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What does it mean to cut meat across the grain? And why is it important?Cutting meat across the grain results in more tender slices of meat; they’re less chewy and easier to eat. To do this, look at the direction of the muscle fibers of the meat and cut against them – not with them. This is especially important with tougher cuts of meat like flank or skirt steak, but is also important with all types of meat, even poultry.
What kind of knife do you suggest for carving and slicing meat?Although eclectic knives work well, Joe prefers a straight carving knife.
How do you use a steel rod knife sharpener? (The one that typically comes with your standard set of knives.)First things first, be careful! Always be aware of where your hands are. Hold the rod out, and glide the knife towards you. You can glide it different ways (making the shape of a V) a few times to get your knife nice and sharp.
Why do you let meat rest before slicing it?If you don’t allow the meat to rest before you cut into it, all the juices will run out onto your cutting board (also known as bleeding out), leaving you with a dry and less flavorful piece of meat. As the meat rests, those juices are able to evenly redistribute throughout, and stay inside the meat after you slice it. If you’re wondering how long an appropriate resting time is, it will depend on the kind and size of the meat you’ve prepared. As a general guideline, let the meat rest to room temperature before carving.
What’s the best way to judge a meat’s internal temperature, without using a thermometer?Hold your hand out, place your pointer finger on your thumb. Take your pointer finger on your opposite hand, and feel the flabby flesh right underneath your thumb (AKA the thenar); that’s rare. Touch your middle finger to your thumb; that’s medium. Your ring finger to your thumb is well done, while your pinky finger to your thumb is very well done (or killed, whichever you’d like to call it).
How do you prevent your hardboiled eggs from getting that grey ring?Heat the eggs gradually to maintain an even temperature between the egg yolk and white. To do this, carefully place your eggs in a pan and cover them with cold water (an inch or so over the eggs will do). Bring them to a boil over high heat; once the water is boiling, remove the pan from the heat, place a lid on top, and allow the eggs to sit for ten minutes. This allows the eggs to gently finish cooking, avoiding that grey ring. For easy peeling, run the eggs under cold water while you peel them. If you want to use the eggs right away, place them in an ice bath to cool for a few minutes.
How do you keep from crying while cutting onions?The sharper the knife is, the less you’ll cry. Reason being, there’s a chemical reaction that occurs with your eyes when you cut through the cells of an onion, causing them to tear. A sharp knife will damage these cells less, causing you to cry less. You can also try freezing your onions first, cutting them under running cold water, or using goggles.
Did you know raw onions could help keep your family healthy?Place halved onions (preferably on plates or in small bowls) around your house; they’ll turn black from absorbing harmful germs and bacteria. Just make sure to replace them daily!
Can you substitute baking soda and baking powder for one another?Mostly no, but in some instances, yes. Although both are leavening agents, they’re two totally different products made of different things. When it comes down to it, baking is a science and if a recipe works, don’t change it. But if you’ve run out of one or the other, baking powder can replace baking soda, but it may affect the finished product slightly. However, you can only substitute baking soda for baking powder if you also add a pinch of cream of tartar.
How do you keep your cookies from spreading too thin?This all depends on the temperature of your butter. Don’t melt the butter for your cookie recipes; instead, allow it to sit at room temperature for thirty minutes or so before you begin baking.
What’s the best way to measure dry ingredients?Use a scale to weigh your ingredients; this will give you the most accurate reading. And just for a heads up, there is a difference between liquid and dry measuring! A scale is also a great way to weigh liquid ingredients.
Have a great week! See you next Sunday!
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