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Help In The Kitchen - Cooking Tips
For a moist and succulent Thanksgiving turkey, when oven-roasting place the turkey upside down in your roasting pan. Central">All the juices will run into the turkey breasts making them very moist and tender. About half-way through the cooking time, turn the turkey back over to brown the top.
Purchase one pound of turkey per person to be served. This allows for the holiday meal plus a little left over for next day turkey left-overs.
•STEAK IN THE OVEN:
To get more of that B-B-Q taste when you need to use your oven broiler to cook steaks, pre-heat the oven until it is really hot. This sears the outside of the meat and keeps the juices in. Use tongs or a spatula to turn the steaks instead of a fork to prevent juices from leaking out.
•USE RUBS OR MARINADES TO GRILLED FOODS TO ADD FLAVOUR.
1. Rubs are dry spice blends and usually include both salt and sugar. They are rubbed directly on and into the meat before cooking. They add a mild flavour, but if you add the rub a day or so in advance the flavour of the spices will penetrate more into the meat.
2. Marinades are liquid and can be made from a variety of ingredients, but most importantly include something acidic (like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, yoghurt or fruit like papayas, pineapple or kiwis). This adds enzymes to the meat which tenderize it. Use caution in the amount of time you marinade meat to avoid the meat becoming “mushy”. A general rule is, for seafood as little as 15 minutes, 4-6 hours for thin cuts of meat and up to 12 hours for larger cuts.
3. Use a re-sealable plastic bag to marinate meats. Add the marinade and meat into the bag, seal, and shake or mush together to combine. Then let sit in the fridge for the required amount of time.
4. Never re-use marinades. If you wish to make a sauce or gravy from the marinade the meat has been in, boil the marinade for at least two minutes.
5. Brush the extra marinade onto the meat before grilling for extra flavour. Use it like a barbeque sauce, but be sure to let it cook through
Most mussels that have been purchased from a supermarket have been purged of sand, but if you have dug the mussels yourself here is how to clean them: The best way is to soak them in a bucket of sea water. (Do not use fresh water as this will kill the mussels.) If you do not have access to sea water, use 1 cup of salt per 3 quarts of water, with a handful of cornmeal added to the water. The cornmeal will clean the mussels stomach, purging them of sand. Let the mussels soak in the refrigerator overnight or for at least several hours, changing the water at least once. Clean the shells with a stiff kitchen brush under cool running water and remove the beard before using. If you are cooking mussels and the shells do not open, discard immediately and DO NOT USE.
If you are using frozen shrimp, refresh the shrimp by soaking them in salted water (1-2 TBSP. of salt to 1 quart of water). Keep shrimp in ice water to keep them fresh while preparing them. Pat the shrimp with a paper towel to dry before cooking. Leaving the shell on while boiling or steaming shrimp helps to preserve the juices and natural flavours. You can either remove or leave the digestive tract on the shrimp as a matter of personal preference. There is seldom a flavour difference unless the vein is large and contains a high volume or grit and digested material.
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