Flashcards in CONCEPT 23: SALTING VEGETABLES REMOVES LIQUID Deck (84):
Name two summer vegetables that are made up of mostly water.
Tomatoes and zucchini.
Edible plants include what?
Fruits and vegetables.
What part of a plant are fruits?
Reproductive parts of the plant or those containing seeds.
What part of the plant are vegetables?
Everything but the reproductive parts including roots, stems and leaves.
According to botany, what is a fruit?
A fruit is the ripened ovary, together with seed of a flowering plant.
Is the term vegetable a botanical term?
No, it's a culinary term which has no established scientific value.
What is a primary component in the cell walls of plants?
Does cellulose get thicker with age?
What's one reason raw veggies are so crunchy?
What is pectin?
A water-soluble polysaccharide also present in the cell walls and in between cells, actin like glue to hold them together.
Are vegetable mostly water?
How is working with vegetables unlike cooking meats?
We want to retain moisture in meat, not vegetables.
What happens to ions when salt is added to vegetables? How is this equalized?
It creates a higher ion concentration at the surface than exists deep within the cells. To equalize the concentration levels, water within the cells is drawn out through permeable cell walls (osmosis).
What is the trick with salting vegetables (opposite of meat).
To wick away moisture as it comes to the surface; don't wait for it to be reabsorbed like in meats.
What is important when making slaws and salads? Why?
Removal of water form vegetables because excess liquid can dilute a dressing, causing the vegetables to swim in a flavorless pool of juice.
What happens to turgor pressure as cells lose water? What does this create?
The cell loses turgor pressure and begins to collapse; it radically changes their texture--softer and less crisp.
What is turgor pressure?
Turgor pressure pushes the plasma membrane against the cell wall of plant, bacteria, and fungi cells as well as those protist cells which have cell walls.
Besides turgor pressure (the texture), how else does salt affect vegetables? How?
Much of pectin's strength comes from the presence of calcium and magnesium ions within the molecules; links that hold pectin together. When raw vegetables are salted or salt is added to cooking water, the sodium ions in salt replace the calcium and magnesium ions in pectin.
TEST KITCHEN: MOISTURE LOSS IN SALTED VS UNSALTED CABBAGE.
Salted cabbage had wilted and lost 2tbsp of liquid.
For a coleslaw, what does salted cabbage do to restore balance?
Wilted cabbage leaves will draw back some of the added dressing in order to restore turgor pressure, thereby enhancing flavor.
Was the flavor of gazpacho enhanced when vegetables were salted one hour before blending?
Yes, it created a fuller and more complex flavor than those with salt added toward the end.
Why are the flavor molecules of fruits and vegetables sometimes masked from our tastebuds?
They are trapped within the cell walls and tightly bound to proteins that make them inaccessible to our tastebuds.
Does blending and chewing release some of the trapped flavor molecules?
It release some but, for maximum extraction, salting and letting them sit for an hour works best.
How does salt release the trapped flavor molecules?
With time, salt draws flavor compounds out of the cell walls while simultaneously forcing the proteins to separate from these molecules.
What should you do when using salted cabbage immediately for coleslaw?
Rinse in ice water, drain in colander and pat dry.
What happens if salted cabbage is left unrinsed and undried?
The salty moisture trapped within the thatch (roof, house) of shredded cabbage ruins both the texture and flavor of coleslaw.
What do mayonnaise and sour cream add to a buttermilk coleslaw coating?
Mayonnaise gives dressing a good heft and adhesiveness while sour cream reinforces the characteristic Southern twang.
How long can opened buttermilk last?
Up to three weeks; tastes best when used fresh.
Does buttermilk smell sour?
How do you know when buttermilk turns truly bad?
Growth of blue-green mold.
Why can buttermilk last three weeks?
It's high in lactic acid, which is hostile to the growth of harmful bacteria and mold.
TEST KITCHEN: BUTTERMILK PANCAKES USING 1, 2 AND 3 WEEK OLD BUTTERMILK.
Pancakes became increasingly bland every week.
Why does buttermilk become bland with age?
The bacteria in buttermilk produce lactic acid and diacetyl. As time passes, it continues to ferment and become more acidic. The abundance of acid kills off all the bacteria that produce diacetyl; retains acidic tartness but loses buttery flavor.
What is diacetyl?
A flavor compound that gives buttermilk it's characteristically butter aroma. Also the dominant flavor compound in butter.
How do you preserve the flavor and shelf life of buttermilk?
How do you press salted cucumbers?
Gallon sized plastic bad filled with water in colander.
What helps salted cucumbers lose more moisture than sitting in a colander?
Weighing them down.
How long should salted cucumbers sit?
1 to three hours. After that they won't give up anymore liquid.
Does salting and draining cucumbers together remove the onion's sharp sting?
How should you prepare cucumbers for a salad?
Half them and scrape out any seeds and salt.
