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Cheese was formerly considered somewhat difficult of digestion, but investigations (see Farmers' Bulletin 487, _The Digestion of Cheese_, p. 15.) show that cheese differs but little from meat in ease of digestion. Cheese, like protein foods in general, if cooked at all, should be heated at low or moderate temperature.
It is well to cook cheese in combination with other food materials. The use of cheese at the close of a dinner, when sufficient food has already been eaten, is not advisable.
CARE OF CHEESE.--Molds grow rapidly upon cheese, especially if it is placed in a warm place and the air is excluded from it (see _Why Foods Spoil_). For this reason, cheese should never be placed in a tightly covered dish or jar. It may be placed in a dish or jar and covered with a cloth. To keep cheese that has been cut from drying, wrap it in paraffin paper, then in a slightly dampened cloth, and then in paper. It should not, however, be kept in the damp cloth too long; molds will grow upon it.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 cupful macaroni 1 1/2 cupfuls medium White Sauce 2 cupfuls buttered crumbs 3/4 cupful grated cheese
Break macaroni into one-inch pieces. Cook in a large quantity of boiling, salted water, in the same manner as Boiled Rice. When tender, pour into a colander, and run cold water through it. Make the sauce, using half milk and half "macaroni water" for the liquid; then add the cheese and macaroni to it. Pour into a buttered baking-dish. Cover with the buttered crumbs and bake at 450 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until brown.
_Rice or noodles_, cooked in the same way, may be substituted for macaroni.
What must be the condition of cheese in order to grate it? If it is very soft, how should it be prepared to add to the sauce?
What is macaroni? What foodstuff does it contain in large quantity?
What is the effect of cold water on cooked macaroni (see Experiment 17)?
Why is it cooked in a large quantity of boiling water?
What does the water in which the macaroni was cooked contain?
What use can be made of the water that is drained from the macaroni (see _Cheese Sauce,_)?
What is the price per pound of macaroni? What is the price per pound of rice? What is the price per pound of cheese?
How much cheese, by weight, is required for one cupful of grated cheese?
How many will this recipe for Macaroni and Cheese serve?
How does cheese compare in price per pound with beefsteak? How does it compare in nutritive value? How much of the cheese is waste material? How much of beefsteak is waste material? Which is the cheaper food?
STRUCTURE OF BEEF--METHODS OF COOKING TENDER CUTS
MEAT.--The flesh of animals is called _meat_. In market this term is applied to the muscle, bone, and fat of beef (cattle), veal (calf), mutton (sheep), lamb, and pork (pig).
To show the structure and properties of the substances in lean meat, try the following experiments with beef:
EXPERIMENT 50: DIVISION OF MUSCLE.--Scrape a piece of lean beef on both sides until nothing remains but the stringy mass or framework of the meat. What is the color and texture, _i.e._ toughness, of the two parts into which the muscle is divided?
Lean meat, or muscle, of animals may be divided into two parts: (_a_) connective tissue or framework, and (_b_) muscle fiber.
Divide both the connective tissue and muscle fiber into two equal portions. Use them for Experiments 51 and 52.
EXPERIMENT 51: EFFECT OF DRY HEAT ON: (_a_) CONNECTIVE TISSUE.-- Examine the connective tissue and note its toughness. Place it in a frying pan and heat it for a few minutes. Examine it again. Is it made more tender or tough by dry heat?
(_b_) MUSCLE FIBER.--Shape one portion of the muscle fiber into a ball. Place it in a frying pan and heat as directed in (_a_). Is the fiber made more tender or tough by dry heat? Sprinkle a bit of salt over it and taste. What can you say regarding the flavor of the fiber?
EXPERIMENT 52: EFFECT OF MOISTURE AND HEAT ON: (_a_) CONNECTIVE TISSUE.--Place the second portion of connective tissue in a pan and cover it with water. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes. How do moisture and heat affect its toughness?
(_b_) MUSCLE FIBER.--Use the second portion of muscle fiber and cook in water at simmering temperature as directed in (_a_). How do heat and moisture affect its toughness? Sprinkle a bit of salt over it and taste. Compare its flavor with muscle fiber cooked by dry heat. Which has a more pleasing flavor?
