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T - Tips about various ingredients

[ Tamarind | Tandoor | Tips on storing olive oil | Tomatoes | Turmeric | Turnips ]

Tamarind

  • TamarindTamarind pulp has more sugar and fruit acid per volume than any other fruit. It is also an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

Tandoor

  • The tandoor, an earthenware pot used as an oven, achieves such high heat (well over 700 degrees F) that they cook a chicken half in less than 5 minutes.

Tips on storing olive oil

  • Olive oil, like all organic oils, will turn rancid over time if not properly stored. Keep it away from heat, air and light. Don`t be tempted to store it in the cupboard over the range or above the refrigerator. Most cooks like to have some handy at the stove. Keep some in a pretty opaque container with a pouring spout within reach of your hand but not of the cooking heat.
  • Do not store olive oil in the refrigerator-it solidifies at 36 degrees Fahrenheit. If you find your olive oil contains a layer of white solids, the bottle has been chilled. Leave it to reach room temperature-the olive oil will not have suffered.

Tomatoes

  • TomatoesBuying and Storing Tomatoes
    As long as they are kept at room temperature, tomatoes picked at the mature green stage will finish ripening in supermarkets and after you purchase them. Within a few days, they will soften slightly, turn red and-most important of all-develop their full flavor and aroma.
  • To avoid interrupting this process, place the tomatoes on a counter or in a shallow bowl at room temperature until they are ready to eat.
  • DON`T REFRIGERATE THEM.
    When tomatoes are chilled below 55 F, the ripening comes to a halt and the flavor never develops.
  • To speed up the process, keep tomatoes in a brown paper bag or closed container to trap the ethylene gas that helps them ripen. Adding an ethylene-emitting apple or pear to the container can also hasten ripening. Store the tomatoes in a single layer and with the stem ends up, to avoid bruising the delicate "shoulders."
  • Once they are fully ripened, tomatoes can be held at room temperature or refrigerated for several days. When you`re ready to use them, bring the tomatoes back to room temperature for fullest flavor.

Tomato Techniques

  • To peel: Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover tomatoes; bring to a boil. Immerse tomatoes about 30 seconds; drain and cool. Remove stem ends and slip off skins
  • To seed: Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently squeeze each half, using your fingers to remove seeds. To reserve the juice for use in dressings, sauces or soups, seed the tomato into a strainer held over a bowl.
  • Tomato Shells: Cut a inch slice off the stem end of each tomato. Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp.
  • Roast: Preheat oven to 450 F. Halve tomatoes crosswise. Place halves, cut side down, on a shallow baking pan; brush with oil. Roast until lightly browned, about 20 minutes; cool. Remove skins and stem ends.
  • Slow-Cook: Preheat oven to 300 F. Remove stem ends; slice tomatoes. Place slices on a shallow baking pan; brush with oil. Cook until tomatoes soften and shrink, about 45 minutes.
  • Tomato Equivalents
    1 small tomato = 3 to 4 ounces
    1 medium tomato = 5 to 6 ounces
    1 large tomato = 7 or more ounces
    1 pound of tomatoes = 2 cups chopped or 1 cups pulp

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

  • One pound turmeric = 4 cups
    1 Tablespoon = ounce
  • Fresh tumeric roots  should have a spicy fragrance and stubby fingers protruding from the sides of the root. Refrigerate unpeeled turmeric, tightly wrapped, for 3 weeks.
  • Tumeric is typically boiled or steamed and then dried and ground into powder. Use ground tumeric in fish or rice dishes. Be careful with fresh turmeric, it will stain your hands and clothing.

TurnipsTurnips

  • Turnips should be stored at 35 degrees F, and will keep up to 4 months.
     
  • Turnips are available year round with a peak in the fall and winter months. Select smooth surfaced roots that are firm and heavy with some root hairs at the bottom. In general, the smaller the turnip, the sweeter the taste.
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