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From Barbara's Kitchen Why do I have to let meat ‘rest,’ and why is my trout red?

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Posted: Friday, August 3, 2012 7:30 am

Dear Barbara: I’m not much of a cook, but I would like to know what they mean when they tell you to take the meat out of the oven and “let it rest” for 10 minutes before cutting it. Is it so the meat can cool a bit to make the slicing easier? — Karla from Lodi

Dear Karla: It does start to cool just a bit, but not enough that it is cool. The meat remains hot. What resting the meat is actually for is to redistribute the juices. If you were to take it out and slice it right away, all the juices would collect and spill out onto the cutting board, which can make the meat dry. You will really see the difference in how the meat tastes.

Dear Barbara: I saw a recipe in a magazine and I would love to try and bake it. The problem is that it calls for a third of a cup of cake flour. Can I use all-purpose flour instead? — Sharon from Lodi.

Yes, Sharon, you can substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour. You just have to remember to do one thing: Measure your all-purpose flour and remove two tablespoons of flour for each cup used.

Dear Barbara: While I was shopping, I picked up what I thought was a package of salmon (the color was the same). When I got home I read the label to see the “use by” date. It wasn’t salmon at all — it was trout! All the trout I have had in the past was white. Was it a different type of trout? — Shelby from Lodi

Dear Shelby: I don’t fish; I much prefer to buy it nicely wrapped for the freezer. So in searching for an answer to your question, I found that most answers were just speculation. I went to several fishing sights. The majority of fishermen thought that it was the trout’s diet of crustaceans, etc.

A good percentage said the farm raised fish had coloring put in their food so they would have pink meat when they release them.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you an exact answer, but you have a lovely piece of fish and I’m sure it will be delicious.

Barbara Spitzer is a Lodi home cook who also develops recipes for specific consumer products. Do you have a cooking question? Send it to Barbara Spitzer at bdspitzer@comcast.net. Please include your first name and city.

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