Cooking recipes, methods and techniques
Cooking refers specially to the preparation of food following recipes by subjecting edible materials to the action of heat. But cooking involves much more. Cooking of food is a science as well as an art and it depends for its success on known and stablished principles.
In its full sense, cooking means not only the ability to follow recipes, thereby producing a successfully cooked dish, but also the ability to select materials, a knowledge of the ways in which to prepare them, an understanding of their value for the persons for whom they are prepared and ingenuity in serving foods attractively and in making the best use of food that may be left over from the previous meals, so that there will be practically no waste.
A factor that should not be disregarded in the problem of food is waste. We should understand the distinction between waste and refuse. These terms are thought by some to mean the same thing and are often confused, but there is a decided difference between them. Waste, as applied to food and cooking, is something that could be used but is not, whereas refuse is something that is rejected because it is unfit for use. For example, the fat of meat, which is often eaten, is waste if it is thrown away, but potato parings, which are not suitable for cooking, are refuse.
To be successful, all cooking recipes should be planned with the idea of making them wholesome and appetizing, giving them variety and using the left-overs. Food is cooked for both hygienic and esthetic reasons. It must be made safe and wholesome for health’s sake and must satisfy the appetite, which to a considerable degree is mental and is influenced by the appearance of the food.
A menu consists of a certain number of dishes given in the order in which they are to be served. The dishes called for in a menu must be prepared according to a recipe, which is the list of ingredients of a mixture giving the exact proportions to be used, together with proper directions for compounding. It is important that every person who is engaged in the preparation of food be thoroughly familiar with the various terms that are used in cooking.
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