N

o written recipe can be 100 percent accurate. No matter how carefully a recipe is written, the judgment of the cook is still the most important factor in making a preparation turn out well. A cook's judgment is based on experience, on an understanding of the raw materials available, and on knowledge of basic cooking principles.

This chapter deals with basic principles. You will learn about what happens to food when it is heated, about how food is cooked by different cooking methods, and about rules of seasoning and flavoring. It is important to understand the theories so you can successfully put them into practice in the kitchen.

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

1. Name the most important components of foods and describe what happens to them when they are cooked.

2. Name and describe three ways in which heat is transferred to food in order to cook it.

3. List three factors that affect cooking times.

4. Explain the differences between moist-heat cooking methods, dry-heat cooking methods, and dry-heat cooking methods using fat.

5. Describe each basic cooking method used in the commercial kitchen.

6. Identify the five properties that determine the quality of a deep-fried product.

7. Explain the difference between a seasoning and a flavoring ingredient and give examples of each.

8. Identify appropriate times for adding seasoning ingredients to the cooking process in order to achieve optimal results.

9. Identify appropriate times for adding flavoring ingredients to the cooking process in order to achieve optimal results.

10. List eleven guidelines for using herbs and spices in cooking.

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