Agave juice was known to native Mexicans as "honey water." Agave plants tend to be most familiar as the basis for tequila, although agave nectar is gaining ground in home kitchens as a wonderful alternative to traditional sweeteners. Agave nectar is made mainly from the juices extracted from the core of the agave plant, most often from blue agave, agave salimiana, agave americana and agave mapisaga. There are many other wild agaves that can also be utilized. The different species produce nectars of varying flavors.
Vinegar is one of those ingredients that people don't think of as often as they should. It is mostly just seen in salad dressings and pickles, which is a shame, because there is a whole world of flavor there just waiting to be tapped into. There are often times, especially during the holidays, when there is leftover wine after a festive dinner. Many of us will cork the bottle, with or without various safeguards to preserve the contents, and set it aside for the next day.
Most American children are familiar with marshmallows. These fluffy, chewy treats are sold in bags in the supermarket, often for use in Rice Krispie treats and s'mores. Marshmallow Fluff is a spreadable marshmallow product, often found nestled on shelves beside the peanut butter used for lunchbox confections, adding a sweet, viscous layer to sandwiches and brownies. Around Easter, marshmallow Peeps, with their softer structure and crunchy sugar coating, appear in stores. In many homes around the country, marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes are a staple at the Thanksgiving table.
The title may be a bit of a misnomer: Really the first hydrocolloids that most people use tend to be flour, gelatin, and cornstarch. The difference is that when people first learn to cook, they don't realize how many of the ingredient they use are hydrocolloids, and so they never learn how to utilize them efficiently. Hydrocolloids are ingredients that control water in a recipe, binding with liquids to form gels or sols, colloidal suspensions.
This Sunday at 11 pm, catch a sneak peek at the debut of Food Detectives, the new prime-time television series created as a collaboration between Popular Science and the Food Network. Your charismatic and learned PopSci editors--Megan Miller, Jake Ward and others--join host Ted Allen to investigate, test, and debunk common beliefs and myths about food.
I think that everyone in New York City read last week's article by David Leite on the Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. One of the main tricks from the article is to rest your dough for 36 hours before baking the cookies in order to improve the flavor. In my work as a chef I have often made cookie dough in advance and baked to order. I knew that refrigeration had beneficial effects although I had never tested the theory to the extent that David Leite did for the article.
Pectin is probably most recognizable to home cooks as the ingredient that thickens jellies and jams and gives them that smooth, sticky texture. Pectin is an indigestible soluble fiber which, when combined with water, forms a colloidal system and gels. It has a wide range of uses. It can be found as a gelling, thickening or stabilizing additive in food, an ingredient in laxatives, a demulcent in throat lozenges, and vegetable glue for cigars.
We are proud to introduce today the first installment of our newest regular feature,Kitchen Alchemy. In it, H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, a husband-and-wife cooking duo and authors of the constantly fascinating Ideas in Food blog, will take us through the myriad intersections of food and science; and as an added bonus, each column will also feature an innovative and, needless to say, delicious recipe for putting said science into action. Enjoy. —Eds.
Pressure cookers are among our favorite culinary gadgets. We like them for things as simple as perfectly steamed beets and as playful as caramelized yogurt. And the days of screeching, squealing pressure cookers, shuddering on your range top and conjuring fears of explosions, are on the wane. Today we have quiet, efficient appliances that are used in both professional and home kitchens. Now you can buy electric pressure cookers, which shorten cooking times, are easy to clean and make a minimal amount of noise.
The Pilgrims had friendly natives to help celebrate the harvest - you've got PopSci
By Joe BrownPosted 10.26.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Thanksgiving may be the country´s oldest celebration, but that´s no reason to cook with 17th-century tech. Whereas early settlers cooked over open fires, we have smart ovens that automatically adjust to what´s inside them, thermometers that read surface temperature with infrared radiation, knives with molecular structures that keep them sharp longer, and a meat grinder as powerful as a small car engine. Give thanks for technology.