- The quick soak method (also known as a hot soak) involves boiling dried beans for two minutes and then soaking them for an hour or so in the hot liquid before cooking them.
- The long soak method, or cold soak, requires soaking the beans in cool water for six to eight hours before cooking them.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Saturday, April 1, 2017
When I was four, our family traveled to Ontario to visit the Raos, who were close family friends. Just before dusk the first night, I managed to get lost in their subdivision. A neighbor heard me whimpering to her cat who was lounging in the driveway. I had thick black hair and a bangle encircling each wrist. She guessed that I was related to the Raos who were the only Indians on the block. To confirm her suspicion, she asked me what I liked to eat. Instead of saying "curry," I responded with "Cookies and eggs." Thankfully, she called the Raos anyway.
I still get weak in the knees when I eat eggs, and am especially fond of Eggs in Coconut Milk and Egg Roast. On the rare occasion when my fridge is near empty, I boil one up until its yolk is velvety and its white has a cushy softness. I sprinkle it with salt and pepper for breakfast in a flash.
It’s easy to overcook eggs. To avoid producing boiled eggs with rubbery whites and yellow-green yolks, follow these simple steps:
How to Boil Eggs
Fresh eggs are often harder to peel than eggs that have been around for a week or so. So boil older eggs whenever possible.
Place eggs in a saucepan in a single layer. Cover with an inch or so of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover with a lid and let the eggs sit in the water for five minutes to make soft boiled eggs and 15 minutes for hard boiled eggs.
How to Peel Boiled Eggs
Drain the water. Allow the eggs to cool for one minute until they are easy to hold.
For soft boiled eggs: Carefully tap the top of the egg on a hard surface to crack the shell. Peel off the top third of the shell. Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked egg.
For hard boiled eggs: Crack the egg shells by gently rolling each egg against a hard surface with the palm of your hand. You can also cover the saucepan with a lid and slide it across your kitchen counter to crack the shells of the eggs inside. Hold each egg under cold water and peel off the shell, beginning at the wide end, which gives most easily.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Fresh ginger brings verve to Indian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, and dishes from many other regions of the world. If you’ve resolved to part with the routine in 2017, seek out the citrusy aromatic in the produce department.
Ginger looks like an odd shaped hand with knobby fingers. Break off a piece or two from a plump stem with smooth skin (see example on the right above). Avoid chucks of ginger that are wrinkled (see example on the left above). You can store it unwrapped in the fridge for up to one month.
It’s best to remove the skin (which has the shade and roughness of a paper bag). Begin by breaking off any small knobs and cutting off the rough end.
Some people use a spoon to remove the skin. Other use a knife or vegetable peeler.
Using a spoon: In one hand, nestle the ginger between the base of your index finger and the base of your thumb. With your other hand, clasp the spoon between the stem and the head. Scrape the edge of the spoon against the skin as you move it up the side of the ginger. Rotate the ginger and repeat until all the skin is removed.
Using a vegetable peeler: Hold a piece of ginger vertically on a cutting board. Run the vegetable peeler down the ginger. Turn the ginger and repeat until all the skin in removed.
How to Slice Ginger
Place a piece of peeled ginger on a cutting board. Pinch the ginger with your extra hand to hold it in place on the cutting board. Position the knife at one end of the ginger and slice into the ginger widthwise. Move the knife across the length of the ginger until it is sliced completely.
How to Mince/Dice Ginger
Hold a chef’s knife over the ginger slices. Place the other hand on the back of the knife. Rock the knife back and forth over the slices and mince finely.
How to Grate Ginger
Hold the microplane in one hand at a 45-degree angle, with the tip resting on a cutting board. Hold a piece of ginger so one end touches the grating surface. Slide the ginger down the microplane. Tap the tip of the microplane on your cutting board to remove any ginger that is clinging to the microplane.
How to Create Ginger Matchsticks
Some recipes, such as stir-fries, call for long, thin slabs or sticks of ginger. Here’s how to prep ginger for those dishes.
Place a piece of peeled ginger on a cutting board. Hold a chef’s knife in one hand. Pinch the ginger with your other hand to hold it in place on the cutting board. Square off the ginger by cutting the rounded sides to form four right angles. After cutting the first side, rest the flat surface you just created on the cutting board to stabilize the ginger, and continue to cut the ginger into a rectangle.
To create thin slabs of ginger: Pinch the ginger with your extra hand to hold it in place on the cutting board. Slice the ginger by moving across the ginger lengthwise until it is cut completely. As you do this, remember to keep your fingers curled in and out of harms way.
To create matchsticks (julienne): Stack the slabs you just created. With your extra hand, hold the stack at one end to keep it in place. With your other hand, slice along the length of the ginger, through the stack.
Friday, January 20, 2017
How to Select
Chiles continue to ripen after they are harvested and many become hotter as they mature. Their color also deepens or changes. Jalapenos, for example, go from green to red as they age. If you're looking to maximize heat, select darker chiles from the bunch. Taut, shiny skin is a sign of freshness. Avoid soft, wrinkled one that look like they could use a boost of Botox.
How to Remove the Seeds and Inner Tissue
Chiles get their kick from capsaicin, a chemical concentrated in the spongy inner tissue and seeds. It has an irritating effect, so avoid touching any part of your face (especially your eyes) when preparing chiles. If you have sensitive skin, consider wearing gloves. During clean-up, carefully wash your hands and kitchen equipment with soapy water to cleanse away any capsaicin that may have lingered behind. Chiles can be prepped with the capsaicin-laden tissue and seeds intact. If you want to dial down the heat, use these steps to remove them:
Thoroughly wash and dry the chile. Lay it on its side on a cutting board and slice off the stem end.
Slice the chiles in half lengthwise.
Place one half of the chile on the cutting board with the cut side facing up. Slide the tip of the knife under the tissue and carefully cut it away from the inner wall without cutting through the flesh.
Use your fingers or the tip of the knife to scrape out the tissue and seeds.
How to Chop
Lay one half of the trimmed, deseeded chile on a cutting board skin side down. Cut it in thick slices lengthwise.