# Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat [link]

2024-01-16 tag_books ^

Clippings

Salt

Though all salt crystals are produced by evaporating water from saltwater brine, the pace of evaporation will determine the shape those crystals take.

Our taste buds can discern whether or not salt is present, and in what amount. But salt also unlocks many aromatic compounds in foods, making them more readily available as we eat. The simplest way to experience this is to taste an unsalted soup or broth.

Salt also reduces our perception of bitterness, with the secondary effect of emphasizing other flavors present in bitter dishes.

The distribution of salt throughout food can be explained by osmosis and diffusion, two chemical processes powered by nature’s tendency to seek equilibrium, or the balanced concentration of solutes such as minerals and sugars on either side of a semipermeable membrane (or holey cell wall). In food, the movement of water across a cell wall from the saltier side to the less salty side is called osmosis. Diffusion , on the other hand, is the often slower process of salt moving from a saltier environment to a less salty one until it’s evenly distributed throughout.

A small amount of salt applied in advance will make a much bigger difference than a larger amount applied just before serving. In other words, time, not amount, is the crucial variable.

Because salt also initiates osmosis, and visibly draws water out of nearly any ingredient it touches, many people believe that salt dries and toughens food. But with time, salt will dissolve protein strands into a gel, allowing them to absorb and retain water better as they cook. Water is moisture: its presence makes meat tender and juicy.

The three most valuable tools to encourage salt diffusion are time, temperature, and water. Before setting out to cook—as you choose an ingredient, or a cooking method—ask yourself, “How can I season this from within?” Then, use these variables to plot out how far in advance—and how much—to salt your food or cooking water.

The three basic decisions involving salt are: When? How much? In what form? Ask yourself these three questions every time you set out to cook.

Fat

I learned that where olive oil comes from has a huge effect on how it tastes—oil from hot, dry hilly areas is spicy, while oil from coastal climates with milder weather is correspondingly milder in flavor.

Fat coats the tongue, allowing various aromatic compounds to stay in contact with our taste buds for longer periods of time, intensifying and prolonging our experience of various flavors.

Take advantage of this capability to intensify and circulate flavor by adding aromatics directly into the cooking fat.

As with wine, taste, not price, is the best guide to choosing an olive oil. This might require an initial leap of faith, but the only way to learn the vocabulary of olive oil is to taste, and pay attention.

While it’s a challenge to explain what good olive oil tastes like, it’s fairly simple to describe a bad one—bitter, overwhelmingly spicy, dirty, rancid—all deal-breakers.

It will go rancid about twelve to fourteen months after it’s been pressed, so don’t save it for a special occasion, thinking it will improve over time like a fine wine!

Most aromatic molecules are repelled by water, so in meat they’re predominantly found in an animal’s fat.

As a result, any animal’s fat will taste much more distinctly of that animal than its lean meat—beef fat tastes beefier than steak, pork fat tastes porkier than pork, chicken fat tastes more chickeny than chicken, and so on. Beef

Bakery and Fat

By coating individual gluten strands, fat prevents them from sticking to one another and lengthening.

Four main variables will determine the texture of any baked good (and some nonbaked ones, such as pasta): fat, water, yeast, and how much the dough or batter is kneaded or worked.

Butter contains about 15 to 20 percent water by weight. If butter softens and melts as it’s worked into the dough, its emulsion will break, releasing that water. Water droplets will bind with the flour, developing into long gluten strands that will cause the dough’s delicate layers to stick together.

Gluten development requires water, so this oil barrier significantly inhibits gluten formation, leading to a tender, rather than chewy, texture. As an added bonus, less gluten means more water in the batter, and, ultimately, a moister cake.

Some classic cakes have no chemical leavening—that is, baking soda or baking powder—and rely entirely on whipped fat for their cloudlike structure.

Typically, cool room-temperature butter is beaten together with sugar for 4 to 7 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. When done correctly, the butter will act as a net, entrapping millions of tiny air bubbles throughout the mixture.

The key is to work air in slowly, so that many consistently tiny bubbles form and you don’t create too much heat through friction.

As you mix, monitor the butter’s temperature; remember, butter is an emulsion and if it gets too warm, it will melt and the emulsion will break or it simply won’t be rigid enough to continue trapping air.

If butter is too cold, air won’t be able to get in—not evenly at least—and the cake won’t rise straight up.

And if fat isn’t properly aerated, chemical leavening won’t make up for it. Baking soda and powder don’t introduce any new air bubbles into a batter. They simply help expand, via the release of carbon dioxide gas, air bubbles already in place.

I began to see that the true value of acid is not its pucker, but rather, balance . Acid grants the palate relief, and makes food more appealing by offering contrast.

Umami is, in fact, the result of flavor compounds called glutamates

The most familiar glutamate is monosodium glutamate, or MSG, the white powder often generously used in the kitchens of Chinese restaurants to enhance flavor. Though MSG is chemically manufactured, there are also many natural sources of glutamates.

The best apples for pie aren’t the sweetest, but tart varieties such as Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Sierra Beauty.

Roasted carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli—or anything that’s developed sweetness from browning—will always appreciate a squeeze of lemon or touch of vinegar. A little will go a long way.

Since the human body can’t produce certain essential forms of salt, fat, and acid, our palates have evolved to seek these three elements. This results in a universal appeal to food with Salt, Fat, and Acid all in balance, no matter the cuisine.

I’d expected the vinegar to turn the soup into a sweet-and-sour abomination. Instead, the vinegar acted like a prism, revealing the soup’s nuanced flavors—I could taste the butter and oil, the onions and stock, even the sugar and minerals within the carrots. If blindfolded and quizzed, never in a million years would I have been able to identify vinegar as one of the ingredients. But now, if something I cooked and seasoned ever tasted so dull again, I’d know exactly what was missing.

Anything that tastes sour is a source of acid.

Of the five basic tastes, acid makes our mouths water the most. When we eat anything sour, our mouths flood with saliva to balance out the acidity, as it’s dangerous for our teeth.

I once spent an entire summer making and canning sauce with Early Girl tomatoes from a friend’s farm. Every single batch I made was different from the last—some tomatoes were watery, others were more flavorful. Some were sweet, others were more acidic. Any recipe I might have written for the sauce the first week of the summer would have been completely inaccurate by the last week. And these were all the same variety of tomatoes from the same farm!

Acid dulls vibrant greens, so wait until the last possible moment to dress salads, mix vinegar into herb salsas, and squeeze lemon over cooked green vegetables such as spinach.

On the other hand, acid keeps reds and purples vivid. Cabbage, red chard stems, or beets will best retain their color when cooked with anything slightly acidic, such as apples, lemon, or vinegar.

Raw fruits and vegetables that are susceptible to oxidation , the enzymatic browning that results from exposure to oxygen—sliced apples, artichokes, bananas, and avocados—will retain their natural color if coated with a little acid or kept in water mixed with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar until they are ready to cook or eat.

Acid keeps vegetables and legumes tougher, longer. Anything containing cellulose or pectin, including legumes, fruits, and vegetables, will cook much more slowly in the presence of acid. While ten to fifteen minutes of simmering in water is enough to soften carrots into baby food, they’ll still be somewhat firm after an hour of stewing in red wine.

When cooking beans or any legumes, including the chickpeas for hummus, a pinch of baking soda will gently nudge the bean water away from acidity toward alkalinity , ensuring tenderness. And, just like those onions, cook legumes until they are completely tender before adding anything acidic. A great Mexican chef once told me that dousing cooked beans with vinegar or vinaigrette sort of “uncooks” them, tightening and toughening the skins a bit. Account for that tightening when preparing beans for a salad, and cook the beans just a touch longer than you might otherwise.

Acid also encourages bonds between pectin groups—the gelling agent in fruit—so that they can trap water to help set jam or jelly. Some fruits, such as apples and blueberries, don’t contain enough acid to bond the pectin on their own, so we help them along by squeezing some fresh lemon juice into the jam pot and into fruit fillings for pies and cobblers to encourage them to set.

Doughs and batters leavened by baking soda should also have an acidic ingredient such as natural cocoa powder, brown sugar, honey, or buttermilk. Baking powder, on the other hand, already contains powdered tartaric acid and doesn’t need an external source of acid to react.

Under normal conditions, strands of egg proteins unravel and tighten when heated. As they do, the strands squeeze out water, causing eggs to toughen and dry out. Acid draws egg proteins together before they can unravel, which inhibits them from joining too closely. A few secret drops of lemon juice will produce creamier, more tender scrambled eggs.

Acid aids in stabilizing whipped egg whites by encouraging more, finer air pockets, helping to increase the volume of the egg white foam.

Dairy proteins called casein will coagulate, or curdle, with the addition of acid. With the exception of butter and heavy cream, which are very low in protein, dairy should only be added to acidic dishes at the last minute.

When acid is incorporated into doughs and batters, it will tenderize them, much as fat does. Whether it comes in the form of cultured dairy, natural (nonalkalized) cocoa powder, or vinegar, acid in a dough or a batter will disrupt the gluten network, resulting in a more tender product. If it’s chewiness you’re after, wait as long as possible into the process of dough-making to add acidic ingredients.

