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The Stupid Things Food TV Teaches You


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I can't compete in the vileness category, but in terms of stupid technique, I still have a vivid memory of watching Martha Stewart doing a show on souffles--and explaining/demonstrating how you always stirred some of the souffle mixture into the beaten egg whites before folding the two together.

That's backwards. I whisk 1/3 of the whites into the mixture until it is well blended and then gently fold in the remainder. That way I get an even rise and the souffle is more stable.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I can't compete in the vileness category, but in terms of stupid technique, I still have a vivid memory of watching Martha Stewart doing a show on souffles--and explaining/demonstrating how you always stirred some of the souffle mixture into the beaten egg whites before folding the two together.

That's backwards.

Exactly my point.


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Am I the only one to wonder about the attention paid to precise measurements in some recipes? I mean, most all recipes deal with cups to quarter cups, (or tbs and tsp's)... so if one was to use say a 10 or 20% difference is it severely going to ruin the outcome?

Serious bakers and pastry cooks weight all their ingredients because that is the only way to be precise enough to make sure that their formulas work properly and consistently...Take humble flour; The difference in the weight of a cup of flour that is very dry and one that has been kept in a humid environment is noticeable. Add in the difference in measuring methods (packed? scooped? scoop and scrape level?, shaken down to level?, sifted then measured?) and you've got a pretty awesome opportunity for significant variances which will effect the end product.

10-20% is a HUGE difference even by non-baking standards. Maybe not for a mirepoix for a roast or onions to go with your liver, but try adding an additional 20% salt to your next pot of soup and see!

I am a bit confused by your comment. If humidity makes a significant difference in the measurement of your flour, then doesn't that make the case for using volumetric measuring to eliminate the difference in density due to humidity? In support of your conclusion, I agree w/ weighing ingredients and use it exclusively for my baking.

Tom Gengo

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Sandra Lee on truffles:

Take can chocolate frosting, add powder sugar & vanilla, roll them out and dust with cocoa powder.

Please tell me this is a joke..? That sounds like an emetic, not a sweet.

No, I don't have a TV, long (not interesting) story.

LOL

Tom Gengo

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Sandra Lee on truffles:

Take can chocolate frosting, add powder sugar & vanilla, roll them out and dust with cocoa powder.

Please tell me this is a joke..? That sounds like an emetic, not a sweet.

No, I don't have a TV, long (not interesting) story.

This is the single most vile sounding dessert ever.

To be fair, most of her desserts fall into the "most vile sounding dessert" category. Google "Sandra Lee Kwanzaa Cake" sometime. *shudder*

Cheryl

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...Take humble flour; The difference in the weight of a cup of flour that is very dry and one that has been kept in a humid environment is noticeable...

I am a bit confused by your comment. If humidity makes a significant difference in the measurement of your flour, then doesn't that make the case for using volumetric measuring to eliminate the difference in density due to humidity? In support of your conclusion, I agree w/ weighing ingredients and use it exclusively for my baking.

Hmmm. Interesting point. The humidity difference was one of the reasons I was given for weighing when I was taught and I've never looked at it from that angle.

I suspect that as flour absorbs humidity it will swell slightly, making volumetric measures off too, Perhaps the difference is greater with volume a opposed to weight? Dunno. Maybe a food scientist will "weigh in" :wink:

The Big Cheese

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You really can make this dinner in 30 minutes, or less!

Boy is this tasty! (followed) by a money shot of host eating a bite)

And these days from 2/3 of of Food Network's line up... "I can teach you to cook..."

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I'm not sure Martha Stewart isn't a baking dumbass.

How can she possibly speak the lines you've attributed to her?

I would like to see her in a Yoko Ono ass apron, though.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I've learned to add the word "up" to most cooking verbs. I now fry up bacon rather than fry it and I chop up onions, I no longer chop them. "Up" is also a helpful enhancement to slice, freeze, cook, stir, boil, and dice, at least according to Giada and others.

