RESOURCES (SOME OF MY FAVORITE):
PROPER SALTING RATIO:
If the recipe says, salt and pepper to taste, don’t risk ruining the food by guessing. Follow these ratios and adjust just before serving, if necessary:
- For soups, stocks, sauces and gravies: 1.5 teaspoons salt per quart.
- For raw meats, poultry, fish and seafood: 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt per pound.
- 1 teaspoon of salt is 0.2 oz. by weight.
- 1 teaspoon of salt = 2325 milligrams.
SALT TO BLACK PEPPER RATIO:
Most recipes call for salt and pepper to taste. For soups and sauces, you can start with a 4:1 salt:pepper (by volume) ratio. By weight, salt:pepper = 10:1.
Black pepper weighs 0.083 oz. per teaspoon. (0.25 oz. per Tablespoon).
GARLIC SALT, CELERY SALT AND OTHER FLAVORED SALTS:
Flavored salts are typically 66% – 80% salt.
Instead of using garlic salt, consider using 1/4 the amount of garlic powder or granulated garlic and 3/4 the amount of sea salt. This is much cheaper and easier to stock.
Fish sauce is a salty sauce like soy or Worcestershire that adds an umami flavor (translates to satisfying like bacon) to lots of dishes. You can substitute 3 parts fish sauce for 1 part salt. So if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, just use 3 teaspoons of fish sauce instead.
Use fish sauce in roasts. 2 tsp. per lb. of meat.
WHEN TO ADD SPICES:
Salt dissolves into smaller ions that can penetrate foods. Heat helps this process. Salt should be added toward the beginning of the cooking process to maximize the benefit.
Other spices are larger and don’t really penetrate food. They also tend to diffuse with heat and liquid and lose their flavor. You should add other spices toward the end of the cooking process.
BUTTER, SHORTENING, AND MARGARINE
- In the U.S., butter must contain at least 80% milk fat.
- Salted butter contains about 1/4 tsp per stick of salt. You can convert Unsalted to Salted by adding the 1/4 tsp back in.
- Margarine is made from animal fat, vegetable fats, etc. The amount of fat in margarine should be roughly equivalent to butter but some have far less fat.
- Crisco or shortening is almost 100% fat (soybean and palm oil). Crisco also comes in a butter-flavored variety.
For most recipes, you can substitute any of these 3 ingredients with equal portions of another. If you are making a recipe where the fat and water content are critical, you can use the following:
- If the recipe calls for 1 stick (4 oz by weight) of butter, use 3.2 oz. by weight (80%) of shortening plus 2 Tablespoons (20%) of water. So, shortening = 0.8 * butter plus water = 0.2 * butter.
- If the recipe calls for 4 oz. of shortening, use 5 oz of butter and decrease the other liquids in the recipe by 1 oz. (2 Tablespoons). So butter = shortening / 0.8 and you must reduce other water by shortening * 0.2
CONVERSIONS – VOLUME
- 1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 14.8 milliliters
- 2 Tablespoons = 1/8 cup = 29.6 milliliters
- 4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 59.2 milliliters
- 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons = 29.6 milliliters
- 1 cup = 8 oz. = 236.8 milliliters
- 2 cups = 1 pint = 473.6 milliliters
- 1 quart = 4 cups = 947.2 milliliters
- 1 quart = 2 pints = 947.2 milliliters
- 1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups = 128 fluid oz = 3800 milliliters = 3.8 liters
- 1/2 gallon = 2 quarts = 4 pints = 8 cups = 64 fluid oz = 1.89 liters
CONVERSIONS – DRY MEASURES:
- 1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon = 1 dash
- 1 cup = 8 fluid oz = 16 tablespoons = 48 teaspoons = 237 ml
- 3/4 cup = 6 fluid oz = 12 tablespoons = 36 teaspoons = 177 ml
- 2 cups of granulated sugar = 1 lb.
- 2 2/3 cups of powdered sugar or brown sugar = 1 lb.
FOOD COOKING TIMES:
|Loaf Bread||50-60||400 degrees|
- 1 ounce or 2 Tablespoons of dough makes about a 3″ cookie.
- 1/2 ounce or 1 Tablespoon of dough makes about a 2″ cookie.
- Dried pasta doubles in size when cooked.
- Fresh pasta only grows by about 25%.
- 2 oz. Uncooked, dried pasta yields approximately 1 cup of cooked pasta.
