PRINCIPLE AND METHODS OF COOKERY
This module will provide you with an introduction to cooking and the objective of cooking, different cooking methods, different utensils, and equipment. You will also learn about herbs and spices and how to best use them in food production.
Cooking is a process of chemical and physical change in food items to create a complete dish in which more than two ingredients of food are combined and heated simultaneously by using various cooking methods and tools. Cooking gives variety to the menu, as one food item can be cooked in various ways and given different textures. For example, mutton can be cooked as a soup, roast, steak, kabab or stew.
Objectives of cooking
The objectives of cooking are as follows:
• To kill the harmful bacteria and microorganism.
• For easy digestion.
• To improve the taste and flavor.
• To enhance the presentation.
• To create palatability.
• To provide different shapes.
• To prevent the food from discoloring.
Method of Cooking
Following common cooking methods used in food production.
1. Roasting: This is a method of cooking an item by enclosing it in hot and dry air, generally inside an oven at temperatures 180°C-230°C which generally depends upon the food items. Example: meat, vegetables, cereals.
2. Baking: It is a process of cooking with hot air in a closed oven at temperature 220°C and above. Example; Bread, cake, biscuits.
3. Broiling and Grilling: It is a method of cooking by radiant or direct heat under a grill or over a hot fire at temperature 200°F and above. Examples: fish, steak, stuffed tomato.
Frying Cooking Methods:
1. Deep Frying Method: Frying food in a large amount of fat in a deep pan at temperature 160°C-200°
Example: French fries, chicken finger, cutlets.
2. Shallow Frying Method: Frying food in enough fat to prevent sticking at temperature 300°F and above. Example; egg, pancake.
3. Sautéing: Frying and tossing food in a small amount of hot fat in a frying pan. Example; Vegetables, noodles, bean sprouts.
Moist Cooking Method:
1. Boiling Method: Cooking food in boiling water at temperature 100°C. The heated water cooks the food. Example: eggs, meat, vegetables.
2. Poaching Method: Cooking slowly in a minimum of water that is heated below boiling points at temperature 93°C- 95°C. Example; Fish egg.
3. Steaming Method: Cooking food by surrounding it with steam produced by boiling water at temperature 100°C-100°C. Example of vegetables
4. Stewing Method: Cooking in a covered pan using the only small quantity of liquid which is kept simmering at temperature 120°C-140°C. Example; cuts of meat, fruits, vegetable.
5. Braising Method: A combined method of roasting and stewing. Example; various meats and vegetables.
COMMON KITCHEN UTENSILS AND EQUIPMENT
All appliances used in the kitchen are called kitchen equipment and utensils. They are used to save time and energy. Kitchen equipment is divided into three categories:
1. Large equipment: The large equipment are cooking range, steamer, oven, griller, deep fat fryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, walk-in freezer etc.
2. Medium equipment: Toaster, blender, cutter, slicer, frying pan, press cooker etc.
3. Small equipment: Different types of knife, chopping board, ladles, strainer, spatula, whisk, mixing bowl, spoon, pots, bucket, measuring cups, glass, plates, and trays etc.
Equipment and utensils used for food preparation and processing are:
1. Chopping/cutting board: It is a board used to place material on to be cut. It is used in the kitchen for preparing food.
2. Frying Pan: A frying pan or skillet is a pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
3. Knife: A sharp-edged instrument consisting of a handle attached to a blade used for cutting.
4. Measuring Cup: Used to measure the volume of liquid or powder-form cooking ingredients such as water, milk, juice, flour, and sugar etc.
5. Measuring Spoon: A measuring spoon is a spoon used to measure the amount of a substance, either liquid or dry when cooking.
6. Meat grinder: It is for grinding, fine mincing meat, fish, vegetables or similar food.
7. Meat slicer: To slice meats and cheese.
8. Mixing Bowl: It is used for mixing of ingredients.
9. Stove: It is used for cooking food which uses gas as a fuel source.
10. Tablespoon: A type of large spoon usually used for serving. Also commonly used as a measure of volume used in cooking.
11. Teaspoon: A small spoon, suitable for stirring and sipping the contents of a cup of tea or coffee. It is also used for measuring.
12. Tray: It is for carrying things.
13. Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon or spatula is a spoon made of wood, commonly used in food preparation.
14. Soup Ladle: Which is used for serving soup or stews.
15. Whisks: It is for quick blending, mixing and whipping.
HERBS, SPICES, AND SEASONING
Herbs are the leaves or stems of aromatic plants. The leaves of herbs contain oil which gives the characteristic of smell and flavor. They can be used fresh or died. It also increases the taste of food.
Spices are natural products obtained from fruits, seeds, roots, flower, and barks. They are used for their
flavor which helps to improve the taste of the food. Seasoning is a process of enhancing or improving the flavor of the food.
Importance of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices are important for many different reasons, they include:
• Helps digestion, for example, clove oil increases appetite.
• Medical purposes, for example, turmeric powder acts as an antiseptic.
• Enhances the flavor, for example, bay leaves, pepper, cloves etc.
• Improves appearance, for example, turmeric powder, chili powder, saffron etc.
• Improve palatability, for example, salt, pepper, chili, coriander seed, paprika etc.
• Acts as preservatives, for example, salt, turmeric, cloves, mustard, ginger garlic.
Portioning and Garnishing
Portioning is the amount of food given to one person known as a serving. Garnishing is the decoration of food or drinks with small colorful or savory items.
Importance of portioning
Portioning helps to balance the food nutrition, to have consistency quantity to control the cost.