Acid tenderizes, then toughens, meat and fish proteins. Imagine protein as coiled strands folded up into bundles. When acid comes into contact with the coils, they unfold and unwind. This process is called denaturation . These denatured proteins then begin to bump into each other and coagulate , reconnecting into an intimate network. The same thing happens when proteins are heated, which is why acid is sometimes said to cook meat or fish.

At first, the intimate network traps water that was previously bound up in muscle fibers, leading to moist, tender food. But if the denaturation conditions persist—that is, if food continues to sit in acid—the protein network will continue to tighten, squeezing water out of the protein altogether, resulting in tough, dry food, much like an overcooked steak.

To understand this progression, consider the way the texture of a piece of sashimi will become tender, bright-tasting fish tartare with the addition of acid, and then turn into a chewy ceviche over time.

Fish meant for cooking shouldn’t marinate in acid for more than a few minutes, but dip any flaky, white-fleshed fish into buttermilk and flour before frying, or toss sea bass with lemon juice and curry powder just before skewering and grilling, and you’ll get the benefit of moist texture along with the pleasant hit of tartness.

While we introduce salt and fat into our food in the form of distinct ingredients, there are two easy ways to produce acid in food as we cook. One process is rather fast, the other rather slow. The fast method? Browning foods.

The chemical reaction involved in browning sugars is called caramelization . The chemical reaction involved in browning meats, seafood, vegetables, baked goods, or just about anything else is called the Maillard reaction , after Louis-Camille Maillard, the scientist who discovered it.

Though they’re entirely different processes, caramelization and the Maillard reaction share some similarities. Both create acidic flavor compounds, in addition to many other tasty molecules, as by-products. As it caramelizes, a single sugar molecule will develop into hundreds of new and different compounds, including some acids.

Though producing acidity is rarely a reason to brown food, knowing that the process will develop a host of new flavors, including some sour ones, can be a valuable tool.

The other, much slower, method for producing acid in the kitchen is fermentation , where, in addition to many other flavor-producing processes, carbohydrates transform into carbon dioxide and acids or alcohols using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof. Wine, beer, and cider are of course fermented, but so are naturally leavened breads, all sorts of pickles, cured meats, cultured dairy, and even coffee and chocolate.

According to Chad Robertson, of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, who lets his dough rise for more than thirty hours, slow fermentation “improves the flavor, in large part because more sugars are available to caramelize during the baking. The loaves brown faster and the crust gets darker.”

Cooking acids tend to be mellow, transforming the foods with which they are cooked slowly, over time.

While no amount of salt at the table will make up for underseasoning food from within, a hit of acid at the very last second often improves food, which is why garnishing acids are so important

The application of heat will change the flavors of both citrus juice and vinegar, dulling the former and mellowing the latter, so add them just before serving when you want their full flavor impact.

Sauce, and in fact most condiments, are sources of both acid and salt, they offer a pretty surefire way to improve flavor.

A little ketchup—and the umami it offers—makes things taste inexplicably more delicious.

Chocolate and coffee are the perfect bases for building desserts because they are bitter, sour, and rich in umami.

Always balance sweetness with acid, and not only in desserts. Roasted beets, full of sugar, benefit from a splash of red wine vinegar, which offers contrast to the naturally earthy flavor of beets that is so off-putting to some.

a salad should relieve your palate and leave it clean after rich, muddy foods.

Though each dish, on its own, should always be balanced in Salt, Fat, and Acid, there is also the larger picture to consider—a good meal should also be balanced.

Play to each element’s strengths: use Salt to enhance, Fat to carry, and Acid to balance flavor. Now, with the knowledge of how they affect various foods, add each to a dish at the right time in order to season it from within.

Cook every single day. Taste everything thoughtfully. Go to the farmers’ market and familiarize yourself with each season’s produce.

As I traveled, I noticed that in every country, whether I was watching home cooks or professional chefs, and whether they were cooking over live fire or on a camp stove, the best cooks looked at the food, not the heat source

Once familiar with how different foods respond to heat, you’ll make better choices about how to shop at the market, plan a menu, and cook every dish.

Just as I learned from watching cooks all around the world, no matter what you’re cooking, or what heat source you’re using, the aim is always the same: apply heat at the right level, and at the right rate, so that the surface of a food and its interior are done cooking at the same time.

Food is primarily made up of four basic types of molecules: water, fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Water, fat, carbohydrate, and protein molecules each react to heat in different, yet predictable, ways.

Water is an essential element of practically all foods. Cook most of its water out, and food will become crisp or dry. Leave its water in—or add water as you cook—to make food moist and tender.

When frozen, water expands. This is why you must always leave headroom in jars of soup or stock you plan to freeze. Or why a bottle of beer or wine you stick in the freezer to chill will explode if forgotten. On a much, much tinier scale—at the cellular level—a similar phenomenon occurs inside foods: as food freezes, its cell walls, much like your storage containers, will burst when the water they contain expands.

Freezer burn and dehydration, then, are the result of water escaping from the inside of a food’s cells and then crystallizing or vaporizing on the surface of the food. Have you ever opened a package of frozen berries or meat and wondered where those Antarctic stalactites came from? Now you know—from inside your food.

To be on the safe side, when reheating soupy leftovers or your freezer stash of chicken stock, make sure to bring them to a boil to kill bacteria that may have grown in the meantime.

Let the sight of steam help you approximate temperature: as long as food is wet and giving off steam, its surface temperature probably isn’t hot enough to allow browning to begin. Remember, the reactions that cause food to brown—caramelization and the Maillard reaction—don’t begin until food reaches much higher temperatures. So, if water is present on the surface of a food, it can’t brown.

Contain and recycle steam with a lid to allow food to cook in a moist environment if you want to prevent or delay browning.

Food piled up in a pan can affect steam levels in a pan by acting like a makeshift lid: both entrap steam. Trapped steam condenses and drips back down, keeping food moist and maintaining the temperature right around 212°F.

Steam replaces some of the air contained in vegetables with water, which is why plants initially transform from opaque to translucent in color and reduce in volume as they cook.

How tightly a sheet pan of vegetables is packed is as much of a factor in even browning as the oven temperature. Let zucchini and peppers develop glorious sweetness and flavor by spreading them out so steam can escape and browning can begin sooner. Protect denser vegetables that take longer to cook, such as artichokes or cipollini onions, from browning too much before they can cook through by packing them tightly in a pan to entrap steam.

And the taller the sides of the pan or pot, the longer it will take steam to escape. Deep pots and pans are great for sweating onions and simmering soups, but less ideal for foods you aim to sear and brown quickly, such as scallops and steaks.

When the goal is to brown swiftly, wait to salt food until after it begins to crisp or salt far enough in advance to let osmosis occur, pat food dry, and then place into a hot pan. Use the former method for onions you want to sweat and keep translucent for cauliflower soup, and the latter for eggplant and zucchini you plan to grill or roast.

At moderate temperatures, fat is an ideal gentle cooking medium, perfect for using in a cooking method called confit , which is essentially poaching in fat instead of water. Look ahead to recipes for Tomato , Tuna , and Chicken Confit to put this technique into practice.

While water boils and vaporizes at 212°F, fats can climb to staggering temperatures well beyond that point before turning to smoke. As a result, since water and fat don’t mix, foods containing water (which is practically all foods) won’t dissolve in fat; instead the surfaces of foods exposed to very hot fats can climb to high enough temperatures to develop crisp textures as water evaporates.

If the fat gets too hot, just turn off the heat or carefully add a little more room-temperature oil. If the pot gets too cold, increase the heat and wait before adding more food. The same phenomenon will cause meats with large quantities of fat such as prime rib or pork loin roasts (or those sitting in fat, such as any of the confits mentioned above) to continue cooking slowly even when pulled from the heat.

Found primarily in foods made from plant sources, carbohydrates provide food with both structure and flavor. In Acid, I described three types of carbohydrates—cellulose, sugars, and pectin. Along with a fourth type of carbohydrate—starches—cellulose provides much of the bulk and texture of plant-derived foods, while sugars offer flavor.

When heated, carbohydrates generally absorb water and break down.

If fibrous or stringy is a word that comes to mind when you think of a particular fruit or vegetable, it’s rich in cellulose, a type of carbohydrate that isn’t broken down by heat. Cook cellulose-rich produce, such as collard greens, asparagus, or artichokes, until it absorbs enough water to become tender.

Leaves have less cellulose fibers than stems or stalks, which is why kale and chard stems cook at a different rate than their leaves and ought to be stemmed and cooked separately, or simply staggered into the pot.

Give the starchiest parts of plants, including tubers such as potatoes and seeds such as dried beans, plenty of water and time over gentle heat to coax out their tenderness. Starches absorb liquid and swell or break down, so firm potatoes become delightfully creamy, impossibly hard chickpeas transform into buttery bites, and rice goes from indigestible to fluffy and tender.

Dry seeds, grains, and legumes, including rice, beans, barley, chickpeas, and wheatberries, generally need water and heat to make them edible. To protect the potential for life that they contain, seeds have evolved with tough sheaths that make them nearly impossible for us to digest unless we transform them in some way.

Sometimes, this simply means removing the shell, as we do with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

For seeds that need to be cooked in order to become edible, this usually means adding water and heating them until they grow tender. Some starch-rich seeds, including dried shell beans, chickpeas, and hearty grains like barley benefit from an overnight soak, which gives them a head start at absorbing water. Consider it a sort of inactive cooking.

