Ancho Chile Pepper Powder
When poblanos (mild Mexican chile peppers) are dried, they become ancho chiles. These are ground to create ancho chile pepper powder. It has a sweet, fruity flavour and is mildly hot. Look for it where spices are sold.
High in mono-unsaturated fats, avocados are more than just the main ingredient for guacamole. Try them in salads, sliced in sandwiches or chopped onto crackers as an appetizer.
How to Pit an Avocado
Cut the avocado lengthwise in half around the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. The pit will stay in one of the halves. Cut each half in half again to make quarters; separate. The pit can then be easily removed from its section.
Baking Pans and Baking Dishes
In ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen recipes, a baking pan refers to a metal pan, while a baking dish refers to a glass or ceramic dish.
Baking pans are now available in a wide variety of sizes, materials and finishes. When using any new baking pan, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
At ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, we experimented with newly purchased baking pans. Our conclusions? Some baking pans require adjustments to baking times and/or reductions in oven temperatures by about 25°F (15°C) from those specified in recipes. Dark or coated pans typically brown foods more quickly than light shiny pans; however, foods may look done but may not be completely cooked in the centre. Always test for doneness.
Baking powder helps the batter of cakes, muffins, quick breads and other baking rise in the oven.
How to Check Freshness of Baking Powder
To check if baking powder still works, combine 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder with 1/3 cup
(75 mL) hot water. The mixture should bubble enthusiastically.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, only begins to act when it’s combined with acidic ingredients such as sour milk, lemon juice or vinegar. It helps the batter of muffins, quick breads and other baking rise.
How to Check Freshness of Baking Soda
To make sure baking soda works properly, combine 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda with 1/3 cup (75 mL) hot water and 1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar. The mixture should fizz.
A dark, mellow Italian vinegar made from white Trebbiano grape juice and aged in wooden casks for several years. Authentic balsamic vinegar is labelled aceto balsamico tradizionale. Less expensive varieties are actually red wine vinegar fortified with concentrated grape juice and sometimes caramelized sugar.
Bananas going brown in your fruit bowl? Freeze them to use later in recipes that call for mashed ripe bananas. Peel and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Place them in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to six months. The bananas will turn brown, but this discolouration isn’t a concern when using them in baked goods such as banana bread and banana muffins.
To spoon or brush melted fat, meat drippings or stock over food to keep it moist and add flavour during cooking.
A brush with a long handle is useful for applying basting sauces, glazes or marinades to foods during grilling. It's also handy for oiling the grid so food doesn't stick.
Rinse canned beans to remove excess salt and any starchy liquid. Drain the rinsed beans thoroughly before using in a recipe. Beans that are canned in a sauce, such as pork and beans or chili-style beans, are not rinsed before using.
Dried beans are a nutritious, delicious and economical addition to a well-rounded diet. While tins of your favourite black beans or chickpeas are handy during a time crunch, dried beans are easy to use. They must, of course, be soaked before cooking.
Also known as superfine sugar, this white sugar is more finely ground than granulated sugar and therefore dissolves more readily. It is often called for in baking or meringues where it is creamed, or in candy making.
To partially boil or steam food, then immediately immerse the food in ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching is used to soften and loosen skins (as in peaches and tomatoes), to deactivate enzymes and to set the colour of vegetables before freezing.
For an impressive presentation, blood oranges may be substituted for navel oranges. Blood oranges have a bright red or red-streaked pulp and are tart in flavour. In Alberta, the most readily available variety of blood orange is the Moro orange, usually found in grocery stores from December to March.
To cook food in a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan using low heat for a lengthy period of time. This develops flavour and tenderizes the food. It is ideal for less tender, more economical cuts of meat.
Brass Bristle Grill Brush
A brass wire brush used for cleaning the barbecue grid. Do not use brushes made from other metals.
There are fine dry bread crumbs and soft fresh bread crumbs; however, the two are not interchangeable in recipes. They absorb moisture differently, have different textures and are used for different purposes. You can find bread crumbs at your grocery store, or make your own.
How to Make Bread Crumbs
Place a single layer of bread slices on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F (150°C) until completely dry and lightly browned. Cool, then process in a food processor or blender until very fine.
To make soft fresh bread crumbs, place fresh bread slices (with or without crusts) in a food processor or blender and process until desired size of crumb is reached.
How to Make Buttered Bread Crumbs
To make buttered bread crumbs, either fine dry or soft fresh bread crumbs may be used. Combine 1/4 cup (50 mL) fine dry bread crumbs and 1 tbsp (15 mL) melted butter. If using soft fresh bread crumbs, combine 1 cup (250 mL) soft fresh bread crumbs and 1 - 2 tbsp (15 - 25 mL) melted butter.
How to Make Curried Bread Crumbs
Melt 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter in a frying pan. Stir in 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dry mustard and curry powder and a dash cayenne pepper. Cook for one minute. Add 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) soft fresh bread crumbs. Cook, stirring frequently, until bread crumbs are crisp and golden.
Eating the rind on brie cheese is a matter of personal preference. If baking a brie that will be served with toppings, remove only the rind on top of the cheese prior to baking. The remaining rind holds the cheese in place while it bakes.
Broccolini is a tender and sweet-tasting cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. It is bright green with long, slender stalks and tiny buds at the top that resemble a miniature broccoli head. If you can’t find broccolini, use broccoli.
Brown sugar is granulated white sugar combined with molasses. The two most common types of brown sugar used in baking are golden brown (or yellow) and dark brown. Brown sugar should be measured by packing it firmly enough into a dry measuring cup so that it holds the shape of the cup when turned out. For best results in ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen recipes, use golden brown sugar where specified and dark brown sugar where specified. If a recipe simply calls for packed brown sugar, either type may be used.