Saturday, July 14, 2018

Easy Carnitas (Double-Cooked Pork)

First prepared May, 2016. A simple method to prepare a flavorsome main dish or an ingredient in another.
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or country-style ribs
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cumin
Cut pork into 1/2 inch pieces. Put meat and salt in a cold Dutch oven and barely cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking with occasional stirring until all the water evaporates and the meat begins to sizzle in its fat. Continue cooking until browned and crisp. Drain and set aside. Serve as part of a meal with rice, beans, salsa, and tortillas or in a taco with toppings of your choice.

Chinese Stock Base

Developed October, 2015. Often in Chinese cooking a flavorsome, complex stock is used to finish a stir fry dish in the wok, prepare sauces, or serve as a light broth with a few petals of tender napa cabbage.
1 qt water
2 t soy sauce
1 t fish sauce
1 t rice wine
1 t dark sesame oil
2 T chicken base
1/2 t salt
1 t sugar
1 inch fresh ginger root, split and crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 green onions, cut in large pieces
Place ingredients in a two-quart saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool off heat, still covered, and strain out solids through a sieve. Store cold in a covered container or freeze in measured amounts in plastic bags

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hint: Freeze Tomato Paste in Recipe-Sized Portions

Tomato paste provides a rich base of umami flavor and healthful nutrients to many dishes. Heated with oil at the start of a sauté, it imparts color and flavor to the pan sauce or soup.The usual dish calls for a tablespoon or two, leaving the problem of how to store the remainder of the can's contents. To handle that problem, we divide the contents into 1 ounce (~30 gram) portions, using a #30 disher ('ice cream scoop'). This size scoop is called a '#30 disher' because it was designed to dish out 30 scoops from a quart of ice cream. They are available online for a few dollars. Each scoop of tomato paste is deposited into the corner of a Z-fold plastic sandwich bag, twisted closed, and individually frozen, then bagged. When needed, just the right amount of tomato paste, easily pops from its bag, ready for cooking. It thaws quickly, as the pan heats.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hint: Save space when storing eggs

We love hens eggs and eat and use quite a few every week in our home. To save money and for convenience, we buy packs that hold 18 eggs. In our markets, the egg cartons are made of foamed plastic or pulpboard. Our practice is store the eggs in a refrigerator below 40 degrees F to preserve product quality. This puts a premium on the lowest and thus coldest shelf space. To make it easier to store and handle the eggs, we cut the package in half, using a serrated knife. After eggs have been removed, the remaining eggs can be re-arranged to balance the container to make it easier to handle.