Without that tough exterior, processed grains cook much more quickly and have a longer shelf-life than their whole-grain counterparts.

The key to cooking starches properly is using the correct amount of water and heat.

Odorless and colorless, sucrose , or sugar is the pure manifestation of sweetness. When exposed to heat, it melts.

At extremely high temperatures (340°F), sugar molecules begin to darken in color, in a process that isn’t entirely understood, as they decompose and reorganize into hundreds of new compounds, generating abundant new flavors. This is caramelization , and it’s one of the most essential ways heat affects flavor.

In addition to starches that can be broken down into sugars, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and some grains also contain natural simple sugars that can participate in the same reactions as table sugar when cooked.

The small amounts of sugars that most vegetables contain begin to disappear the moment they’re picked, which is why just-picked produce is so much more sweet and flavorful than store-bought.

Fry newly dug potatoes, full of sugar, and they’ll burn before they can cook through. Instead, when making potato chips or fries, use starchy, older potatoes and rinse them of excess starches after slicing until the water runs clear. Only then will your fried potatoes emerge from hot oil of the fry pot crisp but not burnt.

It helps me to picture proteins as coiled threads floating around in water. This definition proves particularly useful when visualizing how temperature affects proteins. As with acid, when exposed to heat, the threads first denature , or unwind, and then clump together more tightly, or coagulate , entrapping pockets of water, to create structure in foods.

Think of how heat transforms a chicken breast from flabby and watery to firm, tender, and moist when perfectly cooked.

But apply too much heat and the protein clumps will continue to tighten, squeezing out the pockets of water.

Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and season them with salt and a few drops of lemon juice, whisking thoroughly to break them up. Gently melt a little butter in a saucepan over the lowest possible heat and pour in the eggs. Continue to stir with a whisk or a fork, while adding 4 or more tablespoons of butter in thumb-size pieces, letting each be absorbed before you add the next. Never stop stirring, and be patient. It’ll take several minutes for the eggs to start to come together. When they do, pull them from the stove in anticipation of the cooking that will continue due to residual heat. Serve with—what else?—buttered toast.

A little salt can help keep proteins from drying out. Recall the many advantages of salting meat in advance. One of its luckiest consequences is that, given enough time, salt will tinker with the structure of meat proteins, reducing their capacity to expel water.

Consequently, meat that has been salted early will be indescribably moist when cooked properly, and even forgive being slightly overcooked

Preserve tender cuts of meat with careful, quick cooking, generally over the intense heat of a grill, preheated frying pan, or hot oven.

The key to this transformation is gentle heat. In contrast to the carefully applied quick heat required to cook tender cuts, time and sustained low heat are essential to transforming dark meat’s tough, sinewy connective tissue into luxurious gelatin while its lumps of intermuscular fat render and baste the meat from within.

Continue heating proteins in the presence of carbohydrates, and a remarkable thing happens: the Maillard reaction , heat’s most significant contribution to flavor

Use intense heat to brown the surface of meats and quickly cook tender cuts such as steaks and chops through. After browning a tougher cut such as brisket, on the other hand, use gentle heat to keep its interior from drying out.

Or do the opposite and cook it through with gentle heat. Then, once the meat is tender, increase temperatures to brown the surface.

Browning is an invaluable flavoring technique, but it must be done with care. Heat that’s uneven or too powerful can take food straight past golden delicious to charred. But sear a steak too timidly, and you’ll overcook it before it has a chance to brown.

Learn to take browning fearlessly to the edge, because that’s where the deepest flavors lie.

The same food will cook evenly or unevenly, quickly or slowly, depending on its temperature at the start of cooking. This is particularly true for meat, eggs, and dairy, whose temperamental proteins and fats are deeply affected by temperature swings.

Because the chicken is so much more dense than the hot oven air, the twenty-five-degree difference in the temperature of the bird when you start cooking it—the approximate differentce between fridge and room temperature—is substantially more important than a twenty-five-degree difference in oven temperature.

Let all meats—except for the thinnest cuts—come to room temperature before you cook them. The larger the roast, the earlier you can pull it out of the fridge.

Get in the habit of pulling out the meat you plan to cook for dinner right when you get home from work (and salting it, too, if you haven’t already), and you’ll learn that time can do some of the work of good cooking even better than the oven can.

Proteins in particular are susceptible to carryover —continued cooking that results from residual heat trapped within a food. Use this knowledge to your advantage, knowing that roasts carry over five to ten degrees Fahrenheit on average after they are removed from heat, and that some vegetables, such as asparagus, do too, as well as fish, shellfish, and custards.

Many of food’s most aromatic molecules are volatile , meaning that they can evaporate into the surrounding air. The more of a food’s aromatic molecules we can breathe in, the more powerful our experience of its flavor will be.

Or try a bite of cheese straight from the fridge. It won’t taste like much. Let the cheese come to room temperature. As it warms, its fat molecules relax, releasing entrapped flavor compounds. Taste the cheese again, and you’ll perceive new dimensions of flavor that weren’t available before.

Volatile compounds in some fruits, such as tomatoes, are so delicate that the cold of the refrigerator can make them less available—making a good case for storing and eating them at room temperature.

Researchers posit that excessive heat impairs our ability to enjoy the flavor of food. Besides burning our taste buds, hot food is harder to taste. The perception of taste decreases when a food’s temperature rises beyond 95°F. While some foods, such as many pasta dishes and fried fish, suffer if they’re not served immediately after coming out of the pan, most others are more forgiving.

Most of smoke’s flavor is in its aroma, and it’s one that triggers ancestral memories of the earliest kind of cooking: over fire.

Heat transforms the flavors of wood into the marvelous flavors of smoke, which include aromatic compounds similar to those found in vanilla and cloves.

When food is exposed to smoke, it absorbs the sweet, fruity, caramel, flowery, and bready flavor compounds. You’ll see—nothing else compares to the flavor of true wood smoke.

The easiest way to determine which level of heat to apply is to consider tenderness. For some foods, the goal is creating tenderness, while for others, it’s preserving innate tenderness.

Foods that start out tough or dry and need to be hydrated or transformed to become tender—grains and starches, tough meats, dense vegetables—will benefit from longer, more gentle cooking.

When you read recipes, think of temperatures and cooking times as strong suggestions, rather than fixed rules. Set your timer for a few minutes less than a recipe might suggest, then use all of your senses to check for doneness. Always remember the qualities you seek in your food. Adjust course constantly and accordingly to achieve them. This is what good cooking looks like.

Gentle Cooking Methods • Simmering, Coddling, and Poaching • Steaming • Stewing and Braising • Confit • Sweating • Bain-marie • Low-heat Baking and Dehydrating • Slow-roasting, Grilling, and Smoking Intense Cooking Methods • Blanching, Boiling, and Reducing • Sautéing, Pan-frying, and Shallow- and Deep-frying • Searing • Grilling and Broiling • High-heat Baking • Toasting • Roasting

Since simmering water is gentler than boiling water, it won’t jostle delicate foods so much that they fall apart or agitate tougher foods so much that overcook on the surface before cooking through completely.

Depending on whom you ask, the temperature of simmering water can range from 180°F to 205°F.

Look at the pot—is it barely bubbling like a just-poured glass of your favorite sparkling water, beer, or champagne? If so, then cheers—it’s simmering.

Cuts of meat with lots of connective tissue, such as chicken thighs, brisket, and pork shoulder are perfect for simmering, as the water and gentle heat will transform collagen into gelatin overtime without drying out the exterior

How to know when the meat is done? It’ll be falling off the bone, or if boneless, it’ll be mouthwateringly tender.

Starchy carbohydrates prosper at a simmer, which rattles their tough skins and encourages water to flow inside. Simmer potatoes, beans, rice, and all manner of grains until they’ve absorbed enough water to be tender.

As with boiled meat, heighten the flavor of any starch by simmering it in a savory cooking liquid.

Porridges, including polenta, grits, and oatmeal, are variations on this theme—simmer these starches in water, milk, or whey, the clear liquid that gathers atop yogurt, until they grow tender

Make risotto with arborio rice, a variety with a remarkable capacity to absorb an immense amount of liquid without falling apart. After toasting the onions and browning the rice in fat, add flavorful liquids, such as wine, stock, or tomatoes. As the pot simmers, the rice takes on liquid and gives off starch. The more flavorful the liquid, the more flavorful the finished dish will be.

Fideus , a similar dish from Spain, is made with toasted noodles instead of rice.

Paella, too, is built on the concept of a thirsty starch drinking up a flavorful stock.

one of my favorite tricks is to pull the noodles from the boiling water a minute or two early and let them finish cooking in a pan of simmering

Pasta will also absorb flavorful liquids. As I described in the walkthrough for Pasta alle Vongole , one of my favorite tricks is to pull the noodles from the boiling water a minute or two early and let them finish cooking in a pan of simmering sauce. This allows the noodles and the sauce to unify into a single entity—as the pasta cooks, it gives off starch and takes on liquid.

Simmer fibrous or tough vegetables—those particularly rich in cellulose—that require extended cooking to be rendered edible.

If simmering water resembles a glass of champagne, then the water for poaching and coddling should look like a glass of champagne you poured last night but (somehow!) forgot to drink.

