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HOMEMAKING TIPS

The New Wife's Guide: Cooking Methods

The kitchen need not be so intimidating for a new wife.

Being a new wife is a fantastic time to hone your cooking skills. If you're new at this whole thing, we've compiled a list of cooking methods to help you become more comfy in the kitchen.

All cooking techniques can be divided according to two cooking methods: dry heat cooking, and moist heating cooking method.

Dry heat cooking uses heat applied to dry food in order to cook it. This cooking method includes the following:

1. Broiling
Broiling is exposing your food to a direct source of heat. It is a fast method of cooking tender cuts of meat, poultry, ham and fish. Unlike a grill, broiling is done in an oven.

2. Roasting
Roasting is cooking in closed environment, such as an oven, using indirect heat. Ideally, roasting keeps the exterior of food such as meat, poultry, and vegetables crisp while the insides remain moist. The ideal temperature for roasting is above 450°F.

3. Baking
Baking is surrounding your food with an even, consistent temperature from the dry heat of an oven. Just about any type of food can be baked: breads, desserts, fish, poultry, meat, and vegetables.

4. Grilling
Grilling is another cooking method using dry heat. Food is cooked on metal grates over a heat source, which results in a smoky, charred flavor.

The second method is the moist heat cooking method, where liquid is used to cook food. Liquid can either be added before the heat is applied, or it can be heated up first to a boiling temperature before the food is added.

1. Boiling
Boiling is cooking food in liquid that is set at a high temperature. You'll know that the liquid is boiling when bubbles pop on the entire surface of the liquid. Depending on the recipe, the food can already be submerged in the liquid, bringing it to a boil, or you only add the food when the liquid starts to boil.

2. Steaming
Steaming uses hot steam to cook the food. Water is first heated past its boiling point, and when it turns to steam, food is cooked over it. It's a gentler way of cooking, and so it is usually used for delicate food like seafood.

3. Stewing
Stewing is a long, slow type of cooking method where cut food is allowed to cook in liquid such as water, stock, or sauce. It can be done in a covered pot on a stove, or a covered pan in an oven. The result is food swimming in a sauce with thick consistency.

4. Deep-frying
Deep-frying is the process of submerging food in hot oil. The ideal temperature for deep frying is 350°F and 375°. If it's not hot enough, the food will come out soggy. But if it's too high, the food will get burnt.

5. Blanching
Blanching is cooking where the food, usually a fruit or vegetable, is plunged in boiling water, and then taken out after a short period of time. The food is then submerged in cold water, or placed under cold running water to stop the cooking process.

6. Pan-fry
Pan frying uses lower heat compared to sautéing. This is because food that is pan-fried, like chicken, meat, and fish is not chopped into small pieces. The lower heat allows the insides of the food to be cooked thoroughly, without burning its exterior.

7. Stir-fry
Stir-frying involves high heat, and as it name suggests, quite a bit of stirring. It also uses more oil, and is ideally done on a wok.

8. Sauté
Sauté is a French term meaning "to jump." It involves cooking uniformly-cut ingredients at a high heat, often without letting them sit in the pan for too long. The key to sautéing is to keep the ingredients in constant motion.

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