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Ask the Inquisitive Cooks

Past Weeks' Questions:

"What can I do about bitter eggplant?"
"How is fish different from other meat, and how does this difference affect fish when it's cooked?"
"How do eggs affect the consistency of cupcakes and what does baking soda do to brownies?"
"What is a "bain-marie"?"
"Is it safe to thaw and refreeze meat?"
"How can I make muffins without traditional leaveners?"
"How does adding baking soda affect persimmon bread?"
"How can I tell if a pear is ripe and ready to eat?"
"Why is my angel food cake such a flop?"
"Why does the meat I cook in liquid taste dry?"
"Does alcohol disappear when it's cooked?"
"How can I keep my cheese fondue from clumping?"
"Why won't my cranberry sauce gel?"
"Why did my bottle of sherry become slushy?"
"What happens to potatoes when they're cooked?"
"Do you have an ideas for gluten-free recipes"
"How long should a roasting turkey be covered with foil?"
"What's really happening when you churn butter?"
"What is the difference between baking and roasting?"
"When you beat egg whites, does denaturation occur?"
"How can I cook pork that is juicy rather than dry?"
"What is the difference between sauteing and "sweating" onions?"
"What is the purpose of salt in cake recipes?"
"How does cornstarch work?"

"How do I make a good pizza dough?"
"How can I find out how much pectin is in fruit?"
"What can you tell me about preserving mulberries?"
"Why are baked potatoes soggy sometimes?"
"How can I keep chicken tender?"
"Can you get salmonella from raw eggs?"
"For how long should I boil corn on the cob?"
"Why are my jars of canned pears exploding?"
"Can you give me basic home-canning instructions?"
"What's the difference between rye and pumpernickel?"
"Why does wine pop its cork in the freezer?"
"Can you leave out the baking soda in a muffin recipe?"
"Why does cooked shrimp turn pink?"
"What does redness near the bones of a cooked chicken mean?"
"What is a legume?"
"What's the brown stuff in the bottom of my pot?"
"How do different fats affect the texture of cookies when I bake them?"
"What causes the flavor of vegetables to change when cooked?"
"How can I reduce the sugar in preserves and have them still turn out?"
"Why are the ends of asparagus tough, and how can I keep it green?"
"What is the science of baking a pound cake?"
"Why does leftover coleslaw turn bitter?"
"Can I use whole wheat flour exclusively without adding white flour when making bread?"
"What is filo dough and how can I make it?"
"Can braising work well for vegetables too?"
"Why steam bread when you bake it?"
"Why do roux sauces get thicker when liquid is first introduced during cooking?"
"What does salt do to a meringue mixture?"
"What is the difference between a pressure cooker and a slow cooker?"
"Why do hotdogs plump when you cook them?"
"What makes cakes fall?"
"What can be substituted for eggs when cooking?"
"How can I get my cookies to turn out the way I want them to?"
"What do you mean, "Punch the dough"?"
"I have some whey vanilla powder, can you tell me how to use it?"
"What exactly makes light veal turn into dark beef?"
"How does fat affect gluten development?"
"What difference does altitude make in jam-making?"
"Can I substitute ground ginger for crystallized ginger in a muffin recipe?"
"Can I use honey to prevent my candies from crystallizing?"
"Why do recipes recommend a pinch of cream of tartar and a dash of vinegar in toffee?"
"What's the best way to store holiday cookies?"
"Are the products in our home freezer actually at different temperatures?"
"What is the exact difference between tough and tender meat?"
"Why do organic foods taste more pungent?"
"Help! My bread is either too hard, or too sour, or doesn't rise at all."
"Is it okay to leave eggs un-refrigerated?"
"Why is my lemon meringue pie mushy?"
"How does the way it is prepared affect garlic's flavor?"
"Why salt that eggplant?"
"How does meat gets its flavor?"
"Why does my melted chocolate seize up?"
"How does the size and shape of the cooking utensil affect cooking?"
"What keeps the meat so pink after cooking?"
"Is the poison sac in the squid dangerous enough to kill you?"
"What is 'Dutched cocoa' and how does it differ from other cocoas?"
"When a recipe says to cream fat and sugar until fluffy, how long does that take?"
"How can you tell when a steak is done?"
"How do baking powder and baking soda work?"
"Does a green potato=poison?"

 

 

 

Anne Gardiner & Sue Wilson are the authors, with the Exploratorium, of the book The Inquisitive Cook.

 

 

 

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