The extra-gentle heat of water used for coddling and poaching is perfect for delicate proteins—eggs, fish, shellfish, and tender meats.

A bain-marie, or water bath, will help expand the narrow margin of error for cooking curds, custards, bread puddings, and soufflés, and for other delicate tasks such as melting chocolate.

The gentle heat of a bain-marie is also handy for keeping starchy or temperamental cooked foods such as mashed potatoes, creamy soups, hot chocolate, and gravy warm until serving, without the risk of burning them.

Indeed, the key to any good stew or braise is the passage of time. Though investing time in cooking—or in anything—can turn some of us off from the endeavor, with braises the investment requires little of us but delivers big results. As

or braise is the passage of time. Though

Indeed, the key to any good stew or braise is the passage of time. Though investing time in cooking—or in anything—can turn some of us off from the endeavor, with braises the investment requires little of us but delivers big results.

The difference between the two methods is minor: braises involve larger pieces of meat—often on the bone—and minimal cooking liquid, while stews are made with smaller pieces of meat cooked with chunky vegetables, typically served together in the plentiful cooking liquid. Greens, dense vegetables, stone fruits, and tofu also lend themselves well to braising.

Use the chart of aromatic flavor bases from around the world to determine what vegetables and herbs you’d like to use, and refer to The World of Flavor to choose your flavorings.

Think of these long-cooked dishes as opportunities to layer in flavor. Every step of the way, consider how to infuse the most flavor into the dish and extract the deepest flavor out of every individual ingredient. Apply the principles of braising and stewing to any tough cut of meat. To preserve flavor, leave the meat in large pieces and on the bone when possible. And remember to season the meat in advance to let salt do its important work of flavoring from within.

Make sure none of the pieces touch, to encourage steam to escape and to allow for even browning.

The keys to beautiful, even browning are steady heat and patience. If you move the meat around too often, or just keep picking it up to check on it, it will take an absurdly long time to brown. Resist that urge, and instead work on the aromatic flavor base.

If so much fat renders from the meat that instead of searing the meat begins to fry, remove the meat from the pan and carefully pour some of the hot fat into a metal bowl and set aside.

When you’ve finished browning the meat, dump out any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with your liquid of choice, be it stock or water. Remember, this is an ideal moment to work in a cooking acid, so consider adding some wine or beer.

Top off with more water or stock to come up about a third or halfway up the meat—any more and you’ll be poaching rather than braising.

Seal the pan with a lid, or parchment paper and foil, and bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.

I soon learned that the meat should fall off the bone at the gentlest touch. In boneless braises, meat should be fork-tender. Pull the pan from the heat and let it cool before straining the cooking liquid. Pass the solids through a food mill for a thicker sauce, and taste it and decide if you’d like to reduce it to intensify flavor before adding any salt.

These techniques are ideal for preparing food in advance. Time performs a potent alchemy on cooked braises and stews, improving flavor with a day or two of rest. Because it liberates the cook from last-minute demands, this kind of cooking is ideal for dinner parties. Braises and stews make for excellent leftovers and freeze well, too. With its basic technique, braising can be the most effortless path toward deeply flavorful food.

Instead of bothering with an ice bath, simply cook your vegetables a little less, knowing that they’ll continue to cook even after they’re pulled from the pot.

Confit is the French word for foods cooked slowly in fat at temperatures low enough to avoid browning.

Sweating is a gentle way of cooking vegetables in minimal fat until they are tender and translucent, without resulting in browning. As they cook, they release some liquid, hence the name. Mirepoix , the aromatic combination of onions, carrots, and celery at the root of all French cooking, is typically sweated, rather than sautéed or browned, in an effort to prevent coloring.

To keep temperatures in the sweat zone, watch the pan closely. Add salt to draw water out of the vegetables. Use a pan or pot with tall sides to discourage steam from escaping. Parchment paper or a lid will help entrap and recycle steam, if needed. And don’t hesitate to add a splash of water from time to time if you sense a brown spot starting to form.

A note on stirring: it tends to dissipate heat. So, stir regularly when you want to keep food from browning, and stir less often to let browning take its course.

Proteins in particular will stick to the pan as they begin to cook.

Always resist overcrowding the pan and moving food around too much, too soon. Proteins in particular will stick to the pan as they begin to cook. Leave fish, chicken, and meat be for a few minutes, and once they begin to brown, they will release from the pan.

The term sauté is derived from the French word for “jump,” and it refers to the little jag of the wrist used to flip all of the food in a pan.

Add chicken thighs to oil at about 365°F to get that desired crust, but let the temperature drop to 325°F, where they can cook through without burning.

When the temperature is hot enough, food sizzles and browns—but not too violently or quickly—upon entering the pot. When the bubbling ceases and steam slows down, batter is done cooking. When food is crisp and golden, it’s ready to pull from the oil.

When browning, frying, or searing, the first side of a food to be browned will always be the most beautiful, so lay food in a pan or on the grill with its presentation side down.

The purpose of searing isn’t so much to cook as it is to brown meat or seafood in order to get the flavor benefits of the Maillard reaction.

The number one rule of grilling : never cook directly over the flame. Flames leave soot, unpleasant flavors, and carcinogens on food.

To achieve the most powerful oven spring, leave the oven door shut for the first 15 to 20 minutes of high-heat baking. After the proteins in the dough have set and the basic structure has formed, you can turn down the heat to prevent burning and ensure that the food cooks through.

Slow-Roasting, Grilling, and Smoking (200° to 300°F)

The difference between roasting and toasting is simple: toasting implies browning the surface of a food, while roasting also cooks food through.

Originally, roasting referred to cooking meat on a spit above or beside a fire. What we think of as roasting today—cooking meat in a dry, hot oven—was known as baking until about two hundred years ago.

The radiant heat emitted from the heating element dries out exposed foods as it cooks them, leading to crisp, dry skin on a chicken, or wrinkly, leathery skin on little potatoes.

In a convection oven, one or two fans consistently circulate hot air, so food browns, dries out, and cooks more quickly than in a conventional oven.

Oven browning gains momentum, so start food that must brown quickly at high temperatures and then turn the oven down as browning begins, to prevent overcooking.

Thin foods, or foods that can’t risk being overcooked before they brown, can benefit from a head start: preheat the baking sheet in the oven before adding oiled and salted zucchini slices,

If you sense browning is happening too quickly, turn down the temperature, loosely cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper or foil, and move the rack away from the heating element. If you sense browning is happening too slowly, crank up the temperature, push food back into your oven’s hot spots, which are typically the back corners, and move it closer to the heating element.

For even browning, don’t pack too many vegetables on a tray. Leave space between the pieces for steam to escape and allow temperatures to rise high enough for browning to begin. Tend to your vegetables as they roast—stir them, turn them, rotate trays, and change the oven racks.

Learn to break down the cooking process into chunks so that you can finish cooking delicate things at the time of serving, preventing the inevitable overcooking associated with reheating. This is exactly the kind of thinking restaurant cooks employ to cut down on the time it takes to prepare a dish to order without compromising quality. Foods that require long exposure to gentle heat—tough meats, dense vegetables, and hearty grains—are entirely or partially cooked in advance and reheated to order. Delicate foods that will cook quickly or suffer from reheating—fried foods, tender meats, fish and shellfish, and baby vegetables—are cooked to order.

Braise pork shoulder overnight, but grill it up for tacos for a party the next day. To achieve depth of flavor, gently roast or blanch any number of tough vegetables—broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, or winter squash—before sautéing them. Simmer chicken thighs until they’re falling off the bone, then shred the meat to use in a pot pie. Learn to combine two different cooking methods to get the flavor and texture contrasts that so please our palates—such as crisp, brown crusts and soft, tender insides.

Gauge deep-fried foods not only by their surface color but also by the rate of bubbles they’re giving off. As deep-fried foods cook further, they emit fewer bubbles because there is less moisture left to escape from the food.

When properly cooked, chicken meat turns from pink to opaque but is still juicy. You can always nick and peek at poultry, meat, or fish. Cut into the thickest part of the piece and see if it’s cooked. Roast chicken is done when pricked at the thigh and the juice runs clear.

Spices toasting in a hot pan will often emit an aroma long before they change in color, which is a good sign to take them off and let residual heat continue to do its work.

Tender meats firm up as they cook. • Tough meats also firm up as they cook, but they won’t be done until they relax again, and fall apart at the touch or are tender at the bone.

Now for the fun part: using Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat to compose great dishes and menus. Answer the basic questions for each element to give yourself the clearest idea of how to proceed. How much Salt, Fat, and Acid, and when, and in what forms? Will the ingredients benefit most from gentle or intense Heat? Line up the answers to these questions and a theme will emerge, upon which you can begin to improvise.

If food doesn’t taste right—first turn to the lessons of Salt, Fat, and Acid. Make sure that those three elements are in balance. Most often, that’ll be enough. If a dish still needs something, turn next to umami. Is it falling a little flat? Perhaps a little soy sauce, pounded anchovy, or Parmesan will make the difference. Finally, texture. Is the reason for the dullness its one-note texture? Perhaps it needs the crunch of bread crumbs, toasted nuts, or a pickle to add contrast.

Scientists have found that we all prefer to eat foods that engage our senses with these kinds of contrasts—including light and dark, sweet and salty, crunchy and silky, hot and cold, and, of course, sweet and sour. And then there are herbs and spices, which can wake up the plainest foods. Herb salsas, pepper sauces, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, Lebanese za’atar , or Japanese shichimi togarashi can enliven any dish.

