Methods of Cooking | Stewing, Frying, Advantages of frying, Reasons for stewing

Stewing Stewing involves cooking food slowly in a covered pan with minimal liquid over an extended period. The dish is served with the retained water. This method is commonly employed in preparing various types of soups. Stewing maintains a simmering temperature of about 90-96ºC, whereas boiling reaches 100ºC. Foods suitable for stewing include fresh and […]

Stewing

Stewing involves cooking food slowly in a covered pan with minimal liquid over an extended period. The dish is served with the retained water. This method is commonly employed in preparing various types of soups. Stewing maintains a simmering temperature of about 90-96ºC, whereas boiling reaches 100ºC.

Foods suitable for stewing include fresh and dried fruits, all vegetables except green vegetables, and tough cuts of meat.

 

Reasons for stewing:

  1. To keep the food tender.
  2. Stewing helps gelatinize and break down the connecting tissues of meat.
  3. Protein coagulates without over-hardening during stewing.
  4. Soluble nutrients and flavors become part of the serving liquid.

 

Rules for stewing:

  1. Cut food into small pieces.
  2. Use a covered saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil before reducing heat.
  4. Use minimal liquid.
  5. Avoid frequent opening of the saucepan.
  6. Season well.

 

Advantages of stewing:

  1. Economical cooking method.
  2. Tenderizes tough food, making it easily digestible.
  3. Requires minimal attention.
  4. Conserves juices, minimizing waste.
  5. Low fuel consumption during cooking.

 

Disadvantages of stewing:

  1. Time-consuming.
  2. Long cooking may reduce some valuable nutrients.
  3. Requires more attention than boiling to prevent burning.

 

Frying

Frying is the process of cooking food in hot oil or fat, often requiring a coating for some foods.

 

Reasons for coating foods before frying:

  1. To seal in nutrients.
  2. Prevent breakage.
  3. Maintain the food’s shape.
  4. Achieve a crispy and appetizing texture.

 

Types of frying:

  1. Shallow frying:
    1. Sautéing: Quick frying in a shallow pan of hot fat/oil.
    2. Griddle frying: Cooking on a lightly oiled griddle pan or metal plate.
    3. Stir frying: Fast frying in little oil using a flat pan.

 

  1. Deep or French frying: Involves cooking with a significant amount of oil or fat.
  2. Dry/self frying: Used for foods containing fat, where the fat melts during cooking.

 

Stages in heating oil for deep frying:

  1. Melting stage: Fat changes from solid to liquid form.
  2. Bubbling stage: Oil is heated, and water boils out, producing a bubbling sound.
  3. Frying stage: Bubbling sound ceases, and a blue haze smoke is produced.
  4. Decomposition: Overheating leads to charring and throat irritation.

 

Rules for frying:

  1. Use clean oil or fat.
  2. Heat oil to the correct temperature before frying.
  3. Fry small quantities at a time.
  4. Avoid frying food with water.
  5. Minimize turning of foods.
  6. Reheat oil before the next frying.
  7. Do not cover fried food while hot.
  8. Lower food gently into hot oil.
  9. Turn off heat after frying and let oil cool before straining.

Fats and oils suitable for frying include vegetable oils, lard, butter, margarine, and fuller-butter from cow milk.

 

Advantages of frying:

  1. Fast and quick cooking method.
  2. Fried foods are attractive and tasty.
  3. Coated foods retain soluble nutrients.

 

Disadvantages of frying:

  1. Requires constant attention.
  2. Not easily digestible, unsuitable for certain individuals.
  3. Fried foods are less appetizing when cold.
  4. Overheated fat may result in burnt and undercooked food.

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