Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

There must be a better way to...


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Peeling carrots. There has got to be a better way.

Sure there is...delegate the job to someone else. :laugh:

I don't peel or even scrub carrots, just rinse and rub them a bit. I don't notice any problems with the remaining dirt.

Here in China, and much of the developing world, those on even a middle-class income can afford a maid who can do such things. The most labor-intensive thing I've had her do is peel a kilo of shrimp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About peeling chestnuts. Are we all on the same page on how each of us peels chestnuts in the first place? Some methods are probably better than others.

My system is to score the chestnuts with an "X" on the curved side (watch your fingers with the knife), then stab 'em in the back (the flat side) with an icepick. I roast them, and peel while they are still pretty hot. The "X" folds back like leaves so I can get a grip when I peel. Not really a delightful process, but that's the easiest method I know of. They say if the inner skin is hard to peel off, the chestnut is undercooked, so give it some more roasting time.

If you really hate the peeling, your best option may be to buy vacuum-packed chestnuts, expensive as they are. The vacuum-packed chestnuts taste almost as good as fresh roasted, and your only effort is to twist open the jar.

Joyce Goldstein once gave us her method in a cooking class. She tells her adult children that if they, their spouses, and their kids want nice chestnuts in their fall and winter holiday meals, they can show up one evening and help her do all the roasting and shelling of chestnuts that she will need. So that's what her grownup kids do. (Wouldn't you?) She freezes the chestnuts when they're done. I think drafting extra labor is definitely the way to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I don't mind peeling carrots and I couldn't find chestnuts even if I wanted to peel them.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

I wear disposable gloves to prevent this issue; works very well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

I wear disposable gloves to prevent this issue; works very well!

I use gloves, too. And I de-vein with sharp scissors rather than a knife or special tool. Then I rub the cut edges with a paper towel. Quick, easy and efficient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I usually get our nanny to do the beans if she's not busy with the baby! She does it a lot quicker and better than I do and with a lot less moaning and groaning as well! The strings don' t bother me but my wife will pull them out of her mouth while eating so...

I'd also like to suggest a Kenwood/Delonghi peeler bowl. I don't own one but recently got one of their mixers and some other attachments am quite impressed with what it's done so far. I'm typing this on the phone while watching the little one sleep but if memory serves I have Kenwood KMC 510 which you can see on their UK web site. It's the smallest full-sized mixer they make and it's big enough for what I need (ATK rustic loaves and meat grinding mostly)

You could also engage an intern? That's what Cook's Illustrated does!

Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

I wear disposable gloves to prevent this issue; works very well!

I use gloves, too. And I de-vein with sharp scissors rather than a knife or special tool. Then I rub the cut edges with a paper towel. Quick, easy and efficient.

OK, I have a high tolerance for ick. If you do too, here's the quickest way to devein shrimp: grab the vein from the center of the cut head end between your fingernails and pull. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe the veins off your hands.

Perhaps my high ick tolerance also prevents me from noticing the lingering scent of shrimp veins on my hands. :blink: :blink: :blink:

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once picked up one of these nifty peelers in Germany. They had two versions, one for asparagus, and the other for carrots (a bit larger diameter). You just put the carrot in one end and push it through and voila. Of course it isn't really worthwhile unless you are doing lots of carrots and it does look pretty scary.

here's a picture and german info on the asparagus peeler at amazon.de:

http://www.amazon.de/LURCH-Clevere-Spargelsch%C3%A4ler-mit-Halterung/dp/B00008WVSZ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

I wear disposable gloves to prevent this issue; works very well!

I use gloves, too. And I de-vein with sharp scissors rather than a knife or special tool. Then I rub the cut edges with a paper towel. Quick, easy and efficient.

OK, I have a high tolerance for ick. If you do too, here's the quickest way to devein shrimp: grab the vein from the center of the cut head end between your fingernails and pull. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe the veins off your hands.

Perhaps my high ick tolerance also prevents me from noticing the lingering scent of shrimp veins on my hands. :blink: :blink: :blink:

I only use that grab technique if a recipe requires the shrimp to be deveined and with shells left on. But I don't use my fingernails, I use a blunt tweezers to grab the vein from the cut head end and slide it out slowly. It works, more of less, but it's icky. I don't have a high tolerance for ick. Cleaning shrimp is not a task I like at all, so when I cook shrimp I consider it a virtuous and selfless act.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chestnuts suck. Roasting them leaves the fuzz, steaming does the same thing. I found that if you score, then boil a few at a time they peel easily while they are still ripping hot. Did 20 lbs for new years, had blisters on most my fingers after that :)

Chestnuts are difficult. There was a feature on WNYC on them HERE! yesterday with some tips.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

De-veining shrimp is the slowest, most boring, most awkward, smelliest thing I do in the kitchen.

I can smell them on my hands for a whole day afterwards, no matter how hard or often I scrub my hands with anti-bacterial, lemon juice, water or anything else.

I wear disposable gloves to prevent this issue; works very well!

I use gloves, too. And I de-vein with sharp scissors rather than a knife or special tool. Then I rub the cut edges with a paper towel. Quick, easy and efficient.