But recipes lead us to believe that cooking is a linear process, while most good food results from a circular one; like a spiderweb, touch one part and the entire thing will quiver.

Certain kinds of recipes—particularly those involving desserts—must be followed to the letter. But I believe that most savory recipes are little more than guides, and some guides are better than others. Learn to decipher the secret codes within recipes to see where they are leading you.

When making a dish for the first time, read several different recipes for the same dish and compare notes. Notice which ingredients, techniques, and flavorings are common to the recipes, and which are different. This will give you an idea of which aspects of the dish you must not compromise on, and where a little improvisation is welcome. Over time, as you get to know which chefs and writers are traditionalists, and which take more liberties, you’ll grow better equipped to decide between recipes and cooking styles.

A baking sheet lined with parchment paper is the ideal landing pad for blanched vegetables, browned meats, cooked grains, or anything else that needs to cool off quickly without overcooking.

For inspiration, look to salads such as Wedge, Caesar, and Cobb, which remain classics precisely because they achieve this ideal balance of tastes and textures.

If stock boils, its bubbles will recirculate fat that rises to the top of the stock.

With the sustained heat and agitation, the stock will emulsify. This is one of the times you’re not looking for an emulsion, because beyond looking cloudy, emulsified stock also tastes cloudy and clings to the tongue in an unpleasant way. One of the best things about good stock is that though its flavor is rich, it’s also clean.

For more on the science behind cooking: Shirley Corriher, Harold McGee, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Hervé This, and the folks at Cook’s Illustrated


# Doce de Leite Argentino

2024-01-28 tag_cooking ^

Sumário

<h2 id="proporcoes">Proporções</h2>

| Ingrediente | Peso | Volume |

| ------------- |:-------------:| --------------:|

| Açúcar | 1 Kg | 1,2 L |

| Bicarbonato | 3,5 g | colher de café |

<h2 id="historico">Histórico</h2>

<h3 id="resumo">Resumo</h3>

| Tentativa | Leite | Açúcar | Resultado Final |

| --------- | ----- | ------ | --------------- |

| # 1 | 100 ml | 30 g | caramelo cremoso, um pouco de amargor |

| # 2 | 200 ml | 50 ml | logo no começo da evaporação caramelo |

| # 3 | 100 ml | 2 colheres de sopa | caramelizou na última tentativa |

| # 4 | 200 ml | 100 ml | creme de leite suavizou, mas baunilha voltou a caramelizar |

| # 5 | 200 ml | 100 ml | açucarou/cristalizou |

| # 6 | 200 ml | 100 ml | caramelizou e não adiantou colocar creme de leite |

| # 7 | 1 cup | 1/3 cup | caramelizou |

| # 8 | 1 cup | 1/4 cup | não caramelizou, mas exagerei um pouco na baunilha |

| # 9 | 1 cup | 1/4 cup | mesma reação do #8, mas teste da margarina estragou sabor |

| # 10 | 1 cup | 1/4 cup | margarina que adicionei estragou o gosto |

| # 11 | 250ml | 75 ml | dessa vez acho que foi |

<h3 id="diario">Diário</h3>

  • __Tentativa #0__ Coloquei um pacote inteiro de 1Kg de açúcar que acabei de abrir no medidor de volume. Caiu um pouco na pia, mas tudo deu em torno de 600ml + 550ml, o que me dá o cálculo aproximado de que 1Kg de açúcar equivale a mais ou menos 1200ml (1 litro e 200) em volume. Ou seja, 120 ml é equivalente a 100 gramas.
  • __Tentativa #0__ Comprei um pacote novo de bicarbonato de sódio e contei o número de colheres de café: 20 em um pacote de 70g. Colheres cheias (daquela de transbordar), provando que cada colher de café contém cerca de 3,5 g de bicarbonato.
  • __Tentativa #0__ Seguindo este vídeo à risca, mas com glucose e leite em pó adicionado, o lance é exatamente o fogo bem baixo, e só mexer de 10 em 10 minutos no começo, 5 em 5 depois. O único problema dessa "fornada" foi passar do ponto, pois esperava o marrom mais característico. Virou puxa-puxa. Talvez com menos açúcar e com menos bichisse de adicionar leite em pó resolva. Próxima tentativa sem glucose, exatamente como está no vídeo, e um pouco menos de açúcar.

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  • __Tentativa #1 2015-11-16__ Estou testando a ideia de não deixar o açúcar livre e esquentando junto com o leite, mas esperar o leite ferver e depois dissolver todo o açúcar junto, seguido do bicarbonato. Testando só com 100 ml de leite, que já está meio velhinho. Andei pesquisando linques mais científicos, e revendo receitas já comprovadas por vídeo (se está no vídeo, é lógico que é verdade!). Dei uma olhada também como que o Uruguai faz seus deliciosos doces. Também devo comprar balança e talvez um termômetro, além de começar a anotar cientificamente. O doce dessa vez anda virando leite condensado. Estou cozinhando em fogo bem baixo, e com pouco volume, além de usar um pouco menos de açúcar do que a receita pede. Parece que tá virando doce não-argentino. Muito bizarro. Falta de bicarbonato? Devo ter usado pouco bicarbonato ou talvez pouco açúcar, pois o leite cristalizou e gerou leite condensado, mesmo. Dei uma queimada básica e coloquei mais 100 ml de leite e mais um punhado de açúcar. Vamos ver o que dá (dessa vez vou colocar mais bicarbonato, cerca de meia colher de café). Chegou um momento em que ficou ainda claro, mas com um gosto de doce de leite real (a textura também), embora bem claro. O cremoso do bicarbonato ajudou. Porém, devo ter tirado um pouco depois disso, ou o esfriamento acabou gerando novamente o caramelo, com talvez uma pontinha de amargor pelo bicarbonato (talvez exagerei um poquito além). No final também joguei muita baunilha.
                             
__Tentativa #2 2015-11-22__ 200 ml de leite integral paulista uht com leite condensado com 50ml de açúcar cristal, 1 colher de chá de glicose. Misturar tudo antes de ligar o fogo. Uma colher de café de bicarbonato. De acordo com a Mitiko, já no começo da evaporação começou o gosto caramelado.
                             
__Tentativa #3 2015-11-22__ 100 ml leite em pó integral. Deixar ferver, adicionar 1 colher de açúcar cristal e 1/3 de colher de café de bicarbonato. Fogo bem baixo. Virou novamente aquele leite condensado, secou e agora um puxa-puxa branco. Coloquei mais água com bicarbonato (mesma dose) e mais um pouco menos que 1/3 de colher de sopa de açúcar. Fogo igualmente brando. Aumentando um pouco o fogo. Mesma coisa. Colocando mais água para dissolver meia colher de sopa de açúcar. Colocando mais água. Ficou um pouco mais amarelo. Começou a caramelizar.
                             
__Tentativa #4 2015-11-24__ 200 ml (1 cup) de leite integral em pó. Usando a panela de pressão para conseguir um fundo mais grosso. Adicionando açúcar depois de ferver, e dissolvendo o bicarbonato em água antes de colocar. Também coloquei 1/4 de colher de chá de bicarbonato e 1/4 de colher de mesa de glicose. Deixei o fogo levemente mais alto do que estava fazendo, mas mais baixo que o baixo no nosso fogão. Vou testar a consistência com o prato no freezer. Todas essas dicas peguei do Contacto com o Divino, mas as proporções estou usando do From Argentina With Love. Quer saber? Vou levar a dica até o fim e adicionar um pouco de margarina (1/4 também de colher de mesa parece ok). O bicarbonato não parece ter feito tanto efeito, vou colocar um pouco mais, direto (1/4). Aumentando mais o fogo (suspeito que a temperatura também tem algo a ver, pois em várias receitas o leite está meio que fervendo durante o processo). No final adicionei creme de leite, e parece que deu uma suavizada no caramelo, mas a baunilha estava forte demais.
                             
__Tentativa #5 2015-11-24__ Mesma receita anterior, mas só com leite, açúcar, bicarbonato e baunilha no final. Acho que o creme de leite no final pode dar uma suavizada. Misturei o açúcar quando o leite esquentou, mas estou subindo o fogo novamente para ferver e aí colocar o bicarbonato. Vou começar com 1/4, mas verificar quando a cremosidade atinge o ponto que sei que ficou bom das primeiras vezes.
                             
__Tentativa #6 2015-11-24__ A última vez esquentei rápido demais. Mas agora parece que está se repetindo o mesmo padrão. Coloquei um pouco de glicose, mas parece que a tendência agora é virar leite condensado. O que mudou? Acho que esse movimento de borbulha quando está fervendo é um indício que está indo bem. Seguindo esse movimento de diminuir o fogo e deixar que aos poucos a água evapore, chegamos ao resultado cremoso e caramelizado. Evitar caramelizar demais parece que é o desafio, ao mesmo tempo que devemos verificar como chegar nessa consistência. Talvez pela proporção menor de açúcar -- a maioria das receitas utiliza cerca de 1/3 do volume do leite -- seja melhor para evitar caramelizar. Isso quer dizer que deve demorar mais tempo para fazer o doce, e é por isso que demora tanto mais do que costuma demorar?

