Score one for making citrus fruit easier to peel

WHAT'S COOKING?

July 13, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: I'm sure there must be some trick that makes the peeling of citrus fruits easier, but I don't know what it is. Any suggestions?

A: A process that makes neat work of peeling oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes is to first cut off each end. Then with a very sharp or serrated knife, make 4 to 6 score cuts that cut through the skin but not the fruit, from the top to the bottom. You can now peel away each segment of skin from the whole fruit.

Q: How do you freshen crackers and cookies that have become stale? So many of mine end up in the garbage.

A: One way to freshen crackers and cookies (that aren't frosted) is to dry and recrisp them in a very low (about 225 degrees) oven for about 30 minutes. Make sure that they are spread in a single layer on a flat baking sheet. I have also used this technique for slightly stale tortilla chips. Be sure to store opened packages of crackers and cookies in a zipper bag and then in an air-tight tin.

Q: What is cilantro?

A: Cilantro, also called coriander and Chinese parsley, is a flat leaf herb that is a member of the parsley family. The leaf is said to be the world's most widely used herb, but is usually an acquired taste. Its seeds, known as coriander seeds, are used diversely in pickling, curry blends, soups and baked goods. The flat, lacy leaves are predominantly used for seasoning in Asian, Spanish and Mexican styles or spicy foods.

We'd like to hear from you. Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or leave your questions by phone by calling Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch 6180 after the greeting. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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