29

There is no reason to worry. The worst thing which can happen is that a piece of bay leaf, being somewhat hard, can lodge somewhere in your digestive system, necessitating a trip to ER. But a medical paper on the topic starts its discussion section with the sentence "Reports discussing ingestion of bay leaves have been exceedingly scant". They only cite 10 ...


19

Tearing is NOT worth the extra effort, tested experimentally. Others have explored the theoretical reasons behind this, so I decided to test it in real life. I did this like so: Green leaf lettuce from the local CSA Cut one leaf with a sharp knife (stainless), and tore the second leaf carefully by hand (fast, clean tears) Pieces were both wrapped in moist ...


15

I am going to assume you are cooking the rice on a pot rather than in rice cooker. If you are cooking it in the rice cooker, you wouldn't need to lift the lid to check for done-ness. However if you are cooking in a rice cooker, the lid should not be immediately lifted off after it says it is done cooking. You need to let it sit for about 5-10 minutes so the ...


13

I've found stones in dried beans, so it's no myth. Not common, but I'd say I find one every year or two. If you simply swallowed a small stone, it would almost certainly pass without harm, but as TFD pointed out in his comment, biting down on one could be an expensive and painful dental experience. What I do is spread the beans out on a kitchen towel in a ...


11

Salmon or Tuna will make a very strong flavoured stock and will have lots of oil that coat your tongue. Not what you're looking for if you want a light brightly flavoured fish sauce. In a traditional French kitchen you want generic stocks (fish/brown/chicken/veal) that are able to be used for a wide range of sauces/dishes so having a salmon stock around ...


9

As a beer brewer, I'm pretty concerned with fizz ;) Since the below may be a little tl;dr, the short answer to your question is, "I don't think so." This is actually the first time I've heard of the metal spoon "trick", so I can't directly comment on that, but I'll share a little of what I know about carbonation. Carbonation is carbon dioxide (CO2) that ...


9

Bay leaves are definitely edible. I have always heard the same warning, but after seeing flaked bay leaves for sale at the store, I concluded they were safe. This wiki summarizes it as they are safe (if you can stand the flavor), except they are often still stiff after cooking and could potentially cause choking or scratching. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


7

The effects are negligible, assuming you are not lifting the lid for more than a few seconds. There is a lot of liquid water in the system, so heat loss will be barely measurable. Same goes for the amount of water exiting the system in the form of steam.


7

Harold McGee discusses this in On Food And Cooking. From the Preparing Salads section on page 318: If the leaves need to be be divided into smaller pieces, this should be done with the least possible physical pressure, which can crush cells and initiate the development of off-flavours and darkened patches. Cutting with a sharp knife is generally the most ...


7

If the food is spoiled, no, it's still unsafe, because cooking may not destroy toxins that have built up over time. Botulism is a particularly nasty one that will not be destroyed without pressure cooking, and can really, really mess you up. ... but in the case of canned goods, if the cans are still intact (no punctures, rust, etc), and the canning process ...


6

French fries are often double-fried: They are par-fried at a low temperature, to cook all the way through, after which they are often frozen They are finish-fried at a higher temperature to crisp up and be hot for presentation The type of potato matters--high starch like Idahos are ideal. Here is a link to a Serious Eats article by Kenji Alt describing ...


6

The browning of Lettuce leaves are due to the reaction of polyphenol(a chemical in any fruit or vegetable) and enzymes. This is due to two main causes: Aging Cell damage (i.e. from cutting, tearing) Every cell has separate chambers for these two, if they somehow leak, and get mixed up, this would cause browning. Cutting and tearing cause damage to the ...


6

The only difference between a bamboo steamer and a metal/plastic steamer is that a bamboo steamer will absorb (some of the) moisture from the steam, rather than allowing it to recondense and drop into the food. It's possible that recondensed moisture could take a small amount of water-soluble nutrients with it, but between the limited ability of bamboo to ...


6

It is not the brand. What you are seeing is just a bit of polymerisation, this occurs normally with thin layers of oil exposed to the air for a long time (on the bottle) and especially to a combination of air and heat (on the burner). All oils polymerise to some degree. But if you buy a oil designed specifically for very high heat applications, you will ...


