Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Solving Problems with Gravy

To darken gravy
Cook the skinned drippings in the pan over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes before adding liquid. You can also add browning liquid (available in most grocery stores). Or, roast some carrots, onions, and celery in the pan in which the meat is roasting. Add the vegetables 1 hour before the meat is scheduled to be done. Remove and serve the vegetables. They will leave behind rich, brown, crusty bits in the pan that will boost the color and flavor of gravy made from pan drippings.

To thicken gravy
First, try cooking it down over medium heat to evaporate excess liquid. Or, if you don't want to reduce the volume, thicken the gravy with cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot. Use 1.5 tablespoons flour for each cup of liquid. If you're using cornstarch or arrowroot, dissolve 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot in 1 tablespoon cold water (and 2 tablespoons dry white wine, if desired). Stir into 1 cup of hot broth at the end of cooking time, and cook until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, cook 1 minute more. These proportions will make about 1 cup of medium-thick gravy.

To minimize lumps when thickening gravy
Dissolve the thickener in a small amount of cold water before adding to the gravy.

To remove lumps from gravy
Beat vigorously with whisk. Or pour the gravy through a mesh sieve, pressing out the lumps. You can also dip an immersion blender into the gravy to make it smooth, or run the gravy through a food processor.

** Asian Recipes **

10:04:27 on 06/21/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making gravy out of the roasting pan

Some cooks find it awkward to make gravy the traditional way in a roasting pan with a wide surface area. Alternatively: Start the gravy while the roast is cooking. In a heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 1 tablespoon flour and stir over medium heat until the flour starts to brown, 5 minutes. Add 2 cups broth (chicken or beef, depending on desired flavor), and simmer 10 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. When the roast is done, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board. Skim the fat from the surface of the drippings and add another 1/2 cup broth (or wine) to the drippings in the roasting pan. Stir all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the liquid and pour it all into the sauce you have made. Heat to a simmer and stir to mix.

** Asian Recipes **

06:34:28 on 06/20/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

How to skim fat from pan drippings

Pour them into a fat separator. The fat will rise to the surface and the drippings can be poured out from the bottom spout. Or, for small amounts of fat, sop them up with a piece of soft, absorbent bread or strips of paper towels. Or instead, place a few ice cubes in a slotted spoon and drag it across the surface. The ice will act as a magnet, attracting the fat. Then, throw the ice cubes away.

If you are using a baster, avoid trying to extract the thin layer of fat on top. Instead, position the baster tip at the bottom of the pan and extract the drippings, leaving the fat in the pan. Use the drippings to flavor grave or sauce.

** Asian Cooking **

12:01:00 on 06/18/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making Gravy

Surely one of the best loved of all sauces, gravy is made from the juices left in the pan after roasting meat, chicken, or fish. It may be thickened with flour or cornstarch or simply skimmed of fat and seasoned.

Choosing the right pan to make gravy
When planning to make gravy, use a roasting pan that encourages sticking. The browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan add intense flavor to the sauce. Avoid nonstick pans.

Making gravy in the roasting pan
Transfer the roasted meat from the pan to a serving platter. Traditionally the pan is tipped so that all the fat and drippings collect in the corner; then, all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat is spooned out and discarded, while the browned bits in the bottom of the pan are retained.

Alternatively, pour all the pan juices into a large measuring cup, then spoon off some of the fat from the surface and return it to the pan. Pour off and discard the remaining fat, and reserve the juices. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk a little flour into the fat, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan as you whisk. Then cook until a smooth paste forms and the flour begins to smell toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and/or other hot liquids, such as stock or canned broth, or cider, beer, wine, or other spirits. Simmer the gravy until it has thickened and no longer tastes floury, about 10 minutes. Strain the gravy, season with salt, pepper and/or herbs, and keep warm until ready to serve.

** Asian Recipes **

01:52:29 on 06/16/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Cooking with Goose

Though it is entirely dark meat, rich, moist goose is not the least bit gamy tasting. The bird is quite fatty, though, releasing a quart or more of fat into the pan as it cooks. One consolation: The fat is concentrated in the skin, while the meat itself is quite lean.

Choosing a goose
There is a great deal of skin, fat, and bones in proportion to meat on these birds, so always buy the largest goose you can find. When preparing, run your fingers between the fat and the meat before cooking. Also, prick the skin all over with a sharp-tined fork. This helps excess fat melt better and drain away during cooking.

To roast a goose
Cook the bird in a 375F oven for 45 minutes. Then, increase the temperature to 400F and continue cooking until the juices run clear and the thigh meat registers 175F to 180F on an instant-read thermometer (for a whole goose) or the center is still slightly pink (for the breast), about 12 to 15 minutes per pound. Put a little water in the bottom of the roasting pan. This helps draw the fat out of the bird and creates steam, which keeps the skin from browning too quickly.

** Asian Recipes **

15:41:35 on 06/03/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -