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Food preparation refers to the process of getting food ready for cooking or consumption. It involves various steps, such as washing, cutting, peeling, and seasoning ingredients, as well as organizing and arranging them for cooking or serving. Food preparation can vary depending on the type of cuisine, the recipe, and personal preferences.

Food Preparation

Here are some common steps involved in food preparation:

1. Gathering ingredients: Collect all the necessary ingredients for the recipe. This includes fresh produce, meat, spices, and any other components required.

2. Washing: Thoroughly rinse fruits, vegetables, and herbs under running water to remove any dirt, chemicals, or bacteria.

3. Cutting and chopping: Use knives or other appropriate tools to cut, slice, or chop ingredients into the desired shapes and sizes. This can include dicing onions, slicing carrots, or mincing garlic.

4. Peeling: Remove the outer skin or peel from certain ingredients, such as potatoes, carrots, or ginger, using a peeler or a knife.

5. Mixing and combining: Combine different ingredients in bowls or containers as directed by the recipe. This could involve mixing dry ingredients together or combining wet and dry ingredients.

6. Seasoning: Add spices, herbs, salt, pepper, or other flavorings to enhance the taste of the dish. The amount and type of seasoning depend on personal preference and the recipe.

7. Marinating: If a recipe calls for marinating meat or vegetables, place them in a marinade to absorb flavors and tenderize before cooking.

8. Preheating: For baking or certain cooking methods, preheat ovens, stovetops, or grills to the required temperature before starting to cook.

9. Cooking: Follow the recipe instructions for cooking methods such as boiling, sautéing, baking, grilling, or frying to prepare the food. Pay attention to cooking times and temperatures.

10. Plating and garnishing: Arrange the cooked food on plates or serving dishes in an appealing manner. Add garnishes like herbs, sauces, or decorative elements to enhance the visual appeal.

11. Serving: Present the prepared food to individuals or guests for consumption. This can involve transferring portions onto individual plates or serving dishes at a buffet.

It’s important to note that food safety practices should always be followed during food preparation to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. This includes proper handwashing, avoiding cross-contamination, cooking foods to appropriate temperatures, and storing leftovers safely.

FOOD PREPARATION TERMS

  • Stir
  • Blend, mix, and combine
  • Beat
  • Cream
  • Grate
  • Slice
  • Coat
  • Garnish
  • Grease
  • Seasoning
  • Strain

Reasons for cooking food

  • It makes food easier to eat
  • It makes food more appetizing and pleasant
  • It makes food easier to digest
  • It makes food safe to eat
  • It improves the appearance of the food
  • It improves the taste of the food.

METHODS OF COOKING FOOD

  • Boiling
  • Stewing
  • Steaming
  • Frying
  • Roasting
  • Baking

GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING A COOKING METHOD

  • Type of food being cooked
  • Loss of nutrients
  • Age and health of persons to eat the foods
  • Facilities available for cooking
  • Time available.

Preparation of simple meal

Egg custard

Ingredients:

¼ litre of milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

Vanilla essence if desire.

Method

  • Put the sugar into a mixing bowl
  • Break the egg into the bowl
  • Add milk and vanilla essence slowly and whisk
  • Pour into a greased Pyrex dish or any other container suitable for steaming.
  • Place a steamer
  • Steam for about 30 minutes or until the custard is set
  • Serve hot.

    See also

    FOOD PREPARATION

    BUYING, PRESERVATION AND STORAGE OF FOOD

    NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY

    FEEDING THE FAMILY

    BUDGETING

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