You probably alreadty know how to do this cooking method called boiling…most of us have been boiling stuff since we were making our own macaroni and cheese out of a box when we were teenagers…assuming that you were borb before they started making macaroni and cheese is single-serving microwavable cups.
Yet boiling is a cooking method…and our goal at this point is to learn about all of the most commonly used cooking methods…
So let’s talk about boiling for a while.
What is boiling?
Boiling is a moist-heat cooking method that involves immersing food in a liquid that has been heated to 212 degrees F. This hot liquid then transmits its heat to the food being cooked.
This temperature is called the boiling point…the point where the pressure of the liquid equals the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding atmosphere.
As liquids boil, you will see bubbles forming and then exploding on the surface of the liquid. These bubbles are caused by water vapor rushing to the surface.
The food that you boil should be sturdy enough to withstand the aggressive water without being damaged…because the rough agitation of the water can actually damage the food.
Commonly boiled ingredientsinclude pasta, grains, green vegetables. dried pasta, dried legumes, rice, noodles, potatoes, and eggs.
How long you boil the ingredient depends on several facttos—such as what the ingredient is, your personal preference, how you were brought up….(for example, back in Mississippi we cook our peas along with some bacon practially all day before serving)…how important maintaining the food’s original color, texture, and flavor…whether or not you care if you deplete the nutrients of the ingredient…and so forth…
Ingredients an either be added to cold water and heated along with the water…ior added to the water once the water has already started boilling…depending on the characteristics, of what it is that you are cooking…(more on this later)…
Homemade French Fries…why even bother when it would be so much easier either to drive thru McDonald’s or grab a bag of frozen fries out of your freezer…the one that’s probably been hiding in there for the last couple of years at least…goal for today—clean out freezer!!!
Because we are talking about the deep frying cooking methods and potatoes, and of course the topic of French fries would eventually come up.
The perfect French fries are extra astonishingly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.
French fries are actually very easy to make ahead and store in your freezer that you may never buy another bag of frozen fries ever, ever again…
Yukon Gold…that’s why we’re learning about making French fries while we are on the topic of Yukon Gold potatoes…go figure, right?
Choose the largest ones you can find.
Why are Yukon Gold potatoes better?
…because they are less starchy and will turn out much crispier than any other type of potato.
How many potatoes?
Figure on two potatoes per person.
How do I slice the potatoes?
Slice the potatoes into ½” thick sticks. The thinner you cut your fries, the crispier they will be.
Wash the potatoes.
Peeling them at this point is purely a matter of personal preference.
Soaking Your Potatoes
Soak the potato slices in cold water for at least one hour, perhaps even overnight. The longer, the better.
Soaking your potatoes removes the starch and will end up making your French fries extra crispy and keep them from sticking to each other when you are cooking them.
Cooking Your French Fries
Most cooks and chefs agree that the best way to getting those perfectly crispy fries that you’re craving is to double fry your potatoes—first for five or six minutes at 300° to cook the middle of the potato, and then frying them a second time at 400° to cook the outside.
Using a deep-fat thermometer will help ensure that the oil is at the proper temperature before you start adding your potatoes to the water.
Drain the potatoes.. Pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
Be sure to use a pot that is large and tall enough—such as a tall 8-quart soup pot, to contain the oil without overflowing when the potatoes are slipped in.
Pour enough oil into the pan that it measures about 1-1/2″ deep.
Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 300.
Carefully drop small batches of potatoes to the hot oil. Frying too many French fries at once makes them less crispy.
The oil should bubble lightly. The temperature of the oil will drop to about 260 F after the potatoes are added.
Gently stir the fries to ensure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or stick to each other.
Fry for about five minutes.
Remove from the oil using a pair of tongs or a slotted metal spoon.
At this point we’re only heating the potatoes, so don’t be disappointed if they’re not crisp yet.
Place the cooked potatoes on a paper towel lined plate.
Increase the heat to 400 degrees.
Fry a second time in batches about five more minutes, until they are crisp and golden-brown.
So let’s check our Mr. Potato Head and his fellow companions….actually the group has two different cliques—each based on the amount of starch and water that they contain.
These groups are the following…
Let’s look at the characteristics of a starchy potato…
absorbent almost all of the butter and cream that you place on them…yum…
break down easily when cooked
don’t hold together very well when cooked
flesh coats your knife with a white, milky film when you cut into it
high in starch
low in moisture
The most common type of starchy potato is the russet potato, also known as an Idaho potato or Burbank potato.…russet potatoes are in fact the most common type of potato grown in the United States. Russet potatoes are the type of potato most people think of when they think about buying potatoes in the grocery store.
There are actually numerous varieties of russet potatoes. A few of their characteristics are…
easily absorb butter and milk making them ideal for mashed or baked potatoes
just a few shallow eyes
light, fluffy texture
oblong or oval shaperough net-like skin that becomes chewy when cooked
Cooking methods that are best for starchy potatoes include…
These cooking methods create a crisp crust and keep the interior moist.