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__Tentativa #7 2015-11-25__ Agora vou usar o Xandô (tipo A), e diminuindo o açúcar para 1/3 do leite (usando cristal novamente). Vou colocar quase nada de bicarbonato (1/4 de café) e diminuir bastante a temperatura. Usando a panela grande. Vou colocar glicose porque toda receita de doce de leite utiliza, vou colocar uma colher de chá. Começou a caramelar com fogo baixo convencional, mas ainda com gosto de leite. Vou baixar ao mínimo sem energia. Logo no começo, já caramelizou.
                             
__Tentativa #8 2015-11-25__ Mais uma vez, diminuindo a quantidade de açúcar para um pouco menos que 1/4 e aumentando de glicose para duas colheres de chá. Dessa vez, diminuí um pouco após a fervura para o começo do mínimo sem energia, pois me parecia muito alto o fogo mesmo no mínimo padrão. Baixando cada vez mais o fogo com medo de caramelizar. Continua um leite bem adocidado. Ficando com gosto ainda de leite, parece aqueles doces mineiros. Não caramelizou. Acho que vou ficar mexendo. Bom, depois de um tempo considerável (meia-hora?), ele chegou em um estado do prato em que ele não se junta, mas mesmo assim parece meio molenga. A textura estava próxima do doce de leite, mesmo, mas cristalizando um pouco. O gosto continuava lembrando leite. Porém, coloquei 1/4 de colher de chá (ou um pouco mais) de baunilha e ele "baunilhou". Mesmo assim, parece que o caminho é mais ou menos esse: muito menos açúcar e talvez glicose.

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  • __Tentativa #9 2015-11-26__ Ainda que não esteja consistente e com muita baunilha, a falta de caramelo dá um gostinho de vitória. Muito longe, porém, de aparência e gosto do Sereníssima.

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  • __Tentativa #10 2015-11-26__ A resultado de ontem me animou. Dessa vez vou tentar novamente, o mesmo esquema, mas com uma proporção diferente de bicarbonato para a cor, e pouca baunilha no final. O resultado deverá ser a consistência mais escura e pouco do gosto da baunilha. Vamos usar a mesma proporção. Colocando mais gordura via margarina para ver a diferença. A margarina meio que estragou o gosto (pois é com sal). Já era.

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  • __Tentativa #11 2015-11-28__ Tentando novamente com a proporção "clássica": 30% de açúcar (em volume) do leite. No entanto, se eu usar glicose, talvez fosse melhor usar a proporção sugerida pela minazinha que tem essa receita. No entanto, vi agora que tanto faz, ela também usa 30% (só que cristal em vez de refinado). Vou tentar novamente com essa taxa. Coloquei quase uma colher de café cheia de bicarbonato porque lembro que minhas primeiras tentativas com essa proporção geraram doces mais escuros. Usei quase uma colher de chá cheia de glicose. Deixei a mistura um pouco com o mínimo do fogão até começar a colorir. Fui sentindo o gosto para evitar caramelizar. Depois diminuí para quase o mínimo absoluto do fogão sem energia e continuei mexendo de vez em quando (cerca de 5 min). Quando, ao provar, senti quase o gosto caramelizado, diminuí para o zero absoluto do fogão e passei a mexer cada vez mais frequente para evitar a formação de "coisinhas" no doce, diluindo sempre eles, mexendo sempre em uma direção. Quando a consistência começou a ficar maior, passei a mexer sempre. O fogo no zero absoluto dá só um quentinho na mão a dois centimetros de distância. Fui vendo que a coisa ia dar certa a cada provada, pois o caramelo não se forma mais (fogo muito baixo) e o gosto de doce continua. No começo bem forte, mas aos poucos parece que o gosto foi diminuindo. A consistência usei o teste do prato. Com essa altura do fogo demorou bastante, mas não cedi enquanto as partes teimavam em se juntar rapidamente. Há uma janela em que você pode escolher até quando vai a consistência do seu doce (derramando um pouco da colher ou quer rígido mesmo, consistente com o Sereníssima). Quando o movimento de se juntar no prato foi mínimo coloquei cerca de 4 gosta de baunilha e continuei a mexer. Depois que o teste deixou a consistência próximo de parado, tirei do fogo e joguei no vasilhame. Talvez a única desvantagem seja ainda o gosto do bicarbonato, que ainda aparece no doce na panela. Parece que o doce refriando também vai ficar meio duro.

<h2 id="receitas">Receitas</h2>

Contacto con lo Divino

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:--------------:|

| Leite Integral | 2 lts |

| Açúcar | 550 g |

| Bicarbonato | 1 cdta de café |

| Glicose | 2 cdtas de sopa |

| Extracto de Vainilla | 1 cdta de chá |

**Preparo**:

1. Tradicionalmente el dulce de leche se elabora en un perol de cobre, que difunde muy bien el calor. Igualmente nada impide que utilicen una olla de acero inoxidable o esmaltada. Lo importante es que tenga doble o triple fondo para que la leche no se queme y pegue en su base, de lo contrario pueden utilizar un difusor de calor.

  Ponemos a calentar a fuego fuerte dos litros de leche entera, que debe tener un mínimo de 3 por ciento de grasa. Los mejores dulces se hacen con leche recién ordeñada, que tiene un mayor porcentaje de lípidos que las leches industrializadas. Por eso algunos cocineros suelen añadir al final de la preparación un chorrito de crema de leche (nata) o una cucharada sopera de manteca (mantequilla) para aumentar su tenor graso y hacer el producto más sabroso y untuoso.

2. Cuando la leche esté tibia, sumamos el azúcar y revolvemos hasta que se disuelva. Podríamos ponerla desde un principio, pero con la temperatura será bastante más fácil que se integre a la leche y no tendremos que andar revolviendo tanto.

3. Mientras se calienta la leche colocamos un plato en el freezer, que luego vamos a utilizar al final para chequear el punto de cocción exacto del dulce.

4. Cuando la leche esté a punto de hervir la retiramos del fuego para agregarle la cucharadita de bicarbonato de sodio.

  El bicarbonato cumplirá una doble función: por un lado neutralizará el ph del ácido láctico, ayudando a evitar que la leche se corte al concentrarse durante el proceso de cocción. También favorecerá la reacción de Maillard, dándole al dulce esa coloración parda oscura tan característica.

5. Al incorporar el bicarbonato verán que se produce una reacción efervescente que elevará la leche. Retiramos la leche del fuego un instante antes justamente para evitar que esa reacción se descontrole y nos termine quemando.

6. Volvemos la leche al fuego e incorporamos las dos cucharadas soperas de glucosa. No es que sea obligatorio ponerlas, así que si no la consiguen pueden reemplazarla con 50 g más de azúcar (o sea 600 g en total). Aunque usarla tiene sus ventajas ya que impide o retrasa la formación de grandes cristales de azúcar que podrían darle al dulce una textura arenosa y granular. Además le proporciona un mayor brillo y suavidad al dulce.

7. Al romper el hervor bajamos la intensidad del fuego a moderado - bajo y revolvemos 1 minuto a intervalos cada 10 minutos. A partir de este momento, la leche se irá reduciendo cada vez más y el dulce quedará listo en aproximadamente dos horas.

8. Verán como en poco tiempo empieza a tomar color.

9. Con un colador o una espumadera retiramos el exceso de espuma de la superficie.

10. Cuando veamos que el color de la leche ha subido a un tono intermedio, bajamos el fuego al mínimo y comenzamos a revolver un minuto cada 5 minutos.

11. Ya habiendo tomado un color cercano al ideal, es momento de revolver en forma continua a fin de evitar que la leche se corte o se queme en el fondo de la olla.

12. Cuando el dulce haya alcanzado el color caramelo oscuro tan característico y se haya espesado moderadamente, es momento de probar si ya está listo. Piensen que la preparación está hirviendo y que a esta temperatura jamás tomará demasiada consistencia.

13. Así que sacamos el plato del freezer y tiramos sobre él un poco del dulce, que en la superficie congelada se enfriará rápidamente.

14. Dejamos pasar unos cuantos segundos y luego pasamos el dedo para dividir el dulce en dos. Si no vuelve a unirse es señal de que está listo.

15. Apagamos entonces el fuego y perfumamos el dulce con unas gotas de esencia o extracto de vainilla. Dejamos entibiar un poco la preparación para manipularla sin quemarnos.

16. Solo nos resta introducir el dulce en un recipiente preferentemente de vidrio. Si piensan conservarlo por largo tiempo (hasta por un año si está bien cerrado) hervimos el envase durante 25 minutos y desinfectamos la tapa con alcohol.

Y ahora a disfrutar!!!

From Argentina With Love

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 4 cups |

| Açúcar | 2 cups |

| Bicarbonato | 1 teaspoon |

| Vanilla | 1 tablespoon |

**Preparo**: Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add all other ingredients, being sure to stir the sugar with a whisk until it’s completely dissolved. (Otherwise, your Dulce de Leche will have a gritty consistency--not so good.) Cook on medium low until it turns into caramel, about 2-3 hours. It should have a rich tan or brown color and smooth texture when done. Consistency is a matter of taste-some like theirs runnier than others, but test it by spooning some onto the center of a plate. If it stays without running and making a puddle, it’s ready.

