September 13, 2007

Rule of thumb

I learned a really great rule of thumb (literally) for cooking the meat or chicken to go with this week's recipe. The opponens pollicus muscle controls our opposable thumb and distinguishes us from some other mammals. It can also function as a meat thermometer. (Until you calibrate and trust your own thumb muscle, you may still want to use a thermometer). Push the forefinger of one hand gently into the middle of the muscle at the base of the thumb on the palm of your other hand. Have your thumb touch, in sequence, the forefinger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinkie. You will feel the muscle give a little more resistance as you progress through the fingers. Now push on some meat or chicken on the grill with your forefinger and compare it to your opponens pollicus muscle resistance. Your thumb touching your forefinger equals rare, middle finger equals medium rare, ring finger equals medium, and pinkie equals well done.