Flashcards in CONCEPT 33: BLOOM SPICES TO BOOST THEIR FLAVOR. Deck (97):
Do Americans typically use spices in savory cuisine?
Name one style of cooking where spices are essential.
Spices are generally made from what 4 things? What happens where they're dried?
Berries, plants, roots or bark. When dried, their flavor intensifies.
To forms spices can be sold in.
Whole or powders (ground).
What are cloves?
Dried flower buds.
How long have spices been used in cooking.
Tens of thousands of years.
Besides cooking, how else have spices been used?
Religious rituals and medicine.
The desire for more spices spurred what 4000 years ago?
Trade system that began in the Middle East around 2000 BC and expanded throughout the world.
The flavor of spices comes mainly from where? How do we detect it?
It comes from their aroma, which we detect from the volatile compounds they release into the air; they have a high proportion of these molecules.
In their naked form, spices are almost impossible to _____.
Do most spices glean their flavors from a host of different flavor compounds?
Yes, the mixture gives them character and complexity.
Where does the unique taste and aroma of black peppercorns come from?
Volatile compounds called terpenes and pyrazines.
What do terpenes contribute?
Notes of turpentine, clove, and citrus.
What do pyrazines contribute?
Earthy, roasty, green vegetable aromas.
What heat bearing compound provides the sharp bite in peppercorns?
Spices generally fall into these three categories.
Those with water-soluble flavor compounds, fat-soluble flavor compounds and those that form new flavor molecules when exposed to dry heat alone.
What do the three categories of spices mean for brines and marinades?
Flavor able to dissolve in water are better for "brinerades" while those able to penetrate fat can do much more in oil based marinades.
What really makes a difference in the flavor (and intensity) of spices?
The way we use heat.
What happens when you toast spices whole?
Brings out its aromatic oils.
Does toasting certain spice like coriander and cumin bring about Maillard reactions?
Yes, between the sugars and amino acids.
Can flavor molecules like pyrazines be produced with Mallard reaction?
When is it best to toast spices? Explain.
When they're whole. Grinding releases moisture and enzymatic oils into the air, leaving the spice with less to give when toasted.
What is cooking spices in fat called? What types of spices does this technique work with?
Blooming works with fat-soluble spices and intensifies the flavor of both ground and whole.
Would you discard whole spices after blooming?
Yes, don't serve whole spices.
What is happening when you bloom spices?
The fat-soluble flavor molecules are released from a solid state into solution form, where they mix and interact, thereby producing an even more complex flavor.
These flavor molecules, like most substances, dissolve faster and to a greater extent in what?
A hot solution such as fat or oil.
What should you be careful of when blooming spices?
If fat is too hot, spices can scorch.
Main flavor component in thyme.
TEST KITCHEN: PEPPER FLAKES AND THYME BLOOMED IN OIL AND WATER AT 200ºf FOR 20 MINUTES.
The oil infusion was far more flavorful than water when tested on rice. Water infused registered 1113 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), while pepper-infused oil doubled that number at 2233 SHU. Water contained 19.4 parts per million (ppm) of thymol, a tenth as much as oil - 197 ppm.
What did they use to test the red-pepper and thyme?
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
When cooking chili or any dish, why should you cook spices with the cooking medium instead of throwing it in with liquid?
They will develop far more flavor when being bloomed in the fat.
Does buying whole spices and grinding yourself keep them fresher longer?
If you buy pre-ground spices, how often should they be replaced?
How long do whole spices retain their flavor?
Best way to maximize flavor of spices.
Heat in a pan to release essential oils and bloom.
Why does toasting spices in a dry pan and adding them later not taste like blooming them with a fat?
Because some of the flavor molecules vaporize.
Commercial chili powder is typically made of what?
80% dried red chiles and a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, ground cumin and salt.
For chili, what fat % was best for beef? Explain.
80% had an orange pool of fat floating to the top; 90% was a tad bland; 85% was just right.
What liquid worked best for chili: beef, chicken, wine, water or tomatoes?
Tomatoes were the best. Puree added body and diced tomatoes gave it heft.
Should you add beans at the beginning or end of a chili? Explain.
Beans added toward the end taste like flavorless orbs; adding in the beginning helps them absorb flavor.
Typical Indian garam masala ingredients.
Black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom.
Why is heating spices in a skillet more beneficial than in a simmering sauce?
In a sauce, spices can only be heated to 212ºF. In a dry skillet, temperatures can exceed 500ºF, heightening flavors exponentially - remember not to burn.