Chef Paty

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 2 lts |

| Açúcar | 500 g |

| Bicarbonato | 6 g |

**Preparo**: Em uma panela grande com fundo grosso coloque o leite e o açúcar sobre fogo médio. Mexa para o açúcar dissolver no leite. Quando ferver acrescente o bicarbonato, na mesma hora vai espumar por isso a importância da panela ser bem grande, conitnue mexendo. Abaixe o fogo e deixe cozinhar por umas 3 horas, mexendo regularmente para que não queime no fundo da panela. Depois das 3 horas se ainda não estiver no ponto ¿ como foi o meu caso- aumente um pouco o fogo e cozinha mexendo sempre até o ponto desejado. Conserve em potinhos com tampa.

![](/images/doce-de-leite-fases.jpg)

Correio Gourmand

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 2 lts |

| Açúcar | 500 g |

| Bicarbonato | 1 colher de café |

| Baunilha | 1 fava ou 1 colher de café de essência |

**Preparo**: Numa panela funda, preferivelmente antiaderente, coloque o leite, o açúcar e a fava de baunilha aberta e misture bem. Inclua, também, as bolinhas de gude (muito bem lavadas, evidentemente). Leve ao fogo alto até que levante fervura. Abaixe então o fogo e deixe cozinhar mexendo constantemente com uma colher de pau para que o doce não ¿pegue¿ no fundo da panela. Depois de uns 20 minutos cozinhando, agregue o bicarbonato de sódio e continue mexendo. Quando o doce começar a engrossar, é preciso mexe-lo sem parar. O doce de leite levará cerca de uma hora e meia no fogo para estar pronto. Estará no ponto quando tomar cor e estiver espesso.

**Dicas**: 3 bolinhas de vidro (bolinhas de gude) - reza a lenda que elas impedem que o leite talhe e evitam, também, que o leite derrame ao levantar fervura. Colocar essência de baunilha depois de tirar do fogo para não se perder o aroma.

Globo.com

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 2 lts |

| Açúcar | 500 g |

| Bicarbonato | 6g |

| Baunilha | 1 fava |

**Preparo**: Esquente o leite com o açúcar em fogo médio para que se dissolva. Quando começar a ferver, acrescente o bicarbonato (o qual terá uma reação de efervescência) e mexa. Deixe essa mistura cozinhando durante três horas, aproximadamente, em fogo bem baixo. Mexa o tempo todo para que a mistura não grude no fundo da panela. A água que tem no leite irá evaporar e a mistura pegará cor, enquanto também ganha corpo. A última hora de cozimento é a mais delicada e quando é preciso mais atenção para não queimar.

Quando estiver faltando pouco para atingir o ponto desejado (por volta de dez minutos, quando souber o tempo total), coloque a fava de baunilha.

Cozinha Amarela
Oliver Anquier

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 1 l |

| Açúcar | 250 g |

| Bicarbonato | 3g |

| Baunilha | 1 fava |

**Preparo**: 1. acrescente na panela o leite e o açúcar e leve ao fogo médio para que dissolva. 2. quando começar a ferver, acrescente o bicarbonato (que vai fazer o leite subir, por isso é importante usar uma panela alta a fim de não transbordar), abaixe o fogo e mexa bem. 3. quando ganhar um pouco de corpo e cor mais amarronzada (mas não muito consistente ainda) acrescente a fava de baunilha e continue a mexer. no total, você deve gastar algo próximo de 1 hora (às vezes mais, vai depender do seu fogo, do seu leite, enfim, estimativas). 4. quando estiver numa consistência mais firme e com cor de doce de leite, retire a fava (descarte), desligue o fogo e coloque o doce no pote esterelizado. leve para a geladeira ou deixe descansar fora por mais 1 hora. importante: depois que esfria, o doce encorpa mais. então recomendo tirar um pouco antes da consistência preferida.

Dani Doce

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral Tipo A | 1 l |

| Açúcar Cristal | 250 g |

| Bicarbonato | 3,25g ou 1/4 colher de sopa |

| Baunilha | 1 fava |

| Glucose | 2 colheres |

| Sal | 1 pitada |

**Preparo**: 1. em uma tábua, abra a fava de baunilha no meio (no sentido do comprimento) e com a ponta da faca raspe as sementes das duas metades. reserve. 2. acrescente na panela o leite, o açúcar, as sementes de baunilha, a glucose, a pitada de sal e leve ao fogo médio para que tudo dissolva. 3. quando você não mais sentir os grãos do açúcar com a colher e nem a gosminha da glucose, acrescente o bicarbonato e continue mexendo. quando a mistura subir (sem transbordar, por favor), abaixe o fogo e mexa, mexa, mexa. 4. na hora que a consistência ficar mais firme e com cor de doce de leite, desligue o fogo e coloque no pote esterelizado. leve para a geladeira ou deixe descansar fora por mais 1 hora. mesma regrinha aqui: depois que esfria, o doce encorpa mais. então recomendo tirar um pouco antes da consistência preferida.

**Dicas**: Oliver Anquier: o bicarbonato e a acidez do leite provocam uma reação química que deixa o doce mais aveludado. Dani Doce: Leva também uma pitada de sal (pra realçar o sabor) e duas colheres de glucose, que pelo que ela explica serve para evitar que o doce cristalize.

Baunilla

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Integral | 1 l |

| Açúcar | 300 g |

| Bicarbonato | 1/2 colher de chá |

| Baunilha | 1 fava |

**Preparo**: Colocar em uma panela o leite e o açúcar Corte as favas ao meio e retirar as sementes e colocar as sementes e a fava na panela, deixando a temperatura no máximo até começar a ferver Quando começar a ferver, retirar a panela do fogo e acrescentar o bicarbonato de sódio e deixar a temperatura no mínimo Você precisa mexer a cada 10 minutos até começar a pegar uma cor Quando a mistura já estiver a uns 20 minutos no fogo baixo, você deve retirar a fava de baunilha Assim que começar a ficar com a cor mais escura, você deve mexer a cada 5 minutos E quando ficar com a cor característica do doce de leite, você deve mexer constantemente A forma mais fácil de ver o ponto do doce de leite é só colocar uma pequena quantidade em um prato e passar a parte de baixo de uma colher no meio, se o doce ficar com o formato da colher e não juntar é que está no ponto. Agora é só retirar a panela do fogo e colocar em uma bacia ou bowl com água gelada e continuar mexendo até esfriar

**Dicas**: O bicarbonato é utilizado apenas para dar cor, se você quer mais escuro, coloque um pouco mais. É importante mexer constantemente assim que o doce ficar com a cor característica.

Terra.com.br

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leite Tipo A | 1 l |

| Açúcar | 250 g |

| Maisena | 1/2 colher de sopa |

| Bicarbonato | 1/2 colher de chá |

| Baunilha | 1 fava ou essência a gosto |

**Preparo**: Reserve ½ xícara de leite e misture o restante ao açúcar. Leve ao fogo baixo, em uma panela média, e mexendo sempre leve à fervura. Coloque a maisena e o bicarbonato em um pequeno recipiente e misture o leite reservado (frio) para diluir bem a maisena. Coloque os ingredientes na panela e misture bem. Acrescente a fava de baunilha (se estiver utilizando), deixe o doce ferver em fogo baixo retirando a espuma que se forma na superfície e misturando periodicamente. O leite deverá ferver por 40 a 50 minutos e começará a engrossar e, tomar cor de caramelo claro. Nesse momento, comece a mexer lentamente para evitar que o doce grude no fundo da panela e deixe dar o ponto desejado. O ideal é ir testando, deixando pingar algumas gotas do doce sobre uma pedra mármore para esfriar um pouco, se preferir mais pastoso, cozinhe por mais alguns minutos, mexendo sempre. Retire a fava de baunilha, caso não esteja utilizando a fava, acrescente a essência de baunilha à gosto e misture bem. Deixe esfriar e sirva.

Cocinero de Batalla

| Ingrediente | Quantidade |

| ------------- |:-------------:|

| Leche | 1 l |

| Azúcar | 300 g |

| Vanilla | 1 en rama ou 1 cucharadita de vanilla líquida |

| Bicarbonato | 1/2 cucharadita (colher de chá) |

**Preparo**: La preparación dura aproximadamente unas 2 hs. Calentar la leche y el azúcar en una ollita alta a la temperatura máxima, incorporar la vainilla en rama (con sus semillas). Unos segundos antes de que rompa a hervir, retirar del fuego ( bajar la temperatura a 5 para vitro y al mínimo para fuego) Incorporar el bicarbonato y llevar a calentar. Revolver cada 10 minutos hasta que comience a tomar color. A los 20 minutos quitar la vainilla en rama. Cuando empieza a tomar color revolver cada 5 minutos. Una vez que tome el color característico y espese un poco, revolver constantemente para que no se corte. Hacer la prueba del dulce de leche, como indica el vídeo y si está listo retirar y seguir revolviendo un rato mas, llevando la ollita a un cuenco con agua para enfriar un poco la preparación. Una vez frío llevar a la nevera.

**Dicas**: Utilizar una olla alta y revolver con una cuchara de madera. El bicarbonato sirve para darle color a la preparación. Si queremos que quede mas espeso, una vez listo, seguir cocinando un rato mas. La vainilla en rama cortada con sus semillas le da mas intensidad al sabor, si queremos que sea más suave ponerla entera. Una vez que toma el color característico es muy importante no dejar de revolver para que no se corte.