- For a side dish: 1 serving of dried, spaghetti style pasta is 2 oz. uncooked or 1 cup cooked. (For smaller dried pasta shapes, use 1/2 cup pre-cooked)
- For a main dish: 1 serving of dried, spaghetti style pasta is 4 oz. uncooked no or 2 cups cooked. (For smaller dried pasta shapes, use 1 cup pre-cooked)
- For a side dish: 1/2 egg and 1 cup flour per person.
- For a main dish: 1 egg and 2 cups of flour per person.
00 FLOUR (DOUBLE-OUGHT FLOUR) IN PASTA:
- If you want to add some body to your pasta, substitute 1/3 semolina and 2/3 all purpose flour for 00 flour in pasta recipes. Make sure you use fine-ground semolina or grind it yourself before use. Course ground semolina does not really work well for pasta.
- King Arthur pasta blend flour contains 11.75% protein content. This is about the same as most bread flours. You could used bread flour for pasta and just add a little more water to compensate for the larger grind.
1 lb of raw potatoes makes 2 cups of mashed or cooked potatoes.
Random Food Factoids
EGG VOLUME AND WEIGHTS:
- One large egg is approximately 3 Tablespoons.
- 1/3 of the volume (1 Tablespoon) is yolk and 2/3 of of the volume (2 Tablespoons) is white.
- To be more precise, large eggs weigh 48 grams. The yolk weighs 0.6 ounce (18 grams) and the egg white weighs 1.05 ounces (30 grams).
EGGS THAT TURN GREEN OR GREY:
- To keep scrambled eggs from turning grey, avoid using aluminum pans and utensils. The American Egg Board recommends 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice for every 12 eggs you scramble to minimize these chemical reactions.
MAKING CAKES EASIER TO FROST:
Sprinkle the top of the cake with flour as soon as you remove it from the oven. This will help strengthen and dry the top of the cake.
CUTTING HARD BOILED EGGS:
Dip a knife in water before cutting to keep it from sticking.
TO KEEP FRUIT FROM TURNING DARK AFTER CUTTING:
Coat with lemon juice.
HOW TO KEEP PEELED POTATOES FROM TURNING BROWN:
Place peeled or cut potatoes into cold water immediately to keep them from turning brown.
TO MAKE LETTUCE EASIER TO PEEL:
Cut the core out and run water into the hole.
TO KEEP PEANUT BUTTER FROM SEPARATING:
Store upside down (lid down) to keep the oil from separating.
A QUICKER WAY TO BAKE POTATOES:
Boil potatoes for 10 minutes before baking.
Warm 1 Cup of milk and add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 10 minutes. The vinegar adds acid to the milk. The acid is the reason buttermilk helps biscuits rise (think vinegar and baking soda reaction) and the reason why it helps tenderize chicken.
MEASURING BUTTER OR SHORTENING VIA WATER DISPLACEMENT:
It is a pain to try to measure out sticky ingredients into a measuring cup before adding it to a recipe. Using the water displacement method makes this easy. Place 1/2 Cup or 1 Cup of cold water in a measuring cup. Add chunks of butter or shortening until the volume increases by the amount called for in the recipe. Strain out the water and dump the butter or shortening into the mix.
SPICE CONVERSION RULES OF THUMB
When substituting dried herbs for fresh, use 1/3 the amount called for:
1 tablespoon fresh herb = 1 teaspoon dried herb
When substituting ground dried herbs for dried leaf herbs, use 1/2 the amount:
1 teaspoon dried leaf herb = 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herb
1 teaspoon beef bullion granules = 1 cup prepared bullion (with 25% more salt).
1 bullion cube = 1 teaspoon bullion granules.
Bullion Cubes are approximately 40% salt so reduce salt by about half a teaspoon for each bullion cube added.
