Cooking Techniques

Molokhovets was a good, practical cook; her suggestions were sound for the time, and some are still sensible in today’s kitchen. To release the meat juices into soup broth, she recommended starting with cold water, but to seal the juices in the meat, she plunged it into boiling water (#iii). Similarly, she advised cooking small fish in boiling water, but starting large fish in cold water (#94). To tenderize chicken, she cooked it with a piece of crystal such as the stopper of a carafe (#47), and to tenderize beef, she added vodka to the cooking water (#xii). She used birch coals to improve the flavor of meat (#xii), to rid fish of its marshy taste (Chapter 7, Remarks), and to remove unpleasant odors from vodka (#2142). To reduce the odor of a turkey while it is roasting—an odor which she said many people found objectionable—she recommended placing a piece of fresh ginger in the cavity (Chapter 6, Remarks).

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