This is a method of cooking food slowly in a well-covered pan containing little liquid for a long time. The food is served with the water. It is the method commonly used in making different types of soups. In stewing, a simmering temperature of about 90-96ºC is maintained but in boiling the temperature is 100ºC.
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Foods suitable for stewing are:
- Fresh and dried fruits
- All vegetables except green vegetables.
- Tough cuts of meat.
Reasons for stewing
- To keep the food tender.
- Stewing helps the connecting tissues of meat becomes gelatinized and fall apart.
- During stewing, protein coagulates without over-hardening.
- Stewing makes the soluble nutrient and flavour come into the liquid that is served with it.
Rules for stewing
- Cut food in small pieces.
- Use a saucepan with a cover.
- Bring to boiling point before reducing the heat.
- Use just enough liquid.
- Avoid opening the saucepan too frequently.
- Season well.
- Define stewing method.
- State five rules for stewing.
ADVANTAGES OF STEWING
- Stewing is the most economical method of cooking.
- It makes tough food tender and digestible.
- It needs very little attention.
- It is a conservative method of cooking because the juices which escape goes into the liquid served with the food, therefore nothing is wasted.
- Very little fuel is required during cooking.
DISADVANTAGES OF STEWING
- It is a long and slow method of cooking.
- The long cooking destroys some of the valuable nutrients in the food.
- It requires more attention than boiling to ensure the food does not burn.
- State two advantages of stewing.
- State three disadvantages of stewing.
This is the process of cooking food in hot oil or fat. Some foods need to be coated before frying.
Reasons for coating foods before frying
- To seal in the nutrients.
- To prevent breakage.
- To maintain the shape of the food.
- Coating also makes foods crispy and appetizing after frying.
TYPES OF FRYING
- SHALLOW FRYING: This is frying with just little amount of oil to cover the surface of the frying pan and to prevent burning. Suitable for frying are pan cakes, omelettes, fish, etc.
Types of Shallow Frying
- a) Sautéing: This is a method of frying foods quickly in a shallow pan of hot fat/oil, turning it until it is evenly browned. It is used for preparing only tender foods such as small cuts of meat, fish, vegetables, etc. It can also be used for flavouring foods (especially vegetables) used for garnishing e.g. tomatoes, onions, green pepper, etc.
- b) Griddle frying: Foods can be cooked on lightly oiled griddle pan or metal plate and turned frequently during cooking e.g. sliced onions, sausages, hamburgers, etc.
- c) Stir frying: This is fast frying in little oil using flat pan. Usually vegetables, meat or chicken cuts into stripes are cooked this way.
- DEEP OR FRENCH FRYING: This is when a lot of oil or fat is used in cooking foods. The oil is usually poured in a deep pan and is heated to boiling point; then the food is put inside the oil. The oil used must cover the food. Suitable foods for deep frying are chin-chin, doughnut, puff-puff, bean cakes, etc.
- DRY/SELF FRYING: This is a method used for foods which already contain fat. The fat melts and runs out of the food. It requires less heat. Bacon, herrings, sausages, etc. can be cooked this way.
- State three reasons for coating foods before frying.
- List and explain methods of frying.
STAGES IN HEATING OIL FOR DEEP FRYING
- Melting stage – Fat melts from solid to liquid form.
- Bubbling stage – When oil is being heated. The water in the oil boils out giving a bubbling sound.
- Frying stage – Here the bubbling sound ceases and blue haze smoke is produced.
- Decomposition – When the oil is over heated, it charred and brings about irritation of the throats.
RULES FOR FRYING
- Use clean oil or fat for frying.
- Heat the oil to the correct temperature before putting in the food to be fried.
- Fry only a small quantity at a time.
- Do not fry food with water.
- Avoid frequent turning of foods.
- Re-heat oil and bring back to the correct temperature before the next frying.
- Do not cover fried food while it is still hot.
- When frying, lower the food gently into the hot oil.
- When frying is over, turn off the heat and allow oil to cool before straining it.
Fats and oil suitable for frying
- Vegetable oils-ground nut oil, coconut oil
- Lard, Butter, Margarine,
- Fuller-butter from cow milk.
- List and explain the stages for deep frying.
- Explain three rules in frying.
ADVANTAGES OF FRYING
- It is a fast and quick method of cooking.
- Fried foods are attractive and tasty.
- If the food is coated, there is no loss of soluble nutrient.
DISADVANTAGES OF FRYING
- It needs constant attention.
- Fried foods are not easily digested. So it not a suitable method for preparing foods for infants and children, invalids and convalescent, aged and people with weak digestive systems.
- Fried foods are not appetizing when cold.
- If the fat is too hot, the food may be burnt and not cooked.
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- State two advantages of frying.
- State three disadvantages of frying.
- Explain the following:
– Dry frying
– Deep frying
– Shallow frying.
- State three rules for stewing.
- List and explain the principles of heat transfer.
- Food fried with little oil is called ____. A. shallow frying B. deep frying C. dry frying
- ____ is the best frying method for doughnuts A. Sautéing B. Braising C. Deep frying
- Shallow frying.
- Using frying method for flavouring food used for garnishing is called ____. A. sautéing
- braising C. dry frying D. shallow frying.
- To tenderize tough food, it is better with ____. A. frying B. steaming C. stewing D. slow method
- Simmering is associated with which of the following cooking methods? A. Boiling B. Stewing C. Steaming D. Frying
- Explain two advantages of frying.
- State three disadvantages of stewing.