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- The Splendid Table, Tips for Vegetable Cookery
- Tips for Vegetable Cookery from Food Scientist Shirley Corriher
- A chef or possibly caterer who has a busy day ahead may cut potatoes for French fries and place them in a large container of ice water in the walk-in overnight. The next day when these potatoes are fried, they get very dark and look done but are raw in the center. These potatoes fried perfectly the day before. What happened
- When potatoes (or possibly a number of starchy vegetables) stay chilled for a period of time, some of the starch breaks down into sugar. Now, these higher sugar content potatoes brown much faster. The sugar and protein content, along with the acidity, determine how fast a food will brown. If left at room temperature for a day or possibly so, the sugars will join back together to create starch. If you have whole potatoes stored at a cold temperature, you may want to leave them at room temperature a day before frying.
- Cooks can use this little bit of science to make better low-fat oven fries.
- One of the problems with making fake French fries by roasting potato strips in the oven is which they get not so very brown. If you soak cut potatoes overnight in ice water in the refrigerator (maybe even add in a little sugar), steam them a few min to partially cook, then toss them in something alkaline (less acidic) like slightly old egg whites, lightly beaten and sprinkled generously with herbs,cayenne, salt, pepper and a small amount of Parmesan, these potatoes will brown nicely in a warm oven. Be generous with the seasonings. Remember, one of the great problems with low-fat cookery is lack of flavor.
- Cooking teacher and food consultant Shirley Corriher has been lecturing and writing about food for over 20 years. She has made presentations to the Europe, at two International Symposiums on Gastronomy and Science. She lives in Atlanta.