Saturday, May 1, 2010

Questions for the Kitchen: Cream Crackers and Orzo

Awhile ago before the Globe and Mail decided to pay me some attention and my inbox exploded, a reader asked me what cream crackers are. (see the Jamie Oliver Crunchy Garlic Chicken recipe).

Here's a photo for you:

They are a bland, unsalted cracker that makes a great base for breading something because they get nice and crunchy. You may not be able to find this exact brand (I didn't), but I could find them without trouble at my local grocery store. If you can't find them, I would try water crackers, which are very similar. Once I opened the package, and used them, I put the entire pack of what was left over in a Ziplock and sealed it to keep them fresh. I found them at the grocery store with all the crackers, but it took a bit of looking.

Question #2: What is orzo and where can I find some?

Orzo is a rice shaped pasta. It's good for side dishes or in soup, and if you'd like to know more, check out this article. I found it at my local grocery store, but at times it can be a bit tricky to find. Sometimes I have found it in the pasta section, but other times they have put it in the rice section. You may need to ask.

Question #3: Should I put oil in the water when I'm cooking pasta?

No. NO. Here's what happens-the oil floats on top of the water, and when you drain your pasta, the oil coats it. Sure, maybe the oil keeps the pasta from sticking together, but then it also prevents your sauce from adhering to the pasta. You don't want that! This article gives you all the ins and outs of cooking great pasta.

Got a question for me? Leave it in the comments or shoot it to me by e-mail, and I'll do my best to answer for you!
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