OK, I have a high tolerance for ick. If you do too, here's the quickest way to devein shrimp: grab the vein from the center of the cut head end between your fingernails and pull. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe the veins off your hands.

Perhaps my high ick tolerance also prevents me from noticing the lingering scent of shrimp veins on my hands. :blink: :blink: :blink:

I only use that grab technique if a recipe requires the shrimp to be deveined and with shells left on. But I don't use my fingernails, I use a blunt tweezers to grab the vein from the cut head end and slide it out slowly. It works, more of less, but it's icky. I don't have a high tolerance for ick. Cleaning shrimp is not a task I like at all, so when I cook shrimp I consider it a virtuous and selfless act.

One hated kitchen task to rule them all, it seems. One of my first paid jobs as a teenager involved peeling prawns and shucking oysters all day, every day.

My variation on this technique is to peel the prawn, and then lying it down on its side on a paper towel, use a small sharp knife to slice down the back (like to butterfly it), at the same time using the tip of the knife to pick out the start of the vein. Holding the vein down onto the paper towel with the flat of the knife then means you can manoeuvre the prawn away and the vein usually comes out neatly and sticks to the grippiness of the paper.

This means that I don't have to touch the vein but it's also (to me) the easiest, quickest and most consistent way to remove the vein in one clean piece.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I illustrated another approach to deveining shrimp in my foodblog, using the tip of a knife and a wet paper towel. If you wear a glove in your non-knife hand, neither needs to get shrimp-stinky. As you can see, I don't worry about that myself. :wink:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here's a picture and german info on the asparagus peeler at amazon.de:

http://www.amazon.de/LURCH-Clevere-Spargelsch%C3%A4ler-mit-Halterung/dp/B00008WVSZ

I'm always amused by this thing, and even more by how many devices there are out there for this purpose (Google "Spargel Schäler" for many examples).

For carrots the main thing is having a sharp peeler. I like the straight kind and don't understand the appeal of the Y-shaped peelers that seem so popular of late, but I guess one can get used to anything. I find I can often go a bit faster by putting the carrots on a cutting board and rolling them, just scraping with the peeler in my right hand from left to right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peeling really small onions and potatioes. A pain.

I've seen this method for peeling pearl onions in a few places, although I've never tried it myself.

For small potatoes like chats I use what I think of as the Danish method: cook in their skins, then impale them on a fork one at a time and use a paring knife to nick the skin, then pull it off, grasping the skin between the knife and your thumb. It usually comes off pretty quickly with just a couple 'pulls' per potato. You do have to watch you don't burn yourself, but once you get the hang of it it's pretty straightforward. It certainly wastes less than when I peel before I boil and I find it easier on the hands as well. Although if you overcook you'll find them breaking apart on your fork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here's a picture and german info on the asparagus peeler at amazon.de:

http://www.amazon.de/LURCH-Clevere-Spargelsch%C3%A4ler-mit-Halterung/dp/B00008WVSZ

I'm always amused by this thing, and even more by how many devices there are out there for this purpose (Google "Spargel Schäler" for many examples).

Is it just me, or do Germans have a device, serving dish or utensil for every culinary possibility (this dish and spoon should be used to serve tomato soup with square croutons to your mother-in-law on a rainy Sunday)?

Personally, I like peeling carrots, which are refreshingly straighforward. Unlike I imagine, say, Chinese Artichokes to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
here's a picture and german info on the asparagus peeler at amazon.de:

http://www.amazon.de/LURCH-Clevere-Spargelsch%C3%A4ler-mit-Halterung/dp/B00008WVSZ

I'm always amused by this thing, and even more by how many devices there are out there for this purpose (Google "Spargel Schäler" for many examples).

Is it just me, or do Germans have a device, serving dish or utensil for every culinary possibility (this dish and spoon should be used to serve tomato soup with square croutons to your mother-in-law on a rainy Sunday)?

Personally, I like peeling carrots, which are refreshingly straighforward. Unlike I imagine, say, Chinese Artichokes to be.

Oddly enough, the article you linked to states that crosnes "are never peeled." (But, if they were, I'd have to say it might be difficult!)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peeling hard boiled eggs.. you know the batch that it seems almost impossible to separate the shell from the cooked white? They look like the surface of the moon or worse, when finished.

This is going to happen if your eggs are too fresh.

For Easter, I get eggs at least three weeks in advance and have them at room temp for 24 hours before cooking and I turn the cartons on first one side for a few hours and then on the other side, to center the yolk.

My hard-boiled eggs turn out perfect "almost" every time, unless I fail to follow this routine.

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peeling hard boiled eggs.. you know the batch that it seems almost impossible to separate the shell from the cooked white? They look like the surface of the moon or worse, when finished.

This is going to happen if your eggs are too fresh.

For Easter, I get eggs at least three weeks in advance and have them at room temp for 24 hours before cooking and I turn the cartons on first one side for a few hours and then on the other side, to center the yolk.

My hard-boiled eggs turn out perfect "almost" every time, unless I fail to follow this routine.

Thanks. I can't seem to figure out how to keep eggs in the house long enough for them to get old.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...