Starchy potatoes are not good for dishes that require the potatoes to hold their shape.—such as potato salads, soups, stews, and potatoes au gratin—because the flesh flakes and easily separates after cooking.
However, these potatoes are great for making…
So let’s start actually cooking by using the cooking method that we are currently talking about—deep frying—by frying up some potato chips and French fries..
At this point we have already learned about two bsasic cooking methods—sauteeing and pan-frying.
The next dry-heat cooking method is deep frying.
And living in Texas one of the highlights of each year is going to the State Fair to see just what new fried concoctions have been created this yrar.
For example, here is a list of the top ten finalists for the State Fair of Texas’ 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards, the annual contest celebrating fried foods. Note that each year, five finalists are chosen in two categories—savory and sweet.
Can’t wait to see what these creative people come up with this year.
I honestly have always been too scared to deep fry anything at home, especially when you can easily find deep-fried foods at nearly every gas station and restaurant in America…
But deep-frying is still a cooking method…and my goal is cover each of the cooking methods in detail…
So let’s dive in deep…
My goal in this section is to learn how to make deep-fried foods that have the same crunchy golden brown surface and the same tender interior of any of these prize-winning foods.
Deep-frying differs from any of the previous methods because you are completely submerging your food into oil that has been heated to a much highter temperature typically around 375 degrees.
Instead of breading your food, your food will be completely covered in batter..more on this later….
So what are the benefits of this method of cooking…especially considering that I am writing this blog primarily for people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…
Crispiness…Deep-fried foods typically have a crispy crust because of the high temperatures remove any surface moisture and dry out the exterior. If you have successfully deep-fried your foods, the crust will be properly formed, the food should be less greasy, and item being fried will retain its shape.
Faster…Bexause the entire food is completely submerged and cooked in the oil, deep-frying is a relatively faster way of cooking.
Flavor…Cooking your food at such a high temp improves the flavor of food by caramelizing it and producing the Maillard reaction…more on this later too…
Nutrition…yeah even deep-fried food can be nutritious…When you deep-fry food, only a small amount of oil will stay on the crust.
Tenderness…If you have succrssfully deep-fried your food, the batter will seal in any moisture that the food contains and keep extra oil from being absorbed.
Even though the term “deep frying” and many of the foods that we deep-fry these days were not invented until the 19th century, people have basically been deep-frying for thousands of years
Even though the term “deep frying” and many of the foods that we most commonly deep-fry today were not invented until around the early 1900s, people have been using this cooking methods for thousands of years.
The first recorded recipe using this method appeared around the year AD400. This recipe was for a chicken dish called Pullum Frontonianum.
2Tbsp olive oil
1/2C olive oil
1 chopped leek
2Tbsp ground coriander
1/4C chopped fresh dill weed
2Tbsp ground coriander seed
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan.
Fry whole chicken over medium heat.
Make the seasoning…olive oil,, dill, leek, fresh coriander, salt, rose petals, pepper, and coriander.
Add about half of the seasoning mixture to the chicken in the skillet.
Continue to fry until chicken just starts to change color.
Bake at 425 for 1 hour, occasionally basting with the seasoning mixture.
After the breading material are set up and you have finish3d breading your food you can finally start cooking.
You should have already set up and start heating your oil by now…perhaps I shouuld have posted this earlidr, but let’s talk about which oiil you should be using to fry your food in.
When choosing which oil to use whenever you are frying, you need to think about the smoke point of that partcular oil.
It is important that you use an oil with a high smoke point.
But first, I guess you need to know what a smoke point is, if you’re gonna pick your oil wisely.
The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil can be heated to before it begins to smoke and burn…makes sense huh>!
Once your oil has reached this point, the oil will start to break down into its fundamental components—glycerol and fatty acids—and no longer be good for frying.
The oil will also start losing its flavor and nutritional value.
Once it has passed the smoke point, the oil can also be very dangerous, because it is much more likely to ignite when exposed to an open heat source.
Usually whenever you are frying, you want the oil to be somewhere between 350°F and 375°F, so your must have a smoke point that is high enough to survive this amouint of heat.
So which oils shoul you NOT be using?
Butter…has too low of a smoking point to be used for frying.
Lard...has a low smoke point
Olive oil...Sure, you could use oil for frying, but I’d stick to using olive oil for sauteeing your foods since that olive oil usually costs more.
Shortening…also has too low of a smoking point to be used for frying.
Sunflower oil…This oil tends to burn more quickly than most other oils.
Unrefined oils of any kind…These have too low a smoke point and can also be very expensive. Note that many of the oil that we will be learning later on that are good fort frying are sold in both refined and unrefined versions, so check the label before you use it.
Your fanciest or priciest oils…Frying reuires a whole lot of oil…using these here would simply be a waste of money. Also, thhe frying process can dim the flavor of, making it no more flavorful than any other given oil.
