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Vegetables
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Mess Management Specialist 1 & C - Military manual for maintaining a mess hall
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Salads
clean, damp cloth and placed in a cool storage room until you are ready to use them. Keep the time between preparation and cooking as short as possible. Valuable vitamins are lost when vegetables are soaked too long or are allowed to remain at warm temperatures for several hours. FROZEN VEGETABLES.—  Frozen vegetables have the appearance and very nearly the flavor of fresh vegetables.  Like  the  dehydrated  vegetables  discussed previously, they are easy to prepare; the precooking tasks have been done. Frozen vegetables have been cleaned and trimmed and are ready to use. CANNED VEGETABLES.— Vegetables  that  are canned have been cooked in the container and need only to be brought to the boiling temperature just before they are served. Never boil a canned vegetable; always avoid overheating  or  overcooking.  The  liquid  from  tamed vegetables should be saved and used in soups, sauces, or  gravies.  Follow  the  AFRS  guidelines  for  heating canned  vegetables. DRIED   VEGETABLES.—   A  variety  of  dried vegetables  are  used  in  Navy  messes.  Dried  beans  and peas  are  used  in  soups  and  entreés  (supplemented  with meats such as ham, bacon, or ground beef as in chili con came). Dried garlic is used as seasoning. Dried onions are used extensively in salads and cooking. DEHYDRATED  VEGETABLES.—  Dehydrated vegetables are now widely used and popular in Navy messes. Their small weight and volume make them convenient  to  store.  They  are  easy  to  prepare.  All  the precooking  tasks  associated  with  raw  vegetables  have been done for you. They are peeled, diced, sliced, or chopped,  and  ready  to  use.  They  eliminate  waste  and ensure  portion  control. Precooked  potato  granules,  sliced  raw  potatoes,  raw cabbage,  chopped  onions,  and  green  peppers  are  some of  the  dehydrated  vegetables  used  by  the  Navy.  They are  reconstituted  by  adding  a  measured  quantity  of  the vegetable  to  a  measured  volume  of  water.  The temperature of the water will vary (lukewarm or cool) with  the  specific  dehydrated  vegetable  being reconstituted as will the length of time required for the reconstituting process (15 to 30 minutes). Recipes in the  Q  (vegetable)  section  of  the  AFRS  give  more detailed  instructions  for  reconstituting  dehydrated vegetables. Cooking Methods Vegetables may be baked or sauteéd they may be simmered or steamed; they may be served with butter or covered with an appropriate sauce; or, after they are simmered or steamed, they may be creamed, mashed, or sauteéd. The  basic  methods  of  cooking  vegetables  are baking,  steaming,  and  simmering. SIMMERING.—   Vegetables  are  simmered  in water  with  seasonings  in  steam-jacketed  kettles  or covered stockpots. Vegetables will lose their fresh appearance,  flavor,  and  nutritive  value  if  they  are overcooked. STEAMING.—  Steaming  is  an  excellent  method  of cooking most fresh vegetables. It is faster than other methods and helps to preserve the fresh appearance and nutritive  value  of  the  vegetables.  Follow  the manufacturer’s  directions  for  cooking  time  and  methods for  each  kind  of  vegetable.  Guidelines  for  steam cooking are given in the AFRS. BAKING.— Cook the vegetables in dry heat in an oven with the addition of little or no water. Dry baking is usually limited to potatoes and squash. OVEN   FRYING.—   Some  vegetables  may  be parboiled and then placed in a well-greased roasting pan in the oven to complete cooking. Hash browned and home fried potatoes may be oven fried. DEEP  FAT  FRYING  AND  PANFRYING.— Potatoes, onions, and other vegetables such as eggplant, cauliflower,  and  okra  may  be  french  fried.  Vegetables that are deep fried and panfried should be tender and cut into  uniform  size  pieces. Panfried vegetables are cooked in a small amount of fat on top of the range. Sautéing is another term for panfrying. STIR-FRYING.— Carrots, celery, cabbage, sweet peppers, mushrooms, dried and green onions, broccoli, and cauliflower may be stir-fried. Stir-frying is sautéing in hot salad oil or shortening in progressive steps. The cooked  vegetables  are  crisp  and  crunchy  in  texture. PROGRESSIVE VEGETABLE COOKERY.— To make sure a continuous supply of freshly cooked vegetables is available on the serving line, cooking periods must be staggered so that several small batches of vegetables will be cooked one after another. This also helps control waste because a new batch will be started only if it is needed. Short  cooking  time  is  best.  Cook  only  a  small quantity of vegetables at a time. Vegetables must be 5-16

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