<h2 id="dicas">Dicas</h2>

  • 2015-11-24 Descobri algumas dicas no Contacto con lo Divino, além de ter várias fotos. Como usar panela de cobre para dissipar melhor o calor (ou panela com fundo grosso, para evitar queimar na base). Uma alternativa é um dissipador de calor. Ele também diz que o leite precisa ter no mínimo 3% de gordura. Por isso que alguns chefs no final da preparação jogam um pouco de creme de leite ou manteiga, para manter esse nível de gordura e torná-lo mais saboroso.
  • 2015-11-23 Comprei o Sereníssima; de fato, ainda é muito melhor que a média nacional.
  • 2015-11-23 Leite condensado vai pouco mais da metade de açúcar, diferente do doce de leite, que varia entre 18/20%, 36% (receita de 1l) e 30% (receita de 2l).
  • 2015-11-16 Receita de doce de leite argentino o Globo.com: O segredo está na acidez do leite. O suave e sedoso vem da menor quantidade de acidez. O ácido láctico se concentra se não adicionar algo alcalino como bicarbonato de sódio. Sem ele o leite diminuiria e coagularia. Ele adiciona o açúcar depois de esquentar/ferver o leite. Logo depois o bicarbonato.
  • 2015-11-15 Experience Mendoze: seu nome remete a literal caramelização do leite e açúcar, feita sobre fogo baixo. O líquido açucarado, quando fervido por tempo suficiente, reduz para 1/6 de seu volume, adquire uma coloração âmbar amarronzada e começa a engrossar. Às vezes, o cozinheiro permite que a mistura cozinhe além de seu ponto ideal, adicionando ao doce um leve sabor torrado, parecido com café - perfeita para misturar com sorvetes e sobremesas de chocolate.
  • 2015-11-15 Emprapa (sobre doce de leite brasileiro): o seu preparo é realizado a partir do leite fresco, que é deixado para descansar por 24 horas, sob refrigeração, para facilitar a remoção da nata superficial. Recomenda-se utilizar leite com teor de creme (nata) reduzido, o que auxilia no processo de fabricação. Na etapa seguinte, é feita a neutralização da acidez do leite com a adição de bicarbonato de sódio (encontrado no comércio), na proporção de 45 gramas de bicarbonato para cada 100 litros de leite. Esta quantidade de bicarbonato pode ser ajustada para conferir cor mais clara ou escura ao doce de leite. Se o doce estiver muito escuro, diminui-se a quantidade de bicarbonato na próxima batelada, se estiver muito claro aumenta-se. Após a neutralização, o leite deve ser fervido sob constante agitação. Ainda sob agitação é feita a adição lenta de açúcar na proporção de 20 a 25% em relação à quantidade de leite para o doce em pasta. Para doce em tabletes, utilizar de 30 a 35% de açúcar. O ponto final do doce de leite pode ser determinado colocando-se uma gota do doce em um copo com água fria. Se a gota atingir o fundo do copo sem se desmanchar, o processo pode ser finalizado. Para doce em tabletes, o teste é realizado colocando-se uma colher com o doce de leite na água fria. Se houver a formação de uma massa tipo ¿puxa-puxa¿ e não grudar nas mãos, o doce estará no ponto. Quando o doce estiver no ponto, desliga-se o aquecimento e continua-se a agitação até a mistura atingir 70-75°C. Para o doce de leite em tabletes, bate-se com pá ou espátula até que a temperatura da mistura atinja 40°C.
  • 2015-11-15 Usar a baunilha desde o começo pode talvez resolver o gosto caramelado. No entanto, ainda assim ele fica mole ao tirar.

<h2 id="referencias">Referências</h2>


# Zona de Risco

2024-02-17 tag_movies tag_cinemaqui ^

Filmes de guerra estão em baixa? Não havia muitas pessoas na cabine de imprensa de Zona de Risco. Bom, não é dos gêneros mais populares. Talvez nunca tenha sido, se limitando quase sempre aos clássicos da luta interna de seus personagens, assim como boxe e outros esportes. Porém, se trata de um ótimo entretenimento para se ver na telona. E não é só pelas explosões, tiros e bombas. Há neste longa o desenvolvimento de uma ideia fina, quase sutil, sobre tecnologia na guerra e distrações do mundo moderno, que faz pensar por um breve momento; para um filme de ação já é muito.

A história começa da maneira mais clichê possível: uma tropa de elite das Forças Aéreas americana está em uma missão em território inimigo tomado por extremistas. O novato tenta começar um diálogo com os veteranos e no processo vários dos elementos da fórmula "filme de guerra" vão sendo destilados em frases nada brilhantes nem engraçadas. O objetivo é unicamente sucitar a empatia e entrosamento com aquelas pessoas que acabamos de conhecer, e como estão de farda transformá-los, nem que seja um pouco, em seres humanos como eu e você.

Se houvessem muito mais astros de ação e armamento de nicho prontos para estourarem miolos poderíamos estar em mais um episódio de Os Mercenários, mas o filme quer justamente mostrar o contraste entre o distanciamento do trabalho tecnológico do pessoal que fica no escritório soltando mísseis remotamente e o cara-a-cara com o perigo dos soldados em campo.

Bastam alguns minutos dessas pessoas conversando e fica claro que o filme está ciente que é mais um filme de guerra, mas é um truque sagaz nesse caso, pois o filme acaba piscando inconscientemente para o espectador. O melhor momento disso é após um discurso sobre a barbárie que se esconde por trás de drones e ataques remotos em massa. É quando a barbárie das antigas ameaça tomar o palco que o ator Ricky Whittle rouba a cena por três segundos com sua sucinta e marcante frase: "que irônico, não?".

O pai de Whittle trabalhou nas Forças Aéreas inglesa e ele viveu a rotina de mudanças constantes, o que para mim dá um toque especial em sua fala e sua participação como um todo. Bem mais do que as caras mais conhecidas de Hollywood, os irmãos Liam e Luke Hemsworth, que representam a visão ideal do soldado branco americano em versões jovem e velho. E por falar em velhos, Russell Crowe encabeça a lista como o amargurado e quase aposentado capitão Eddie Grimm "Reaper". Nenhum desses personagens realmente se merecem no filme e poderiam ser desenvolvido por atores mais baratos.

Ou talvez não, pois a visão do americano médio (e velho) é que se não há atores de elite trabalhando neles é porque não vale a pena ser visto, pois talvez não tenham cenas de ação "que paguem o ingresso". Por outro lado, quem vai mais ao cinema? Os velhos ou os jovens? Jovens não saem da telinha tanto quanto os velhos hoje em dia, o que acaba transformando o papel de Crowe em um herói por acidente. Ele é o único focado em seu trabalho de ajudar os meninos em campo.

Mas enfim, depois que as piscadelas ao espectador sobre "sim, este é mais um filme de guerra nada imprevisível" a ação começa a chacoalhar o cinema, com uma tensão que se mantém pelo filme inteiro. Não há espaço para respirar. Quando há é para gerar um contraste inquieto, como as transições entre o Capitão Reaper fazendo compras no supermercado e os garotos em território inimigo precisando de alguém que os entenda além dos protocolos militares e limite de horas no trabalho (como se eles tivessem limite de horas para serem caçados pelos modernos vietcongues).

A ação pode ser claustrofóbica para espectadores, a depender da imersão na experiência de se sentir no lugar. Um lugar, aliás, onde se é o menos querido possível. Ou não: o número de pessoas por metro quadrado tentando te matar e disposto a gastar quantas balas e bombas for necessário gera sentimentos mistos sobre a virtude de ser desejado (ou almejado). Talvez seja uma tara americana ser odiado por quase todo o mundo não-civilizado (e algumas partes ditas civilizadas também).

Parte da responsabilidade pela imersão tensa e orgânica na ação é da direção de William Eubank, que também é um diretor de fotografia experiente e designa ao filme uma experiência mista com filtros noturnos, ângulos mistos e planos fechados que combinam perfeitamente com a sensação de não conseguir seguir adiante nem se esconder o suficiente para retomar as energias. Não que as cores do filme não queira dizer muita coisa, mas apenas o fato de não ser um enfoque com cores enérgicas, enquanto a ação sim, já nos diz algo.

Interessante quase apenas pela ação, seus heróis são esboços bem carregados pelos seus carismáticos e energéticos atores, que encontram seus opostos nas figuras alienadas e impessoais do resto do batalhão assistindo uma partida de basquete pela TV do quartel. A exceção fica por conta do capitão Reaper e sua colega, que ensaiam o único traço de humanidade. Ela está para se casar e Reaper tem tudo planejado para ir à cerimônia. Ela possui um convite emocionante para o final, mas não sentimos essa emoção. Há tensão na tela para esquecermos as histórias dessas pessoas antes que elas voltem a conversar casualmente.

Porém, se não ficou claro até agora, sim, existe muita ação em Zona de Risco. Que fica tensa do começo ao fim se assistido no cinema, ou pelo menos em um ambiente livre de distrações. Um desafio e tanto. Esta é a guerra dos cinéfilos civis em conseguir um lugar tranquilo para ver um bom filme.


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