Quick tips jan/feb 95

Yield: 1 info

Measure Ingredient
Cleaning Cultivated Mushrooms
Pressing Crumb Crusts
Making a Foil Cover for Pie Crusts
Halving Cranberries
Loading a Pastry Bag
Juicing a Pomegranate
Weighting Food Evenly
Cutting Butter into Flour

Mushrooms need to be cleaned, but brushing them leaves dirt behind and washing them changes the texture. Try this.

Hold the mushroom by the stem and turn it over so you can see the underside of the cap. Grasp a piece of the fringe around the cap border; pull this very thin layer up and over the cap. Repeat until the cap is completely cleaned.

Here's an easy way to press graham cracker crusts into the bottoms of pans. For larger crusts, use the bottom of a glass to press the crumb mixture into the pan. When making miniature tarts and cheese cakes, use the bottom of a cordial glass or the cork from a cordial bottle.

Lay out a square of foil large enough to cover the pie. Fold the square in half and then in half again to form a smaller square. Place the closed corner point in the center of the pie and cut an arc. When you unfold the foil, you will have cut out a circle from the middle of the sheet. This open circle exposes the pie while the remaining ring of foil covers the crust.

Place the cranberries in the gutter of a carving board, then use a large knife to halve them all at once.

When loading a pastry for piping, simply roll the top of the bag down about 2 inches, then use an ice cream scoop for easy loading with no mess.

: Separating and Peeling Large Amounts of Garlic 1. Press down on the garlic head with the heel of your hand to loosen the cloves.

2. Remove as much of the papery skin from the outside of the head as possible.

3. Place the head of garlic in a very lightly oiled mixing bowl of an electric mixer and fit the mixer with a paddle attachment.

4. Mix until the cloves are separated and the peels are removed.

1. Place the pomegranate on the counter and roll the fruit back and forth to burst the pockets of juice beneath the thick skin. Be careful not to break the skin as you roll it.

2. With a small, sharp knife, cut round the stem of the fruit.

3. Remove the stem section.

4. Carefully turn the fruit upside down into a glass, and squeeze the pomegranate until all the juice is expelled.

When weighing salted eggplant or cucumber to extract the liquid, it is difficult to apply weigh evenly across the surface of the food. Try this. Place the vegetable in a colander. Fill a gallon-size plastic bag one half to two thirds full of water. Twist-tie the bag closed and use it as a weight.

When you don't want to use the food processor to cut in butter, try this. Using the large holes of your grater, grate frozen butter into the bowl containing the flour and other dry ingredients, then finish cutting in the butter with forks or a pastry cutter.

Cook's Illustrated January/February 1995 Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 12-21-94

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