🍴 11 Food Rules You Should Ignore 🍴
By: Mary Jo DiLonardo on Feb. 15, 2017
🍽 Microwaving destroys nutrients
The microwave is so convenient, but you’ve likely heard that zapping your food destroys pretty much anything healthy in it. Wrong, say the food experts at Harvard. Nuking your food is better than boiling and many other cooking methods. “The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria.”
🍽 Oil keeps pasta from sticking together
The directions on almost any box of pasta will suggest adding a little oil to the boiling water to prevent pasta from sticking together and the water from boiling over. But it can actually mess up your meal. The oil lurks on top of the water, so when you drain your pasta, it slides through this oily layer, making your pasta slippery. That makes it harder for your sauce to stick to your pasta.
The key to keep pasta from sticking together: Use lots of water, keep it boiling and stir often. Placing a wooden spoon across the top of the pot will help pop the bubbles as the water boils, keeping the water from boiling over as quickly.
🍽 Alcohol burns off during cooking
You may owe apologies to your teetotaling dinner guests. Contrary to what you may have heard, that wine you used for simmering your stew or beer you used for basting didn't necessarily burn off in the oven. Home chefs may assume that alcohol dissolves or evaporates, leaving the flavor without any actual alcohol. But depending on your cooking method, temperature, the amount of time, and even the type and size of your pan, anywhere from 5 to 85 percent of the original alcohol can stick around in the finished dish. (And that will, as Emeril Lagasse would say, kick your dish up a notch.)
🍽 Coffee keeps better in the fridge
🍽 Preheating the oven always matters
You've likely had visions of collapsed cakes or runny casseroles — the result of an oven that wasn't allowed to get to the correct temperature before baking. Preheating saves time on cooking, but it's an energy waster that isn't necessary in many cases. Foods with a leavening agent (like baking powder), yeast breads, or finicky dishes like soufflés and meringues require a warm oven. But otherwise, you may want to save energy instead of time and skip the warm-up.
🍽 Meat should be always be cooked well-doneYour best friend is a meat thermometer. That's the only way to tell if your steak or pork roast is cooked to the right temperature with all the disease-causing bacteria destroyed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking meats to the following minimum temperatures:
Beef, pork, veal and lamb (steaks, chops and roasts) — 145 degrees F (medium)
Ground meat patties or mixtures (such as meat loaf) — 160 degrees F
All poultry — 165 degrees F
🍽 Avocado pits keep guacamole from browningMany people seem to have their favorite methods to keep avocados from turning brown. One popular method is to leave the pit in the bowl of guacamole. The scientific reasoning is that avocados have an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) which causes the fruit to brown when it comes in contact with oxygen. The pit protects the guacamole only because it shields that little portion of the dip it touches from the oxygen in the air.
Other anti-browning suggestions include sprinkling with lemon juice, covering it in a water bath, or wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil. The best method may simply be to eat your guacamole faster. The best method may simply be to eat your guacamole faster.
🍽 Pasta should be rinsed
Some people "shock" pasta with cold water when it comes out of the pot to keep it from continuing to cook. But that cold rinse washes away the starch that helps the sauce cling to the noodles. The only time you should rinse pasta is if you're making a cold pasta salad or if you aren't going to use the pasta for a while and you want to keep it from sticking.
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