Standard Portion size
• Fish Fillet – 180-250 grams
• Beef Steak – 200-250 grams
• Soup 200-250 ml
• Pasta (for the main course) 65-100 grams
• Salad (appetizer) 90 grams
• Salad (main course) 250 grams
Garnish and its type
Edible items are placed on the top or around the main dish to create an attractive look. They may be cooked or raw. There are mainly two types of garnishes:
Simple garnish: It consists of single elements, for example, tomato soup with croutons.
Composite garnish: It is made from a number of ingredients varying according to the basic dishes, for example, lemon wedges and parsley with fried fish.
Importance of Garnish
Garnish creates an attractive appearance to the dish.
How to garnish food?
• Always garnish food before serving food
• Use appropriate accompaniments to garnish the dish (Example – coriander for Indian dishes, lemon for fish)
• Use contrast color combination for garnish
• Never overdo the garnish
• Use only edible items for garnish
Stocks, suaces, and soups
This module provides information about different types of stocks, sauces, and soups, the different types and preparation methods, garnishing and accompaniments. It also provides commonly used recipes. Stocks are nutritious, flavored liquids made by gently cooking vegetables, meat, chicken or fish (with bones) in water. They are important foundation liquid that is used in the preparation of various dishes such as sauces, soups, stew, curries and also can be used for braising or poaching.
Types of stock
There are two types of stocks:
1. A white stock – It is made from beef or chicken or fish or mutton (bones and offcuts) or vegetables along with a mirepoix, (a mirepoix are roughly chopped vegetables, such as onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes leek.) bouquet garni. Keep in a stock pot to boil and simmer for longer. The white stock can be chicken white stock, fish white stock, beef white stock, mutton white stock or vegetable white stock.
2. A brown stock – It is made of chicken or beef or fish or mutton (bones and offcuts) along with mirepoix and bouquet garni. It is like white stock, the only difference is that for a brown stock the bones, off cuts and mirepoix have to be brown in the oven and keep in a pot to boil and simmer for longer. The brown stock can be chicken brown stock, fish brown stock, beef brown stock, mutton brown stock and vegetable brown stock.
The sauce is a seasoning served as an accompaniment to food, especially a liquid dressing or topping for food.
Roux is a cooked mixture of equal quantity of flour and butter. It is used as a thickening agent for soup and sauces.
Types of Roux
There are three types of roux White, Blond and Brown. The color and the flavor
are determined by the length of cooking time and the mixture. Ingredients of roux are flour and butter.
Types of Sauce
There are five mother sauces. They are as follows:
• Béchamel Sauce: Milk-based sauce thicken with a white roux.
• Espagnole Sauce/Brown Sauce: It is made from meat stock, mirepoix, brown roux and herbs.
• Velouté Sauce: It is a white stock based sauce, thickened with white roux.
• Hollandaise and Mayonnaise Sauce: They are made with a mixture of egg yolk, butter and lemon and
• Tomato Sauce: It is made primarily out of tomatoes.
Soup is a liquid food that is prepared from fish, meat, vegetables, stock combined with various other ingredients. It is used to enhance flavor, taste and it contains nutrients extracted from solid food. It is easily digestible and palatable. The thickness of the soup may also be adjusted by using a variety of thickeners. It can be served hot (at 90°C) and cold (at 10°C-12°C). A portion of soup is usually served between 200ml to 250ml depending upon the type of soup and the number of course to follow.
Types of Soup
There two types of soup. They are thick and thin soup.
Thick Soup: Thick soup is made from stock but are thickened by adding milk or cream, vegetables, eggs, rice or grain. Thick soups are of various types such as broth, cream soup, bisques, chowders, purees.
• Broth: It is made of a foundation of clear stock. It can be a thin soup but more often it is made thick soup by adding, rice, vegetable, and barley.
• Cream Soup: To make a cream soup the ingredients are blended after cooking a small portion of cream or milk is folded into the soup.
• Bisques soup: It is generally rich and thick being made from poultry, fish or shellfish.
• Chowders Soup: Often seafood forms the basis of chowder and supplemented with vegetables and croutons.
• Puree: It is a smooth soup made by blending the ingredient after the cooking process is finished. It is not as thick as cream soup.
Thin Soup: Thin soups are made from the prepared stock using either meat or vegetables to give it flavor
. The main varieties of soup are consommé and bouillon.
• Consommé: A consommé is a richly flavored broth made from fish, meat, poultry or vegetable stock. It can be served by itself or as an appetizer. For example chicken consommé.
• Broth/Bouillon: Broth is generally the water in which bones, meat, fish, grains and vegetables have been cooked. It makes a watery soup and often rice or other grains are added to make it more robust. For
example: minestrone soup. Garnish and accompaniments of soup
There is no rule in cooking that says every meal must be garnished, however, if garnish is used it should be fresh, colorful, edible and should be suited to the meal. Garnish helps to give visual appeal to the soup. Garnish should be small and dainty. The examples are garnished are as follows:
Grated cheese, chopped fresh herbs, croutons, chopped toasted almonds, walnuts, cream, cud or a dot of butter, macaroni, spaghetti, small dices of meat, vegetables, small cheese balls, fried bread cubes and pieces, nuts, fried onion, chopped herbs and spices, sour cream, fried garlic etc.
Accompaniments are additions to the main ingredient of a meal. Accompaniments are typically things like vegetables and side salads but they also include sauces and relishes. Sometimes the accompaniment also comes with a garnish of its own.
The soup accompaniments are as follows: Bread, crackers, croutons, fried bacon, toast, fried onion, breadsticks etc.
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