And which oils should you be using?
Whenever you are choosing which oil to fry in, there are several things to consider. In addition to the smoke point, which should be slightly higher than the temperature at which you will be cooking, your oil should have a neutral flavor that won’t impart iany flavor on whatever you are cooking.
Also it is important that youu hoose a good quality oil.
Each of the following oils can be a smart choice for frying because they all have a neutral flavor, perform well at high temperatures, and have a smoke point somewhere between 440° and 450°F….which is definitely above the typical temp required for frying, which tends to be around 350°F.
(Note that there are obviously more oils that are commonly used for fryiung—such as vegetable and peanut, but I have limited my list to those oils that we have already talked about being best for type-2 diabetics.)
Benefits...Canola oil helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and stabilize blood pressure levels, The FDA agrees that 1-1/2Tbsp canola oil each day could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used instead of saturated fat.
Nutrition…Canola oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as the alpha-linolenic acid, as well as monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that is considered healthy for diabetics. At the same time, canola oil is low in the unhealthy saturated fat that mostly come from animal products like meat and dairy.
Uses…Canola oil can be used safely at high temperatures because it has a higher smoke point than most other oils, but doesn’t have as much flavor as some other oils that are available and is not your best choice for certain things such as making your own salad dressing
2. Grape Seed Oil
Nutrition…this is a rich source of both polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, and is very low in saturated fat
Use…nutty but mild flavor that can be used for all sorts of cooking and grilling and also works well in salad dressings or drizzled over roasted veggies
3. Rice Bran Oil
Benefits….Rice bran oil will reduce your levels of bad cholesterol, and so is great for diabetics and those wanting to keep heart disease at bay.
Nutrition…Rice bran oil is rich in both monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fats.
You can either reuse your oil or dispose of it after you finish frying.
To reuse the oil…
Let the oil cool down to room temperature.
Filter through a cheesecloth…whatever the heck that is…
Return to its original container.
Add a small amount of fresh oil to have extend the life of the oil that you have just used.
Store it in a cool, dark place.
You will not want to use the same oil more than two or three times in a row because each use will release more andf more fatty acids into theoil, reducing the smoke point and making it less and less appropriate to use at the high temperatures required for frying.
If your oil starts to look thick or brown, throw it out.
Never pour oil down the drain…lesson learned the hard way…never pour hot candle wax down the drain either…another lesson learned the hard way…
First heat 2Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Remember that you alaeys want your oil to be hot whenever you start adding the meat.
Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt and white pepper in shallow bowl. Coat pork, one piece at a time, in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
2# veal cutlets or boneless pork loin chops
First wash the cutlets under cold water and dry them well with paper towel. Now lightly dredge the meat in flour and shake off any excess. Add your pork to the heated oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Pound meat slices between plastic wrap using a meat mallet.
Cook pork in batches 2 to 3 minutes per side, until both sides are golden brown and barely pink in center.
Cover to keep warm.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
12 medium crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large or 2 small bell peppers
¼C dry red wine
½C peeled chopped tomatoes
1C beef broth or dry white wine
In a second skillet, saute onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms for about ten minutes, until all of the vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add garlic cloves, salt.tomato. Cook five minutes.
Remove vegetables from skillet. Set aside.
Now add flour, paprika, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook one minute.
Whisk in beef broth or wine. Cook for about five minutes.
When my husband and I got married 32 years ago, he was active duty military. Our first assignment was Frankfurt, Germany.
So here I was…a small-town girl from Mississippi bound for such a large city as Frankfurt in a country halfway around the world.
Before he joined the Army I’d have to admit that I had never thought about life anywhere west of the Mississippi River, north of Tennessee, and east of Alabana…
As an Army wife, I’ve lived all three of these directions that I once never even knew existed…
As an Army wife, I hated Germany when we first got there…but eventually I learned to love Army life and living in Germany, especially the food.
So coming back to the topic at hand....breading…let’s talk about one of the staple entrees on the menu at any German restaurant, here or actually in Germany…
Many countries make some sort of ‘schnitzel” type food...a type of meat that has been pounded thin…and then probably dredged with the “Holy Trinity of Breading”—flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs…and finally fried.
There is a reason that so many countries have their own version of “schinitzel”…
Because it’s so dang good…
But the best schnitzel that can be found…and the place most notorious for its schnitzel would have to be Germany…Even though the idea for schnitzel is said to have originatied in Austria, Germany “reigns supreme.”
…since we’re still on the topic of breading…and
…since schnitzel is the prime example of food that requires breading…and
…since schnitzel just tastes so darn good…
…find us a few schnitzel recipes that will make us all want to dance around with accordions and drink hefeweizen…
…take this “short scenic detour” off our journey up the Raw Foods pyramid to look at the most common types of schnitzel…fried meat…pretty far detour, right?!