2009年11月12日

Cotton in the Kitchen

Cotton collection in the your kitchen add function and flair. They are at home in the kitchen and not just as the cottonseed oil found in products ranging from potato chips to salad dressing. Cotton lends itself easily to home textiles such as kitchen towels and aprons because it is a hollow fiber that readily accepts dyes and promotes comfort through breathability. Beyond these obvious uses for cotton, there are others that get right to the heart of any chef's culinary skills.

Cheesecloth, for example, can be used to clarify butter, strain homemade stock and, when soaked in a combination of broth or wine, butter and herbs, creates a rich lacquered effect on roasted poultry.

Similar to cheesecloth are spice bags. As the name implies, these can be used to hold spices when preparing dishes or sauces in which loose spices and herbs would create an undesirable texture. They are also ideal for steeping loose teas. The drawstring allows all the flavor of the bag's contents to infuse the dish or sauce, but keeps the solids contained. And, if you are frugal and environmentally conscious, they can be washed and reused.

An indispensable item in any kitchen is butcher's twine, sometimes called kitchen string. One roll should last the average cook from one Thanksgiving to the next. Butcher's twine can be used to tie roasts so that they keep their shape, to secure the legs of poultry for roasting and, when tied to a spice bag, makes retrieving the bag a breeze. The advantage of cotton here is that it won't taint the flavor of whatever it is bound to, unlike a synthetic-based twine.

To learn more, check my Cosy Cotton blog: Cosy Cotton for Your Home Cotton Collection


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