Discussion in 'Food' started by grelcar, Apr 9, 2019.
Sous-Vide and Reverse Sear. Game changers
The pasta sticking thing, what I was taught was to keep the water boiling when you add the pasta. Dump in too much at once and the temperature drop leads to sticking. But trickle it in so it doesn't lose its boil too much and it'll be okay. The more boiling water you have, the more pasta it can handle while staying boiling.
Having a plan or a recipe is a great place to start, but don't be afraid to adapt on the fly.
Reverse planning helps when cooking multiple dishes with different cook times, so that everything comes out at the right temperature, at the same time, when the people are ready to eat. It also helps to prevent competition for different burners/ the "sweet spot" of the fire when cooking multiple items.
Don't be afraid to try something just because it has a difficult technique, or one that you have never done. I made fresh, handmade sausage and mushroom ravioli for a girl once. It was my first time ever making fresh pasta. The ravioli did not come out well, but we had a great time. The rest of dinner was enough to feed us and she still married me, so I guess I picked out the right wine for the occasion. I think she was impressed that I tried so hard.
dont eat that
Salt your eggs after they're cooked.
I started a beef stew yesterday, in the crockpot. I did some reading on how to thicken a broth. Any kind of starch was the answer. Flour and corn starch being the top two recommended. But I almost always include potatoes in a stew. They typically get added with other veg a few hours before serving. This time I cut them really small and put them in a few hours after the meat. I woke this morning to a much thicker broth. So for a thick stew including potoatoes, add them early.
I can't remember! ahahha!! Something about the texture being better, but it might be an old wives tale. :O
boil milk on 'low' heat.
Never, NEVER use milk to make scrambled eggs! I know too many people who do this and their eggs always burn and have a slurry of milk in the bottom of a serving bowl.
Use chilled or Ice Water in your scrambled eggs. about 1/2 ounce for six eggs. Whip them up thoroughly with a whisk and put them directly into a HOT greased pan. Stir after a few seconds until done. Your eggs will come out all fluffy and will taste much better. Salt while cooking rather than afterwards on the plate.
Never put food of any kind into a cold pan. No one ever cooked a meal in a cold pan. The pan needs to be up to cooking temperature before food is placed in the pan. The only exception to this is boiling eggs. Start with cold water with the eggs barely covered with water. Add a bit of Baking Soda and the eggs (hard boiled) can be peeled almost effortlessly.
I followed everybody's advice on adding oil to a hot pan in an old ramshackle apartment once.
The electric stovetop was faulty and subject to temperature spikes. Not knowing this I poured olive oil into a pot warmed over "medium high" heat, which promptly started a grease fire.
I do not follow that particular advice anymore.
As for my best tip: "You can braise almost anything."
Learn to use less salt. Much modern prepared food already has more sodium than we need. As you get older, more salt is bad for a high percentage of the population.
When I was young, I automatically salted everything, then tasted it to see if it needed more salt. Now I eat less modern prepared food, and also eat much less salt, it's hard to get over the salty flavor once you are used to it. Salt-free Greek seasoning, black pepper, Mrs. Dash, hot sauces can add a lot of flavor to some foods without giving you a stroke. Yet there are some things ingrained into me that I must salt. Steak. A hard-boiled egg (with butter/salt/pepper). A fresh tomato slice. Corn on the cob (with butter/salt).
For decades popcorn was an over-salty thing for me. Now we pop it in olive* or canola oil, use greek seasoning, and dust it with nutritional yeast. Very tasty, and somewhat good for you, once it's not loaded in butter and salt.
*trying to change from olive oil, love the taste but read that over-temp is bad for it.
Hunger is the best seasoning
Somehow I blipped over this snippet when it was originally posted...
Though in general I agree, an exception to consider is when cooking bacon. Bacon is notorious for sticking, even on well-seasoned cast iron. But if you add your first batch while the pan is still cold, it greatly reduces the sticking.
And since this thread got bumped, might as well add another one...
Cook to the temperature, not to the time.
Do not fry, bake bacon!
Technically it's roasting instead of baking but yes, you can do more at one time that way and they come out more consistently cooked and more flat...
If you want fluffy eggs add a shot of carbonated water.
no pink pork
When in doubt add butter, if still in doubt add more butter.
Never put oil in pasta water keeps the sauce from sticking.
To prevent boil over first use a very large pot. Then lay a wooden spoon across the top of pot. Water hits spoon and deflates bubbles.
never trust a skinny cook
And easier to over cook an entire batch of bacon.