6

Here's the deal ... if your pan is seasoned correctly using an oil with a high iodine value, then no, soap won't harm it. If it's not seasoned correctly, then it could need a strip & reseason. If you're using a low iodine oil (the surface will be slightly tacky when the pan is cool), then it also might ablate the surface somewhat, and repeated ...


5

In my experience lettuce will brown faster if cut instead of torn. However as most people are consuming the lettuce within the day, cutting won't make much of a difference if you plan on serving within the hour. It will generally show up the next morning. Iceberg and Romaine are the two lettuce types that come to mind as being nasty for browning. Also ...


5

Opening it once or twice shouldn't be a problem, as long as you do it fairly quickly. I've had to do that before when cooking rice on the stove simply because it was foaming up too much due to the starch. That being said, I haven't had to check rice for doneness before. Jay's instructions for cooking rice are the same instructions I've used and it cooks ...


5

Tearing lettuce is worth the effort It takes a reasonably similar amount of time as cutting, and a different but comparable amount of work. If you are planning on eating the salad soon, all the above comments apply as to the browning effect. However, browning isn't the only consideration when deciding between cutting and tearing. Texture is as essential ...


5

It causes the pepper to steam a bit, making it easier to remove the charred skin. (resting might also be a factor ... I've never done a side-by-side comparison of covered vs. uncovered)


4

I've made peanut butter cookies with various "all natural" peanut butters, containing no extra oil/fat, just peanuts and possibly salt. They didn't split. I suppose the recipe you're looking at could be somehow different but it seems really unlikely. I haven't even seen splitting in cooked sauces using these kinds of peanut butter, along with plenty of other ...


4

ANY amount of water on the jar or the ingredients does result in the formation of whitish fungus at the affected spot. This will later turn black and the pickle will sour giving off a fermented smell. The only exception is if that spot is well immersed in oil- but no guarantee it is off! The "water" in the fruit, being juice, fights formation of fungus and ...


4

Broken glass is perhaps tipping it a bit strong, but the thick central stem of bay leaves does mean they stay quite rigid even when cooked, so there is potential for scratching the intestinal lining if a whole one was swallowed. I don't think small fragments would do much damage however - certainly no more than a bit of un-chewed potato chip or boiled ...


4

According to the World Health Organization, it is technically possible to catch certain diseases by handling raw meat with cut or abraded skin. However, that example was a pig disease only occurring in a specific region. I could find no references to similar disease transmission from chicken, and you definitely won't get food poisoning, which relies on long ...


3

My own experience confirms the answers from the related question from Skeptics. If you hang a spoon inside an open bottle, the fizz goes out. However, I've been able to keep the fizz in the bottle for a couple of days by putting cling film over the top.


3

Ok, here we go....my mom was a total tyrant when it came to cooking rice properly. Yes, she is Japanese. Yes, from Japan. And yes, I'm one of those people who freak out when people lift the lid when it's cooking. Here is how it was explained to me. I have subsequently tested the theory and found hard, empirical evidence on why lifting the lid is BAD. I ...


2

Peanut butters that are not "all natural" include cheaper oils along with sugar and emulsifiers to keep the mixture from separating and to make it lighter and smoother. That lack of emulsifiers could make a huge difference but it depends a lot on the recipe. In a normal cookie dough fat is creamed with sugar and eggs are beaten in one at a time which adds ...


2

Francois Chartier, author of "Taste Buds and Molecules" wrote an interesting blog on vanilla that covered how the complex flavor properties round out and temper stronger flavors as well as mute very spicy flavors. Here is a link to that blog - it filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of vanilla: UPDATE: Oops. Link is no longer available. Learned my ...


2

The keeping qualities will be dependent on the combination of the salt/acidity of the product (preventing growth of some micro-organism) and the heat treatment that it and the packaging receives (removal of others). However it is possible that if there is a small quantity of water introduced in a particular area of the product or packaging - for example ...


2

This sounds like an old wives' tale to me. The only basis I can think of for it is that a certain amount of not-especially-clean water, especially fermenting in a hot region, would promote undesirable fungal growth before the juice from the fruit has a chance to form an inhibiting brine with the salt (the acid also, of course, has anti-microbial possiblities)...


1

No, it's not true. Bamboo steamers have no special qualities as opposed to regular steamers. Steaming some food as opposed to boiling preserves some nutrients, how you steam won't make a difference as long as your equipment and process are up to the job.


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