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I've learned to add the word "up" to most cooking verbs. I now fry up bacon rather than fry it and I chop up onions, I no longer chop them. "Up" is also a helpful enhancement to slice, freeze, cook, stir, boil, and dice, at least according to Giada and others.

Let's not forget Ming's "let's plate this UP".....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've learned to add the word "up" to most cooking verbs. I now fry up bacon rather than fry it and I chop up onions, I no longer chop them. "Up" is also a helpful enhancement to slice, freeze, cook, stir, boil, and dice, at least according to Giada and others.

True. That's how you can tell a TV chef from a real chef, because the pros add "off" to their verbs ("cook off," "roast off," etc.).

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I caught up on some old 60s and 70s era Julia Child shows when Cooking Channel first debuted. While she was of course a font of knowledge for French cuisine and technique, she was at the time decidedly less sure of herself when it came to other cuisines.

So, she made lamb curry one time and, um, yeah. She basically made a traditional French braise and then dumped in curry powder as the seasoning. So she browns everything in oil first, then adds stock and red wine, and then a heaping tablespoon of curry powder at the end.

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Larousse Gastronomique has a few curry recipes like that. You know, with ham and apples and such. But most of their 'foreign' recipes are total bastardisations--the work of some French guy who liked the idea and then made it his own, using familiar techniques and ingredients to appease the local palate. I'm not really bothered by that.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Call it "French curry," just like Japanese curry, Indonesian curry, etc. :wink:

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Stumbled on an episode of Jamie Oliver's new shop, 30 Minute Meals. He's making a 30 minute version of jerk chicken and, when he gets to the habanero chillies, scoops the seeds out, holding the chilli in his hand, with the tip of a cook's knife. For a show aimed at people who don't cook normally, who wouldn't handle a knife all that often, and given the amount of children who love and watch and learn from Oliver, this is a terrible lesson.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Thanks to annachan and others for mentioning Sandra Lee, being from the old continent I had never heard of her but her videos are just a fountain of laughs.

Of course at the same time it's disconcerting that she actually published 20 cookbooks, including some bestsellers... Is she still doing new shows?

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I was horrified to see Alton Brown cleaning roasted peppers. After removing most of the skin and seeds, he "washed" it for good measure, sending a good amount of flavor down the sink, as far as I'm concerned. I know there are a few cooks in Mexico who do this but Brown has such a superior attitude about things that it's off putting. \

A few seeds won't hurt you and the brown bits clinging to the pepper are delicious.

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I was horrified to see Alton Brown cleaning roasted peppers. After removing most of the skin and seeds, he "washed" it for good measure, sending a good amount of flavor down the sink, as far as I'm concerned. I know there are a few cooks in Mexico who do this but Brown has such a superior attitude about things that it's off putting. \

A few seeds won't hurt you and the brown bits clinging to the pepper are delicious.

I saw that same episode - one of the reasons I have given up on the food channels and stick mostly to PBS.

I never see Mary Ann Esposito or Lidia Bastianich do that, in fact they usually use a paper towel to remove the excess skin and seeds and say that a little left behind is not a concern.

When I still wore contacts, I ruined a pair when I removed them at the end of the day after washing my hands numerous times after handling some very hot peppers.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I was horrified to see Alton Brown cleaning roasted peppers. After removing most of the skin and seeds, he "washed" it for good measure, sending a good amount of flavor down the sink, as far as I'm concerned. I know there are a few cooks in Mexico who do this but Brown has such a superior attitude about things that it's off putting. \

A few seeds won't hurt you and the brown bits clinging to the pepper are delicious.

I saw that same episode - one of the reasons I have given up on the food channels and stick mostly to PBS.

....

Frighteningly enough, I've even seen Rick Bayless (whom I normally revere), rinse roasted chilies to get rid of the skin & seeds. I was stunned.....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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