Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Chemist In the Kitchen

A reference to Christopher Kimball, owner and publisher of Cook's Illustrated.

Example:  Dear Mr. Kimball - I've heard that getting salt in frying oil is bad.  Why is that?

Ans.  The theory is that ionic substances, such as table salt, can initiate the formation of small amounts of free radicals when heated in oil to high temperatures.  These free radicals spur reactions that create impurities in the oil and as a result, lower the oil's smoke point which means it can be reused for frying.

Far, far above my downy blonde head.  Give me useful over "Huh?"

Uh oh, your brown sugar is now a rock in the box?  Whip out your coffee grinder and go to it.

Tongs getting tangled up in the other things in the drawer?  Use the plastic ring from a milk or orange juice container to keep them closed.

To reheat leftover rice, pour 1/2 in. water in a pot, put the strainer lined with a coffee filter into it, add the rice and let steam for five minutes.  Then fluff it up with a fork and serve it. 

That's useful.  And I was able to understand it!

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