See How Clever You Are In The Kitchen

What's cooking? Test your knowledge and update your info!
By Market Magazine

How much does alcohol evaporate in cooking?

As much as we love to tell ourselves (or not) that alcohol will evaporate during cooking, it doesn’t. When cooking with liquor, 75% typically remains in the dish. It would actually take three hours of cooking to fully eradicate the alcohol in your meal. (Lucky we don’t cook that long!)

What seafood is high in vitamin B12?

Crab! Skip the supplements and start adding crab meat to your plate for a boost in B12. B12 helps aid concentration, energy, memory and mood. It keeps your blood cells healthy and prevents anemia, a condition that can make you feel weak and tired. So learn to love them crabs!

Is it healthier to fry with duck fat or butter? 

Duck fat is the healthier option. This is because it’s high in unsaturated fats and the chemical composition of duck fat resembles olive oil. Quack! (You can buy it at HFM!)

Do you know what butter fruit are? And are they interesting? 

Butter fruit are pears! And they’re so called because they have a buttery texture. There are some 3000 varieties around the world and they’re really high in fibre, minerals and boron — which is great for calcium! Hera and Aphrodite loved them, as did Pomona, Roman goddess of fruitfulness. Homer called them a ‘gift from the gods’ and the word pyriform means pear-shaped. And there’s lots more that’s interesting. Time for a pear affair we think! 

Can you overcook a mushroom?

No, no, no.  Mushrooms can’t be overcooked because their cell walls contain a polymer called chitin that is heat stable. When comparing a mushroom, a zucchini and a beef tenderloin after cooking them all for 40 minutes, the steak turns tough, the zucchini goes mushy and the mushroom stays the same. Nice. 

How can you tell if cranberries are fresh?

Crazy! But you bounce them! Cranberries grow in abundance in the States and the growers there often test the freshness of their cranberries simply by dropping them onto a plate to see if they bounce back. Because fresh cranberries bounce like a beauty!

Where did pizza come from?

Ah, our much-loved pizza originated in Naples as early as the 16th century. Also in Naples in the early 19th century, pizza maker Raffaele Esposito made a pizza for Queen Margherita in the colours of the Italian flag: mozzarella for white, tomatoes for red, basil for green. Thus Pizza Margherita! It’s questionable though, exactly what the word means. Some say it comes from the Latin pinsere, to pound or stamp. Or from the Lombardic bizzo or pizzo, which means mouthful. In modern-day Italian it translates loosely to pie and there’s speculation it hails from the Greek word pitta.Whatever its origin, next time your enjoy any fabulous flavour, salute the Queen and the Italian flag. And buon appetito!

Are you up to speed on peeling a potato quickly?

You’ll love this. Simply boil your potatoes, then put them in a bowl of ice water for 10 seconds. When done, grab a potato in both hands, twist it and the skin should slide right off. Novel idea, if you’re over your potato peeler!

When pouring tea, which should you pour into your cup first, the hot tea or the cold milk?

The hot tea of course! And it is not a matter of taste as some would say. It has everything to do with status and wealth. When finer more expensive china was introduced onto the English market, the beautiful new china was strong enough to take the hot water first and not crack. The more inferior ceramics used by the not-so-wealthy, required the milk first as the cups would crack with hot water. The milk was needed to keep the cups cool. So for you now, when you want to show off how rich you are, pour the hot tea water into your guest’s cup first. And if they ask for milk first, tut, tut!

Market tips...

Add flavour to your Couscous

Follow packet directions as usual, but simply swap boiling water for boiling stock — homemade or store bought. Chicken and vegetable-flavoured stocks work really well as the flavour is more subtle than a hefty beef stock.

Snap don’t trim

When removing the woody ends of asparagus spears, forget the knife and snap them off instead.  Simply hold a spear with two hands, down the woody end of the spear and bend it – it will snap at  its natural breaking point.

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