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Preparing Beef, Lamb, Pork, Fish and Poultry for a Week's Menu
June 11 (Friday) Cooking Techniques - Beef, Lamb & Pork or Fish or Poultry
A week's menu is to hard to plan if you don't have any idea how to start. That's my first notion about it when I was starting Catering 101 classes in maritime school (Mariner's Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Inc.) back in our province (Baras, Canaman, Camarines Sur) in the Philippines. Thanks to our lady instructor. She (Maám Baby Lazaro) never tire of inspiring us to plan, cook and review our prepared menu for a week, although most of the guys were jesters ( to the max!) that often made her to go out the food laboratory room. But her perseverance paid well; I was able to incorporate those theoritical knowledge in the actual working galley onboard a merchant ship.
We usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday; others skip one of the human's eating routine. Some are complaining because they're on a diet. What's on a diet anyway? Meat products and fish are all sources of protein and other vitamins and minerals. So, let me share a sample of the usual menu that we follow in a week,whether at home or while at work in a restaurant, hotels or ships.
Day/s Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Chicken Fish Pork
Tuesday Pork Beef Poultry
Wednesday Beef Fish Lamb
Thursday Lamb Poultry Beef
Friday Poultry Fish Pork
Saturday Pork Lamb Beef
Sunday Beef Pork Poultry
I just mentioned the kind of meat, fish and poultry that you are going to cook. The usual breakfast menu have little meat content, like chicken, pork or beef sausages, boiled eggs or sunny-side up fried eggs or even lamb sausages. There are meat products combining chicken, pork and beef for a sausage. (Wow!) Maybe, they do it for marketing, but the taste is not so good. You better make a special sausage at home. during lunchtime, prepared meat and poultry are usually stewed, made as soup, fried, grilled or roasted, bake or even boiled.
Stewed, Grilled, Fried, Baked or Boiled
1. Chicken - What I most like about cooking chicken is when I bake it. Baking time is the only period you'll wait until it is cooked (with all the indicators, like the aroma that is pleasing to our sense of smell). Just don't forget to prepare the stuffing and the gravy (usually prepared from the drifted chicken fat in the pan with little flour and butter). I also boil it for chicken soup (good food for those who suffer nasal problems asin in colds and sinusitis). Just remove the bones, strip th fllesh and add mixed vegetable to enhance the taste of the soup.
You can fry the fleshy parts (drumstick or legs, thighs, breasts) and use the other parts ion making chicken soup or stock.
Stuffed turkey is a favorite during special Sunday gathering. It is usually baked and the flesh is carved into small parts.
2. Pork - You can separate the flesh from the fatty parts. You can stew the fleshor maket a steak out of it. You can boil the fatty parts with minced onion, garlic, with salt, pepper and vinegar; then fry it (like chicharon) as fingerfood. You can roast or grill the flesh with fatty part, (usually we, Filipinos, fry it as pork chop-marinated first in soy sauce, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper). You can also bake it or roast it. There are endless possibilities when cooking meat, like pork. Pigs are mostly hybrids today, so you can tend it at home for three months and you can have it butcher or market it later.
3. Beef - I like beef when stewed (as in cadereta) in tomato sauce or in liver sauce (as in mechado). Angus beef has soft flesh, which is ideal for roasted beef, whether it's rare (with blood), medium rare or well done. Beef strips is good for Korean beef soup (with lots of garlic and onion sprouts). Ground beef is ideal for beef loaf (usually cooked in bread pan).
4. Lamb - is idea for roasting or grilling. We usually roast it during Saturday party onboard ship. If you want to stew it, you'll patiently remove the fatty parts, sauteed the flesh in tomato sauce then simmer. I personally like it roasted and with just a pinch of lemon juice, and hmm, it's heaven!
5. Fish -Boil, fry or grill it. You can make a simple vinegar-olive oil (or vegetable oil) with salt and pepper fish sauce both for grilled and boiled fish. For sweet and sour fish sauce, you can saute minced garlic and onion, julliened (cut into toothpick-like strips) carrots, ginger (julliened), with tomato sauce, vinegar, little sugar, salt and pepper.
Preserving Fish, Poultry or Meats
Since time in memoriam, early civilization deviced ways to preserve meat, poultry and fish. Usually, they dried it under the heat of the sun. Later, when they discover the use of fire, they smoked it for future use. So, it will stay much longer than the usual short period of consumption to avoid spoilage.
Nowadays, with the use of mixed chemicals and available ingredients from nature of at home, we can cure meat, smoke fish or store poultry easily.
1. Freezing - Meats, Fish and Poultry products can be frozen. For example, fishermen in a commercial ship have storeroom that freeze the catch or fish in a jiffy (fast). When pig, big or lamb are butchered, it will be frozen fast to avoid spoilage. The expiration of frozen foods will be indicated in the coverings of the product. The store or provision rooms for meats, fish and poultry have a -10 degree Celsius as the maintaining temperature. Frozen foods usually last foor a long time (like three years); as long as the handling and maintenance is well taken care of.
2. Curing - is applicable to meats, like pork (as in tocino), or beef (as in tapa). For pork tocino, you can cure it with vinegar (as acid), salt, pepper and sugar or salitre. You can also put ground garlic for a distinct taste. Let it be cured for a night or for three days and you can cook it for breakfast by boiling until the liquid part dried. The same procedurre is applied when curing beef.
3. Smoked - Is best for fish, although our forefather used to have smoked pork or beef. I like tinapa or smoked fish here in the Philippines. Just fry it then have a tomato salad and hot boiled rice for breakfast. When smoking fish, you must select a grouper fish (medium sized), boil it first with salt, drain for at least 1 hour, then smoke it with wood. In our home, we usually have a native round winnowing bowl (used for rice harvest) that use in draining fish). Underneath it, you can let sawdust or wood chips smoke (avoid inflaming big fire). You can turn the fish one at a time until all parts become shiny brown.
4. Canning - I didn't experience it personally for meats, poultry or fish but for fruit preservation (as in making jelly or jam), I had a hands on for it. We usually buy canned meats, fish (sardines in oil or sauce) commercially.
Food preservation will surely help you budget fooof consumption at home for a day, a week, months and the whole year round.