Weekly Food for Thought with items on handling leftovers, cooking with alcohol, an easy recipe and more.
When it comes to holiday leftovers, many of us secretly relish that slice of cold turkey or ham the next morning. But before you take that first bite, it's important to ensure the leftovers you love stay safe, edible and bacteria-free.
Food scientist Kantha Shelke, a spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists and principal of Corvus Blue, a Chicago-based food science and research firm, offers some tips for managing leftovers:
Cooked meat can be stored three to four days in the fridge, while uncooked ground meats, poultry and seafood will last only a day or two. Raw roasts, steaks and chops (beef, veal, lamp or pork) can be refrigerated for three to five days. Casseroles, veggies and similar side dishes, as well as pie, will usually last three to five days.
If you have a lot of leftovers, you may choose to freeze them. Freezing completely halts bacterial activity, so food can stay safe and usable for months in the freezer.
When it's time to serve those leftovers again, a thermometer is the best way to ensure food has been heated to a safe temperature. Most foods, especially meats, should be heated to 165 degrees in the center. Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil. Never reheat leftovers in slow cookers or chafing dishes.
Whether you use the stove top or microwave to reheat will depend on the type of food. When reheating in a microwave, use a lower power setting to reheat without overcooking.
To learn more about food safety, visit www.IFT.org.
Tip of the Week: Cooking with alcohol
The amount of alcohol that burns off or evaporates during the cooking process varies depending on the amount of spirits, wine or beer being used and the cooking time and temperature. Added to boiling liquid at the end of cooking, about 85 percent remains. A flambé dish may retain about 75 percent. Braised dishes cooking for around 2 1/2 hours will retain only about 5 percent.
Easy recipe:Cocoa Chile Rub
1 tablespoon unsweetened (natural) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chile powder
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch dried oregano
pinch dried thyme
pinch garlic powder
pinch onion powder
pinch coriander powder
Mix together and store in a tightly capped glass bottle. Rub on steak or poultry on both sides and refrigerate for 2 hours, covered. Then grill the meat as usual.
-- Canton (Ohio) Repository
Did You Know?
To help you drink eight glasses of water per day, add lemon or lime for flavor and eat water-rich foods like watermelons and tomatoes. – EatRight.org
Lobster meat can be found in several places in a lobster, including the legs, tail, torso, and the two front claws. Where is the majority of lobster meat found?
A. The tail and two front claws
B. Tail and legs
C. Legs and torso
D. Two front claws and legs
Answer is at bottom of column
Wise to the Word: pancetta
[pan-CHEH-tuh] An Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices but not smoked. Flavorful, slightly salty pancetta comes in a sausage-like roll. It is used in Italian cooking to flavor sauces, pasta dishes, forcemeats, vegetables and meats. Pancetta can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks, or frozen up to 6 months.
Number to Know
360: One 5.7-ounce piece of KFC's Original Recipe breaded chicken is 360 calories.
The Dish On …
"Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn't Cook from Scratch" by Jennifer Reese
Reese began a series of kitchen-related experiments, taking into account the competing demands of everyday contemporary American family life as she answers some timely questions: When is homemade better? Cheaper? Some of Reese’s discoveries will surprise you.
This book gives 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun “make or buy” recommendations. Reese is relentlessly entertaining as she relates her food and animal husbandry adventures, which amuse and perplex as well as nourish and sustain her family.
-- Free Press
From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Barrel-aged, fruit added
I’ve been a fan of all the Boulevard Brewing Company’s beers I have tried so far, so I can’t wait to try their latest, the annual release of its Bourbon Barrel Quad. I am quite excited to try it. Not only is it from a brewery that I enjoy, but it is a bourbon barrel-aged beer, which I absolutely love. In addition, cherries are added to the beer. I love fruit added to quads. It is a big beer, coming in at 11.8 percent alcohol by volume.
To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.
Food Quiz Answer
A. The tail and two front claws
GateHouse News Service