount of the nutritive elements escaping into the water —then the "simmering" cooks the inside but leaves it tender, as the heat which reaches it is not high enough to harden it as the outside "envelope" is hardened when the water is allowed to boil. The pot should always be covered to avoid loss by evapora

tion, and the food should always be kept covered with water—if more water is required to take the place of that lost by evaporation, hot water should be added so as to avoid changing the temperature.

Fresh meat for boiling should always be put into boiling water: salt meats into cold zrater.

No exact rules can be given as to the time required to boil foods properly, but mod erate care and judgment will nearly always suffice to determine this point.

(See also additional suggestions at the end of the article on BEEF and in the article on VEGETABLES. ) Boiling Meat for Broth. When strong broth is desired more than the meat itself, the meat should be put into cold water, as that permits a large part of the nutritive ingredients to escape into the water, then gradually brought to a boil and thereafter simmered until done. See also article on MEAT EXTRACT.

Steaming:

is slower than boiling, but with proper utensils it is considered especially desirable for the cooking of small pieces of meat and some vegetables and puddings.

Stewing

follows the same theories as "Boiling," for it is nothing more nor less than "simmering" in a smaller quantity of liquid the meat and liquid being served together as a "stew" instead of separately as "boiled meat" and "soup" or "broth." It offers the great economic advantage that, properly performed, it will render tender, palatable and nutritious the coarser, cheaper parts which would seem undesira ble if broiled, roasted or baked.

The meat chosen should have little fat, the cooking should be slow and easy, the scum and fat should be removed occasionally and the pot or pan should always be covered. The meat is frequently partly fried ("browned") or par-boiled before setting to stew.

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