CONTROL OF INGREDIENTS
The quality of the food prepared in dining facilities can be controlled to a great extent by the strict adherence to the standard recipes. Ingredients inaccurately weighed and measured may yield unsatisfactory products. Assigning responsibility for weighing and measuring of all ingredients to properly trained personnel reduces to a minimum the possibility of using incorrect amounts. Also, when adequately supervised, dining facility personnel trained in the use of the desired procedures and in the use of the recipes provided produce an acceptable food item. To produce standard products of high quality, it is important that all cooks know the sizes and yields of all pans, measures, ladles, and other small equipment used in preparing and serving the food. The provision of proper and adequate equipment for the dining facility is a responsibility of the supervising chef.
Recipes that specify accurate amounts and procedures are important to the control of cooking. When standard procedures are used for accurately measuring and combining ingredients as outlined in the recipe and for properly cooking food in accordance with the recipe, a standard product should result.
USING STANDARD RECIPES
The head chef is responsible for setting up a standing operating procedure (SOP) instructing the cooks to read and follow explicitly the directions for weighing and measuring the ingredients and for preparing and cooking the food according to the recipe. To control the quality of food prepared, cooks must::
- Learn the definitions of the terms used in food preparation.
- Learn the abbreviations used in the standard recipes.
- Learn the procedures for weighing and measuring ingredients.
- Assemble all equipment and ingredients needed before beginning preparation.
- Check the cooking time and temperature chart.
- Follow the step-by-step instructions for preparing the food.
CHANGING THE QUANTITIES OF A RECIPE
The following precautions should be taken to insure the quality of the finished product is that intended by the recipe:
WEIGHING AND MEASURING INGREDIENTS
Accurate amounts of all ingredients are specified in the standard recipes. The ingredients with weight and measure, as appropriate, are listed in the order in which they should be used. As a general rule, greater accuracy is obtained if dry ingredients are weighed and liquid ingredients are measured. However, small quantities of dry ingredients in a recipe are often measured, since many scales do not weigh small quantities with accuracy. There is less loss of food when the appropriate method is used for gauging amounts of ingredients. The measuring procedure front the Armed Forces Recipe Service is shown in figure 7. The food service sergeant should insure that all dining facility personnel are aware that accurate amounts of ingredients result in better products. Listed below are some other suggestions for weighing and measuring ingredients.
The scales used for weighing ingredients must have an accurate balance. Unless the balance is very sensitive, it is better to measure ingredients used in small amounts such as salt, soda, baking powder, and spices even if other ingredients are weighed. Dried eggs and dry milk should always be weighed for best accuracy, not measured. Also all solid fats (butter, shortening, lard, and rendered fat) should be weighed for best accuracy. If butter is available in 1-or 1/4-pound prints, these measurements may be used. One-pound prints are equivalent to 2 cups and 1/4-pound prints, to about 1/2 cup.
Volume measurements are reasonably accurate if the utensils are standard and if care is taken to follow recommended procedures for putting a definite weight into a given volume . Sets of cups of 1/4-, 1/3-, 1/2-, and 1 -cup capacity without headspace are used as appropriate for measuring dry ingredients. Liquid ingredients should be measured in a clear glass or plastic measuring cup that has headspace and has clearly marked fractions so the level of the liquid can be reed. The cup must rest on a level surface, and the quantity must be read at eye level to obtain an accurate liquid measure. The headspace permits the cook to move a cupful of liquid without spilling it. Because oils and syrups cling to the measuring cup, a spoon or rubber scraper should be used to remove liquid remaining in the measurer.