FYI: Helpful Hints (2A)


Shortening Substitutions

Posted By: Kristine Date: Wednesday, 31 May 2000, at 12:32 p.m.

melted, 1 cup....substitution 1 cup oil (do not use cooking oil if recipe does not call for melted shortening)

Solid, 1 cup....substitution 1 cup minus 2 talblespoons lard or...substitution 1 1/8 cups butter or margarine (decrease salt called for in recipe by 1/2 teaspoon).


Freezing Buttermilk Tips

Posted By: Jen Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2000, at 7:09 a.m.

I picked this idea up from a magazine tip.and it seems to work well! Measure 1 cup of buttermilk and pour into an ice cube tray. Record how many cube slots it takes to hold that full 1 cup of buttermilk (takes me 10 cubes). Freeze. Twist out cubes and store in doubled freezer bags. When you need the buttermilk for a recipe, take out the amount of cubes as needed (for me, 1/2 cup would be 5 cubes). This way, you don't have to defrost the entire amount. Defrost at room temp or in fridge. Try to use in a frozen buttermilk within a couple months.


Drying and Freezing Herbs

Posted by Darlene on 11/23/2000, 10:50 pm

Drying herbs: Rinse 1/2 cup packed herbs, such as parsley sprigs, chopped chives, or celery leaves, and pat dry. Place in a single layer on a double thickness of paper towels and place in a microwave oven. Cover with a third paper towel. Microwave at 100% power (700 watts) 1 minute or until herbs look wilted. Let stand 1 minute. If herbs are still moist, microwave at 100% power an additional 15 seconds, watching constantly to keep from scorching. Repeat if needed until very wilted and beginning to dry. Let stand 30 minutes to dry completely. Crumble dried portions; discard stems and slightly moist pieces.

Store in a small airtight container in a cool, dry place. Best used within 3 months. Makes about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Freezing herbs: Rinse and pat dry. Pack in small reclosable freezer bags. Label and freeze. Best used within 3 months.

Use for omelets, soups, stews, sauces, and vegetables.


Herb Chart

Posted by Darlene on 11/23/2000, 10:54 pm

Herbs are the aromatic leaves of plants. When using herbs, start with a small amount and taste before adding more. Allow about 1/4 teaspoon dried herb or a pinch of ground herb for 4 servings. Crush leaves just before adding to release its flavor, 1 teaspoon dried = about 1 tablespoon fresh. The flavor of herbs will last longer if herbs are stored in a cool, dry place in closed containers. Characteristics

Basil -- Member of the mint family. Used widely in Italian and French cooking. Fresh or dried, broken leaves or ground. Sweet and aromatic.

Bay Leaf -- Leaves of the laurel tree. Whole or broken dried leaves. Pungent and aromatic.

Chives -- Member of the onion family. Can use the entire length of long green leaves. Fresh, dried or freeze dried. Delicate onion flavor.

Dill Weed -- Known for its use in pickling. Fresh or dried. Distinctive yet mild flavor.

Marjoram -- Member of the mint family. Fresh or dried leaves or flakes. Aromatic, lightly bitter flavor with cool aftertaste. Flavor similar to oregano but milder.

Oregano -- Member of the mint family. Used in Italian. Greek and Mexican foods. Dried leaves or ground. Aromatic and pleasantly strong.

Parsley -- Fresh or dried. Fresh is readily available, adds a "freshness" when used with dried herbs and is often used as a garnish. Delicate aroma, mild in flavor.

Rosemary -- Evergreen shrub of the mint family. Fresh or dried needle-shaped leaves. Strong, tea-like aroma and bittersweet flavor.

Sage -- Member of the mint family. Leaves are silver grey when dried. Fresh, dried or rubbed (ground). Spicy aroma with pungent, slightly bitter taste.

Savory -- Also called summer savory. Member of the mint family. Leaves are small and brownish-green when dried. Leaves or ground. Pine-like almost peppery aroma.

Tarragon -- Member of the sunflower family. Fresh or dried leaves. Sweet aromatic flavor.

Thyme -- Member of the mint family. Fresh or dried leaves or ground. Fresh aroma and slightly pungent taste.



posted by Darlene on 11/25/2000, 10:50 am

Place herb or spice in a heavy saucepan; add one cup canola oil (canola oil has no flavor and stays liquid in the refrigerator making it perfect for infusing). Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Cool overnight. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids. Cover and refrigerate up to two weeks. Don't use infused oils for frying. If heated, the flavor compounds can break down and become bitter. Add them at the end of cooking or in cold dishes.

* Savor them at their simplest as a dip for french bread.
* Drizzle any herb-infused oil over tomatoes.
* Toss cooked pasta or rice with any infused oil.
* Brush fish or chicken with infused oil before grilling.
* Drizzle over popcorn for a distinctive snack.

Basil Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh basil.
Mint Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh mint
Dill Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh dill.
Oregano Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh oregano.
Thyme Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh thyme leaves.
Chive Oil: Use 1 cup of chopped fresh chives; reduce oil to 3/4 cup
Sage Oil: Use 1/2 cup of chopped fresh sage.
Rosemary Oil: Use 1/2 cup of chopped fresh rosemary.
Black Pepper Oil: Use 1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper.
Ginger Oil: Place 1/3 cup of chopped fresh ginger in a heat-proof container. Heat oil, and pour over ginger.
Chile Pepper Oil: Crumble 2 dried red chile peppers. Place in a heatproof container. Heat oil. Pour over chiles



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