Why toast spices before blooming? What makes them taste better?
The heat induces Maillard reaction products, which greatly boost flavor. These reactions do not occur as readily when the spices are bloomed in oil.
What can help brown, add sweetness and meaty flavor?
An Indian cooking method called bhuna does what?
Sautéing the spices and main ingredients together to enhance and meld flavors.
What type of vegetables does bhuna work well with?
Sturdy vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant and green beans.
Do fresh-ground spices have a superior aroma and taste?
Why does test kitchen advocate never buying preground black peppercorns?
As soon as they're cracked, volatile compounds that give their subtle flavor and bold aroma are lost; soon, only the more stable, nonvolatile piperine is left.
Should spices be purchased in large or small quantities?
What is rémoulade?
Frances version of tartar sauce; it's often mayonnaise or aioli based.
Blackened fish is usually prepared in wht cooking device?
Why do skin-on fish filets buckle when cooked? How do you fix this?
The skin shrinks, pulling back flesh along with it. Fix by scoring the fish skin or removing it.
Why does blackened fish make no sense at home?
Not enough ventilation.
Keys to prevent fish from sticking to the grill.
Chill the fish; at room temp, the fillets will become floppy and stick more readily to the grill. Second, heat the grill, scrape the grate and wipe it with oil-dipped towels at least 5 times.
Creative way to crush peppercorns.
Place them on a cutting board, skillet on top, rock back and forth gently.
Does heating peppercorns in oil temper their heat?
When heating peppercorns in oil, how can you reduce the heat if spice isn't your forte?
Drain the heated peppercorns and add fresh oil. This rids some of the spicy flavor compounds.
As peppercorns age, the piperine in converted into closely related molecules called what? Hoe does this affect food?
Isomers have different flavor characteristics and are less irritating to the nose and throat.
Sitting in your home cupboard, how long would it take for piperine to turn into isomers?
Are piperine and its isomers oil-soluble?
Does black pepper lose its characteristic bite when toasted?
What does cardamom consist of?
Green seed pod that holds about 20 small black seeds. Since flavor resides in seeds, it is necessary to crush the whole pod before using.
Best way to buy cardamom.
Is cardamom fat or water soluble??
Best way to buy cayenne pepper.
Is cayenne pepper fat or water soluble?
What does cayenne pepper consist of?
Originally made from cayenne peppers, this spice is now made from a variety of ground dried chiles. Cayenne pepper is rich in volatile oils, making it susceptible to flavor loss within a few months.
Best way to buy chili powder.
Is chili powder fat or water soluble?
Why should chili powder be bloomed?
Because it is a blend of spices and blooming will bring out the complex flavors.
Is cinnamon fat or water soluble?
Best way to buy cinnamon. Why?
Cinnamon is one of few spices they test kitchen prefers to buy ground. Save whole cinnamon sticks for infusing flavor into hot liquids.
Best way to buy cloves? Why?
Because they are difficult to grind, TK buys them ground. Reserve whole cloves for infusing flavor into hot liquids (that include fat or alcohol) in which cloves are soluble.
Are cloves fat or water soluble?
Best way to buy coriander. Why?
Whole seeds provide a more vibrant, complex flavor. Toasting whole coriander helps release their aroma.
Coriander is the seed of what plant?
Is coriander fat or water soluble?
Best way to buy cumin? Why?
Toasting whole cumin seeds gives the spice a more complex peppery flavor than when purchased ground.
Cumin is a highly aromatic spice that comes from a plant in what family?
Is cumin fat or water soluble?
Best way to buy curry powder.
Is curry fat or water soluble?
Most blends of curry include what?
Cardamom, chiles, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, and turmeric.
Why are some curry powders spicier than others?
More chiles are used.
What gives curry its characteristic yellow color?
What gives curry its characteristic yellow color?
Best way to buy nutmeg. Why?
Nutmeg loses its aroma when ground; best to buy it whole.
What is nutmeg?
The dried seed like kernel of an evergreen tree.
Is nutmeg fat or water soluble?
Best way to buy paprika.
What is paprika?
A fine powder made by grinding dried red peppers.
Do Hungarian and Spanish paprika have more complexity than domestic varieties?
Best way to buy saffron.
What is saffron?
Saffron, the world's most expensive spice, is the hand harvested stigma of a type of crocus.
How do you release flavor of saffron?
Pinch with your fingers before adding.
What happens when using too much saffron?
It imparts a metallic taste.
Is saffron water or fat soluble?