Monday, September 29, 2008

Culinary Q&A

A few of you loyal readers have taken my advice and sent me some culinary questions. I hope this is the first of many posts like this. I'll take my lead from you...send those questions along and I'll get to as many as I can.

FROM: "D"

Tonight I am making your recipe for flank steak and it raised a few questions:

1. Is there a secret to fresh ginger...storing it, slicing it (mine was really fiber-filled)...I don't use it regularly because I don't exactly know how I am supposed to store it if I use a little and I am never sure how to cut it or grate it (do you use a knife or a grater?)

**I peel it w/the back of a spoon. Just shaving the spoon down the side of the ginger removes only the skin and you lose none of the actual ginger. If a recipe wants finely grated or minced ginger, I use my Micro Plane grater to grate it. It becomes really concentrated so I tend to use a bit less than the recipe says if I prep it this way. Otherwise, cut the ginger into thin 'planks', stack the planks on top and cut them into thin sticks, then to finish, turn the sticks crosswise and cut across them into a nice fine dice. Either of these methods will break up all those fibers.

In terms of storage, I generally just leave it out w/my onions and garlic. It'll seal itself up and then you can cut that end off next time you use it. If it'll be a **really** long time before you use it again, just put it in the fridge. It actually keeps quite a while there.


2. I bought a flank steak bigger than I needed (twice as big)...do I cut it and freeze the other half and prepare only one half....or marinade both halves and then freeze one and cook one, or marinade and cook the whole thing and then freeze half cooked)?

**If you don't want to cook it all now, I'd marinate both pieces and then freeze the half you will cook later. That way, when you're ready to cook it, just take it out the night before, leave it in your fridge, and it'll be wonderfully marinated and ready to grill.


3. Brown sugar....when a recipe (like your marinade) calls for brown sugar...do you mean golden brown or dark brown?

**I always prefer dark brown. It has a touch more molasses and professional bakers say there can be textural difference if you sub one for the other. I've never had a problem and think it is much easier to just keep one in the house


4. What are the staples in your pantry and fridge? (and how do you know when to splurge (like on olive oil or balsamic vinegar) for an item, versus, the generic salt will do??

**oh...such a long list. Another posting, I promise.

1 comment:

Deana said...

Thank you Jod! Looking forward to the posting with answers to #4 when you can. The steak was delicious (I think next time I will marinate it for 2 days so it has even more flavor).

 
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