Things I've Googled This Week #1

Saturday, August 22, 2015

This is going to be a fun segment of the blog where I share the tips that I have been learning along the way.  I am forever googling things to make sure I am not missing any of the finer details of different cooking processes.  Maybe I can save you a little time and share what I have learned.

Q: How to make chickpea flour

I was having a time trying to find chickpea flour in my grocery store for the pealafels recipe.  Turns out you can buy dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans and grind them into flour using a spice/coffee grinder.  You grind them up then just shake them through a fine mesh strainer and boom, chickpea flour!

Q: Crispy falafel crust tips

It seems like the best bet is to form your patties and chill them before frying.  Another sure fire way is to deep fry them, which isn't the recipe so I am not even going to try it.  Through trial and error though I found that if you flour the outside of the little rounds it helps to crisp up the exterior.  Also you want to be sure you have your oil hot enough and don't flip them to early.

Q: Shakshuka Indian?

I was curious because I know there was a recipe in our Jerusalem cookbook, so maybe its roots were Jewish in nature?  Wikipedia says it is believed to be of Tunisian origin.  Either way, I consider it to be the Middle East and Northern Africa's tastier version of huevos rancheros.

Q. Can you freeze tikka masala?

Yes, but ideally you will freeze before adding the heavy cream.  Making a double batch next time, for sure.

Q. Kosher Salt vs regular salt

I knew Kosher salt was bigger, but I wanted to know why.  I found that it is the same, just bigger.  It is used in the process of preparing kosher meats.  I also learned that in baking you definitely want to use table salt and not kosher salt.  I think it is better for meat dishes to use kosher salt because something about the flavor being more earthy salty and the large crystals are able to slowly dissolve during the cooking process.   I will probably just going to use what the recipe calls for and not over think it for now.

Q. Aarti social media

Easy.  On her website: top right corner.

Q. Brown onions fast

So fast I can't even form a complete sentence!  I learned more about cartelized onions in this search, which is the extreme version of just browning onions for a recipe.  I learned two different methods (but have tried zero thus far).  First method is to brown your onions in a dry pan.  Just onion straight on the pan, and once they brown a bit, then add the oil and salt.  Seems clever.  The second and more popular tip was to add a pinch of baking soda.  This raises the pH apparently, and thus you get brown onions in a faster time frame.  It was mentioned however that you don't want to use any more than a small pinch or you will alter the taste of your onions and in turn your dish.  Don't you love a great food hack?

Q. Ginger benefits

Almost every dish I have been making is loaded with fresh ginger, thus I was curious if there were any notable health benefits from ginger consumption.  Seems like it is a solid way to help gastrointestinal issues and nausea.  It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also possibly helpful in prevention of colorectal and ovarian cancers.  Wonderful!

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