Is there a genetic difference that keeps American cucumbers crisper in the presence of a softening enzyme than the seedless English?
Do English or American cucumbers have a more concentrated flavor? Which is more watery?
American are more concentrated; English mild and watery.
Difference in growing style of English vs American cucumbers.
English are almost exclusively grown in greenhouses, while most American kinds grow outdoors.
Why are English cucumbers less crisp than American?
Cucumbers contain a "softening" enzyme that breaks down cell walls when the vegetable is cut. Due to genetic differences and how they're farmed, English have weaker cell walls that are easily broken down leading to less-than-crisp texture and flavor that runs out.
Does salting English cucumbers help their genetic flaws?
No, it only makes the problem worse.
Is vinegar with a cloudy, slimy sediment at the bottom still usable?
Will nearly all commercial vinegar last in an unopened bottle?
How does the sediment in vinegar occur?
Once exposed to air, harmless "vinegar bacteria" may start to grow. They form a cloudy sediment that is nothing more than cellulose, a complex carbohydrate that does not affect the flavor; just strain your vinegar through a coffee filter.
What did Vinegar Institute find in their storage studies?
Shelf life of an opened vinegar stored in a dark cabinet at room temp is almost indefinite.
What is the salad with slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella, layered with basil leaves, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil?
How could you make a seasonal tomato appetizer available all year?
Use sun-dried tomatoes.
Which tomato has less liquid, plum of beefsteak?
Why would you hit a puff pastry dough with 425 degree hit and finish around 350?
High temp for initial lift and browning, then low to dry out the shell for maximum sturdiness.
Can egg wash and cheese be used as a moisture barrier on puff pastry? Why?
Yes, egg wash creates a deflective but not impermeable layer on the delicate crust. Parmesan melts into a solid fatty layer that liquid rolls off.
Three steps to eliminate a soggy tart crust.
Salt, an egg wash and some parmesan.
When stuffing tomatoes should they be very ripe? Why?
No, if they're too ripe tomatoes won't hold their shape.
What kind of stuffing should you fill a tomato with since there isn't much room?
Big flavors like potent cheese, garlic, fresh herbs and even oils.
Should you remove green sprouts from fresh garlic? Why? Does cooking counteract this bitterness?
They taste bitter, harsh and, even after cooking, leave a somewhat metallic taste that taints food.
Does sitting overnight help gazpacho develop maximize flavor? What's the minimum?
Overnight is best but 2 hours will also work.
Where is gazpacho popular?
Southern region of Spain
How did gazpacho come about?
Centuries ago, Spanish field-workers cobbled together leftover odds and end--yesterday's bread, almonds, garlic, olive oil, water--and mashed it all together in humble potage.
What does bread add to gazpacho?
It adds body and authenticity.
Traditional liquid used to soften bread in gazpacho.
What is added at the end to emulsify gazpacho?
Eggplants are filled with what?
Air pockets and water.
Diced and cooked as is, what will eggplant absorb? What does this accomplish?
Large amounts of the cooking medium, usually oil, resulting in a greasy mess.
How does salting before cooking help egg plant?
Drains moisture to allow browning and collapses air pockets so oil isn't absorbed.
Besides salting, what's an extra step to ensure excess moisture is released from eggplant?
Salting draws out moisture and microwaving causing liquid to evaporate rapidly, resulting in a dehydrated vegetable ready for caramelization.
What two ingredients are primarily used for the Sicilian dish Caponta?
Tomatoes and egg plant.
Why is it better to use coffee filters instead of paper towels in a microwave?
Paper towels contain dyes that aren't micro-wave safe.
Why would you put coffee filters in a microwave with eggplant?
To absorb any liquid released and prevent the eggplant from turning to mush. In turn, the absorbed liquid helps keep a super concentrated salt content, evaporating even more moisture.
What does a long cooking time do to tomatoes?
Robs them of their taste.
What helps distinguish caponata from it's French relative ratatouille?
A sweet and sour finish.
A firm, crumbly Mexican cheese.
After sauteing eggplant individually, why would you add it to a dish toward the end?
Prevent it from becoming mushy?
What variety of eggplant has fewer seeds: globe, italian, chinese?
Why would tomatoes be placed at the top of a summer squash, zucchini and tomato gratin?
So they can roast and caramelize.
Where should you place salted tomatoes to drain? Why?
On paper towels; they're too delicate to put in a colander like zucchini.
What part of a tomato contains most of its glutamate?
Seeds and jelly.
TEST KITCHEN: GRATI WITH AND WITHOUT TOMATO JELLY AND SEEDS.
Gratin with jelly and seeds had a decidedly richer, deeper flavor.
According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, what do the jelly and seeds of a tomato contain?
Three times the amount of flavor-enhancing glutamic acid as the flesh.
Should you remove seeds and core from a zucchini?
What does shredding and salting do when reducing moisture in a zucchini?
Cuts the draining times way down.