From these experiments what conclusion can you draw with regard to the length of time--_long or short_--that _connective tissue_ must be cooked in order to make it tender? What conclusion can you draw with regard to the kind of heat--_dry or moist_--that must be applied to connective tissue to make it tender?
What conclusion can you draw regarding the effect of dry and moist heat upon muscle fiber? Which makes it more tender? Which develops the more pleasing flavor?
[Illustration: FIGURE 43.--STRUCTURE OF MEAT. A. muscle fibers; B. fat cells; C. connective tissue.]
THE STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF MEAT.--The connective tissue of meat is the material which holds the muscle fiber in place. One can get an idea of the structure of muscle fiber from some cuts of meat such as the rump. This meat when cooked can be torn into strands. On closer examination, however, one finds that these strands are made up of tiny tubes, microscopic in size, which are also held together by a network of connective tissue (see Figure 43). The microscopic tubes hold the muscle juice, which consists of water, protein, ash, coloring and flavoring materials. The latter give to meat its characteristic taste; they are called extractives. In the network of connective tissue, there is fat as shown also in Figure 43.
[Illustration: Courtesy of _Bureau of Publications_, Teachers College. FIGURE 44.--CLUB OR DELMONICO STEAK.]
The muscle juice found in muscle fiber not only contains protein, but the walls of muscle fiber and connective tissue contain protein. These proteins differ greatly in quality, however. They will be discussed in the following lesson.
CARE OF MEAT.--As soon as meat comes from the market remove the paper in which it is wrapped, and put the meat away in a cool place. Before cooking, wipe the meat with a damp cloth. Do not allow it to stand in cold water. If meat is to be roasted, it should be weighed before cooking.
SEARING MEAT.--Since the juice of meat contains both nutriment and flavor, it is desirable to retain the juice when meat is cooked. This can be accomplished by subjecting meat to intense heat. By so doing, the protein coagulates and "seals" the outside of the meat so that its juices are prevented from escaping. _This process is called searing._
[Illustration: Courtesy of _Bureau of Publications_, Teachers College FIGURE 45.--PORTERHOUSE]
From the results of Experiment 51 (_b_), one can understand why seared meat tastes good. Dry heat tends to develop flavor. Hence it is desirable to sear meat not only to prevent waste of its juices, but to make it tasty. After meat is seared, it is usually necessary to reduce the temperature of cooking in order to cook the interior of meat.
TENDER CUTS OF BEEF--Certain muscles of an animal used for food contain more connective tissue than others. Such muscles are considered tough cuts of meat. Other muscles contain either less connective tissue or the connective tissue is less tough. These are considered tender cuts.
[Illustration: FIGURE 46.--SIRLOIN,--HIP STEAK (portion next to the porterhouse) _Courtesy of Bureau of Publications, Teachers College_]
[Illustration: FIGURE 47.--SIRLOIN,--FLAT BONE (choice cut in the middle of the sirloin section). _Courtesy of Bureau of Publications, Teachers College._]
Muscles which are the least used by the animal are most tender. What parts of the beef would one expect to find most tender?
Certain methods of cooking meat are adapted to cooking the tender cuts. Unless meat is chopped, only tender cuts of meat can be cooked successfully by dry heat. The following methods are used for tender cuts of meat: (_a_) broiling, (_b_) pan-broiling, and (_c_) roasting (baking).
[Illustration: Courtesy of _Bureau of Publications_, Teachers College FIGURE 48.--SIRLOIN,--ROUND BONE (next to the rump and round).]
The best steaks of beef for broiling or pan-broiling are club (see Figure 44), porterhouse (see Figure 45), sirloin (see Figures 46, 47, 48), and first cuts of round. The best cuts for roasting are porterhouse, prime ribs (see Figures 49, 50), and sirloin.
Long shoulder or chuck (see Figures 51, 52), top round, and rump (see Figures 54 and 57) are inferior roasts.
[Illustration: Courtesy of _Bureau of Publications_, Teachers College FIGURE 49.--FIRST CUT PRIME RIB ROAST]
[Illustration: Courtesy of _Bureau of Publications_, Teachers College FIGURE 50.--SECOND CUT PRIME RIB ROAST]
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