PREPARATION AND SERVICE TIPS. If
lumps should occur when you are making gravy, strain
the gravy or whip vigorously with a wire whip. If gravy
is not to be served immediately, cover the pan and keep
it hot; or it may be refrigerated and reheated when ready
to use. Gravy should be handled carefully to avoid
contamination and food-borne illness. Store it in a chill
space and never hold gravy longer than 4 cumulative
hours at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
Dressings are usually served as the starch addition
of a lunch or dinner meal when the entreé consists of a
poultry product such as turkey.
The terms dressing and stuffing are often used
interchangeably, but they both actually refer to dressing.
If the dressing is cooked inside the poultty, it is referred
to as stuffing.
Excellent dressings can be prepared that are not
cooked inside the birds. Pan-baked dressing requires
more moisture and is less firm than stuffing, but is easier
to prepare and easier to serve. Good dressing is light
and moist, not heavy and pasty.
Poultry stuffed with dressing is not recommended
for large-scale food operations such as GMs because it
increases cooking time, imposes a larger workload on
foodservice personnel, and it does not improve or
enhance the flavor of the meat. Most importantly,
stuffing paltry is a sanitation risk and increases the
possibility of food-borne illness.
The AFRS includes the basic bread dressing recipe
and its many variations that may be served with either
chicken or turkey.
CEREALS, PASTA, AND RICE
Cereals, pasta, and rice are all grain products that
are used as the starch portion of a meal.
Cereals are foods made from grains of wheat, oats,
corn, rice, rye, and barley. Cereals are often referred to
as breakfast foods, but are not limited to the breakfast
meal. Cereals can be used in many types of recipes. The
types include instant, quick-cooking, and cold
Instant cereals do not require further cooking. They
are simply mixed with boiling water before serving.
Quick-cooking cereals require a shorter cooking
time than regular cereals. To prevent quick-cooking
cereals from forming lumps, they should be stirred
slowly into rapidly boiling water. Quick-cooking farina
is mixed with cold water and then added to boiling water.
These cereals should be stirred constantly until they boil.
After they begin to boil, reduce to a simmer and stir them
occasionally. Overstirring and overcooking will cause
cereal to be sticky and gummy.
Ready-to-eat cold cereals require no cooking and
are served with cold milk and sugar. No added sugar is
needed for the coated or frosted cereals. For variety,
sliced peaches, strawberries, prunes, or bananas maybe
Pastas (macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli, and
noodles) are produced from semolina durum wheat
flour, farina, or hard wheat flour (other than durum
wheat flour) and water. Egg noodles also contain eggs.
The mixtures are rolled, shaped, and dried in various
forms. The only difference between vermicelli and
spaghetti is that the individual strands of vermicelli are
finer and require less cooking. They may be used
interchangeably in recipes specifying spaghetti or
Pastas should be added to vigorously boiling, salted
water and stirred so that they will not stick together or
to the bottom of the kettle. A small amount of salad oil
is added to the water to help to prevent sticking. Pastas
should be drained as soon as they have finished cooking.
If pastas are overcooked, they become soft and gummy.
Rice and Barley
The rice products used in the military feeding
programs are parboiled, long-grain, and medium-grain
rice. They need not be washed before cooking. Cooked
long-grain rice should appear light textured and the
individual grains should stand apart. Medium-grain rice,
when cooked, will clump together. This type of rice is
preferred in Oriental dishes. Directions for proper
cooking by steaming, simmering, and baking are
contained in the AFRS. Rice may be served plain, as a
potato substitute, combined with other ingredients in a
main dish, added to salads, or topped with highly
seasoned sauce. For variety, combine rice with herbs,
spices, chopped onions, or nuts. Rice pudding can be
served for dessert.
Barley is a grain used principally as a soup