- Allspice – substitute cinnamon, cassia, a dash of nutmeg or mace, or a dash of cloves
- Aniseed- substitute fennel seed, a few drops of anise extract or anise stars
- Apple Pie Spice – substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg plus 1/8 teaspoon cardamom plus 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice for 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
- Cajun Spice – substitute equal parts white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne and onion powder
- Cardamom – substitute ginger
- Chili powder – substitute a dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
- Cinnamon – 3 inches cinnamon stick = 1 teaspoon ground. You can substitute nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 the recipe amount of allspice)
- Cloves – 3 whole cloves = 1/4 teaspoon ground. You can substitute allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg
- Coriander – substitute ground caraway seed or cumin
- Cumin- substitute chili powder
- Garlic – 1 garlic clove = 1/8 teaspoon ground
- Ginger- substitute allspice, cinnamon, mace or nutmeg
- Mace – substitute allspice, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg
- Mustard – substitute wasabi powder (using only 1/4 to 1/2 as much as the recipe calls for since it is hotter), horseradish powder, or dry mustard powder using the equivalent 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder = 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- Nutmeg – substitute cinnamon, ginger or mace
- Poultry Seasoning – substitute sage plus a dash of marjoram, thyme, and black pepper
- Saffron – substitute a dash of turmeric or annatto powder for color
- Turmeric – substitute equivalent amount of Curry Powder or a dash of saffron for color plus ground mustard powder using a 1-to-1 ratio or use annatto powder
- Vanilla – 1 inch vanilla bean = 1 teaspoon extract
Cheese with a higher moisture content melts better. Or shredded cheese is usually drier than block cheese.
Don’t use pre-shredded cheese to make sauces (Mac & cheese). Shred block cheese yourself just before melting.
Cheese is an emulsion. If you heat it too much you will break the emulsion and the oil will separate.
There are a couple of types of melting salts that help the cheese stay emulsified. Sodium citrate and sodium hexametaphosphate are two of these. American Cheese (like pre-sliced, individually wrapped burger cheese) contains emulsifiers so it can melt without separating.
You can buy sodium citrate online. You can estimate about 1.5% to 4% by weight of sodium citrate to cheese but follow the directions on the sodium citrate package.
CAKE FLOUR SUBSTITUTES:
Cake flour has less protein than General Purpose flour. You need to thin our the flour to lower the protein content by about 12%. The easy way to do this is to measure out 1 cup of flour then remove 2 Tablespoons and replace them with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. The result is a flour that is 7/8 General Purpose flour and 1/8 cornstarch. You could also measure out 123 grams of General Purpose flour and 17 grams of cornstarch for each cup of flour.
WEIGHT OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR:
1 cup of flour weighs about 128 grams.
BAKING POWDER RATIO:
1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of general purpose flour.
SELF RISING FLOUR:
If a recipe calls for self-rising flour, use:
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour (or 4.25 oz. by weight)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
SELF RISING CORNMEAL:
If a recipe calls for self-rising corn meal, use:
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
TOMATO PASTE TO TOMATO SAUCE:
12 oz. can of tomato paste + 16 oz. water = 28 oz. tomato sauce
Some recipes actually call for 1 part paste to 2 parts water.
CANNED FOOD WEIGHT VS VOLUME:
When you buy in bulk, it is helpful to know how much is actually in a #10 can. I found this chart on the Internet and copied it here for reference.
|8 oz. can||8 oz.||1 Cup|
|Picnic||10-1/2 to 12 oz.||1-1/4 cups|
|12 oz. vacuum||12 oz.||1-1/2 cup|
|#1||11 oz.||1-1/3 cups|
|#1 tall||16 oz.||2 cups|
|#1 square||16 oz.||2 cups|
|#2||1lb. 4oz.||2-1/2 cups|
|#2.5||1lb. 13 oz.||3-1/2 cups|
|#2-1/2 square||31 oz.||Scant 4 cups|
|#5||56 oz.||7 cups|
|#10||6 lbs. 6 oz.||12-3/4 cups|
|#300||14 to 16 oz.||1-3/4 cup|
|#303||16 to 17 oz.||2 cups|
|Baby food jar||3-1/2 to 8 oz.||depends on size|
|Condensed milk||15 oz.||1-1/3 cup|
|Evaporated milk||14-1/2 oz.||1-2/3 cup|
|Frozen juice Concentrate||6 oz.||3/4 cup|
CROCK POT / SLOW COOKER TEMPERATURES:
A roaster typically holds about 18 quarts but a large crock pot only holds about 7 quarts. If you want to double a crock pot recipe, you need to cook it in a larger container in a roaster oven or in a conventional oven. Set the oven to the same temperature as the crock pot setting.
|Warm||165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Low||200 degrees Fahrenheit|
|High||300 degrees Fahrenheit|
Note: The high temperature setting cooks twice as fast as the low temperature setting.