Blanching readies vegetables for freezer

WHAT'S COOKING?

November 17, 1993|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Q: I would like to freeze some of the abundant produce available now while prices are still reasonable. Can you give me any tips?

A: Some vegetables such as asparagus, beans, broccoli, corn, carrots, peas and squash freeze better if first blanched before freezing. Then They should be thoroughly cooled before packaging in a sturdy plastic zipper bag or container. Leave half an inch to one-inch head space in the package. Vegetables that do not freeze well include celery, salad greens, cucumbers, mushrooms and radishes.

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Q: What is a Bolognese Sauce?

A: A: Bolognese is a sauce of Italian origin usually red in color and containing meat.

Q: When I had a gas oven I used to bake cookies with a recipe that called for leaving the cookies overnight in the turned-off oven and using the small amount of heat supplied by the pilot light to give the finish. What can I do now that I have an electric oven?

A: According to Flo Braker, author of "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking," the recipe's baking time and temperature will need to be adapted for use with an electric oven. Complete the initial part of the baking at the temperature specified in your recipe, 350-degrees for example, and then reduce the heat to 140 degrees and let the cookies continue to bake at that low temperature for an additional hour. Remove and cool.

Q: What does it mean to "dredge" a food item?

A: Dredging is a term used to describe the process of gently dragging a moistened food item through a dry seasoning or coating so that the coating will stick to the surface.

Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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