Same with duck breast skin (properly scored) side down.
On a similar note, I have heard chefs refer to duck grease as culinary gold.
Indeed, I always keep the rendered fat when I cook duck breast and re-use it for other cooking. One of my favorite sides to serve with duck breast is to slice some fresh avocado and spread it on the plate. Then slice some peeled beets and saute the slices in the rendered duck fat. Top the sliced avocado with the sauteed beet slices and lightly salt. Excellent...
I was at Walmart Saturday and they had a duck fat cooking spray!
A few of mine:
1) You can't get a heat source too hot to cook a steak! The best steak houses have broilers that can reach 1700 degrees F! That's a big part of why you can't replicate that easily at home.
2) Always let meat 'rest' after cooking. Carry-over will help cook the meat properly and the juices will 'settle' so when you cut or bit into it you won't have all the juice run out.
3) Don't cook pork over 135 degrees F unless your braising or smoking it (or it's bacon). Trichinosis is killed at 133.5 degrees- a little room for error is fine but overcooking pork results in dry pork.
4) Do your bacon in the oven when you're at home.
5) Have your 'mise ready to go! That's mise en place, everything in place. Have everything cut up, your seasoning measure out, etc.
6) Keep your knives sharp!
7) Improvise with cooking if you like. But don't improvise with baking. Baking is chemistry, and not having the correct ratios can wreak havoc with some recipes.
8) Don't peek at rice to see if it's done! Keep the lid on.
9) If you're making chili, you need at least 1 TBSP of cumin for every pound of meat.
10) Alcohol and tomatoes are BFFs. Tomatoes have some compounds that are only soluble in water and others that are only soluble in alcohol. That's why Penne alla Vodka is such a classic.
11) Cook a steak over a ripping hot fire and just briefly. Cook brisket at low heat for a good long while.
12) Use salt sparingly but USE GOOD SALT! Ditch the iodized crap; it has a funny aftertaste. Use good kosher, sea salt or the pink Himalayan stuff.
13) Whenever possible, grind pepper or spices as you need them. Once a seed, peppercorn, etc is ground the volatiles begin to evaporate out. Dried is usually better than doing without but fresh is usually better. But sometimes dried herbs are better for a given dish.
14) If a recipe calls for pepper, use every kind of pepper you have. Black, cayenne, and white each have a different flavor profile. Using them all in combination creates a 'roundness' to the flavor. Same for using some fresh garlic and a bit of granulated.
15) Mirepoix is always a good idea.
16) Never buy something you can easily make from scratch.
17) Never salt before you taste.
18) Pepper gets "hotter" as you cook it. The capsasins take some time to cook out. With something like chili, let it simmer for 20 minutes before you add more cayenne.
19) Canned tomatoes are better than February tomatoes from Walmart.
20) Frozen peas are generally almost as good as fresh.
21) Sauce or soups thickened with roux can be frozen. Sauces thickened with cornstarch will usually break if frozen.
22) For grilling a burger, use beef with at least 20% fat.
23) For very simple dishes, use the bests ingredients you can. There's nowhere to hide!
24) You can add salt but you can't really fix something that's too salty.
25) When buying dried pasta always look for stuff drawn through bronze dies. It will usually mention this prominently on the package. Bronze dies will create a rougher surface texture that holds the sauce better.
26) When cooking pasta the water should be salty like the ocean. And use enough water! At least a gallon and more if you're doing over a pound of pasta.
27) Every pan handle is hot! Even if it's hanging up or in the cupboard, think of the handle as being hot.
28) Use a proper cutting board. End grain wood > edge grain wood > nylon > glass (don't use glass!).
That was aweome
Once you learn how to cook you don't have to rely on recipies.
Cooking a steak. Good info. Watch the video @ReallyBigMonkey1 posted on cooking a steak. The beginning is a little wordy but Dave gets it done.
"Just get out of here and let me do that!"
Throw stuff together and learn what works.
Never shake any mix that contains baking powder. Stir.
Try different things.
I didn't start cooking until my thirties. I've never cooked something that wasn't edible and usually was pretty good. I got better the more I tried. I wasn't to lazy to learn, I just always assumed I would be good at it and was afraid of wasting it. I do pretty good with most things, better at others, and can be really creative and don't use recipies all that often although they are good for inspiration.
Always have your oil up to temperature. Stop putting food in oil thats not to temperature and you'll stop having soggy fried foods. Restaurants use a thermometer for a reason.
It’s easier to add salt than take it out.