Thursday, August 20, 2009

how to measure partial eggs

Have a lot of egg whites or yolks leftover from a recipe but don’t know how many? A good approximation to keep in mind is that 1 large egg yields about 1 tablespoon of yolk plus 2 tablespoons of white. This has come particularly in handy when I have halved a recipe that called for an odd number of eggs — I simply beat one egg and measured out 1.5 tablespoons.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

how to measure drops, pinches and dashes

In perhaps my most persnickety tip yet, did you know that when a recipe calls for a drop, pinch or dash of an ingredient, this can be translated into an actual measurement? 60 drops yields one teaspoon, 1 dash is equal to 1/16 of a teaspoon and 1 pinch is 1/8 of a teaspoon. Now, try to get your head around the fact that someone, somewhere actually took the time to measure these things out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

understanding cream labels

Cream is labeled illogically, with names and not numbers representing milk fat within. This ought to help sort them out: half-and-half (equal parts milk and cream) has 10.5 to 18 percent milk fat; light cream (a.k.a. table cream) ranges from 18 to 30 percent, but is most often actually 20 percent; whipping cream (a.k.a. light whipping cream) has 30 to 36 percent; and heavy cream (ironically, better for whipped cream than “whipping” cream, though both work) has 36 to 40 percent. Double cream (not widely available in the U.S.) has 42 percent. Oh, and it is awesome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

how to soft boil an egg

After years of struggling to perfectly poach an egg, I discovered I could get much of what I liked about them from soft-boiled eggs, with a zero percent failure rate to boot. My technique is just like that of my hard-boiled eggs, except I drop the boiling time down to 6 minutes. This assures a solid white and soft yolk, and the pinnacle of deliciousness spread over buttered toast and topped with a pinch of salt.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

how to hard boil an egg

There are about as many techniques for hard-boiling eggs as there are eggs out there, but I use the method my mother showed me: submerge a large egg in enough cold water to cover it and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, set the timer for 10 minutes. Plunge the egg into cold water to get it to stop cooking; plus, cold eggs are much easier to peel.