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Pontormo

Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)

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Wonder if a little baking soda in the crumbs would raise the pH enough to promote browning.

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How about browning them separately in the oven before breading the chops?

That's what I do - mix panko with olive oil and seasonings, and brown in the oven before using.

I'm not sure you would even need the oil: it's just "bread," so it should toast up nicely even without it!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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How about browning them separately in the oven before breading the chops?

That's what I do - mix panko with olive oil and seasonings, and brown in the oven before using.

I'm not sure you would even need the oil: it's just "bread," so it should toast up nicely even without it!

Olive oil for the flavor, not for browning.

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How about browning them separately in the oven before breading the chops?

That's what I do - mix panko with olive oil and seasonings, and brown in the oven before using.

I'm not sure you would even need the oil: it's just "bread," so it should toast up nicely even without it!

Olive oil for the flavor, not for browning.

Oh. Well that makes sense, then! :wink:


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I toss often my panko with a little melted butter before I apply it to the meat. It seems to brown up better that way.

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A Panko Problem:

I was going to oven-bake some thick pork chops. I wanted them to have a crispy crust so I lightly oiled them up and then dipped them in seasoned panko crumbs. After 30 minutes at 350°F, the pork chops were done but the panko coating was still as white as when the chops were put into the oven.

Without resorting to pan frying, how could I achieved a browning of the panko crumb coating? Should I have added some oil to the crumbs before coating the chops?

Thanks in advance for your input.

edited to add spacing.

first of all, 350 for 30 min is way too much for a pork chop unless it's 3 or 4 bones worth. Second, what is your method of adhesion, in regards to panko to pork chop? are you mixing the panko with anything or just sprinkling it on the chops? the absolute best way for perfect pre-browned panko, if necessary, is to pan-fry them with a large amount of fat (I mix butter and oil) and to keep them moving constantly by shaking the pan and stirring with a whisk or fish spat. strain into a chinois, pour out onto paper towel or whatever, and immediately mix with herbs/other flavorings. Considering that you're asking abut pork, I would cook the chops to 1/2 temp below what you want, pull them and slather with quality mustard, and then add the panko. Broil briefly to reheat/crisp the panko and meld the flavor with the mustard. Rest 5-7 min and serve.

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Arent the panko crumbs crispy enough as they are, despite the lack of browning?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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first of all, 350 for 30 min is way too much for a pork chop unless it's 3 or 4 bones worth.

Not at all. They were thick chops and were slightly pink in the middle when I cut into them.

Arent the panko crumbs crispy enough as they are, despite the lack of browning?

Yes, they were still mostly crispy. But I found the snow white crumbs a little too stark for my liking. I guess I was expecting them to brown more after baking (darn you Shake 'n' Bake for skewing my expectations after all these years! :biggrin: ).

Thanks to all the responses. I will give some of the suggestions a go the next time I bake more chops.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Jon, I'm thrilled to see you started this thread because I have a stupid question of my own (which also explains why I prefer measurements given as weight as opposed to volume).

When a recipe calls for something like 1 1/2 tablespoons does it mean 1 tablespoon and 1/2 a teaspoon or 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons. My gut always tells me it's the later, but I would love some verification.

Edited: to make things clearer.

There are three teaspoons in a tablespoon.

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I have two:

1) How do I season the two nice cast iron pans someone gave me as a wedding gift and am irrationally afraid of? (Maybe I should ask this on the cast iron -- smoke thread).

2) How do I effectively thicken stew gravy. I make a really flavorful boeuf bourgognone but the sauce is always runny and I can never thicken it (I have tried lots of stuff).

Thanks.

Make a roux and add it. Use tapioca flour as a thickener.

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first of all, 350 for 30 min is way too much for a pork chop unless it's 3 or 4 bones worth.

Not at all. They were thick chops and were slightly pink in the middle when I cut into them.

Arent the panko crumbs crispy enough as they are, despite the lack of browning?

Yes, they were still mostly crispy. But I found the snow white crumbs a little too stark for my liking. I guess I was expecting them to brown more after baking (darn you Shake 'n' Bake for skewing my expectations after all these years! :biggrin: ).

Thanks to all the responses. I will give some of the suggestions a go the next time I bake more chops.

Toliver, we use about the same temperature and time for our pork chops - actually it might even be 375 for 25 - 30 minutes - and get the good results you describe. As far as the browning goes: another possibility is to coat the chops as you describe and then give them a squirt with an olive oil mister, or with Pam. I don't know for sure that it would work - our chop coat involves corn meal as well as panko and seasonings, so I'm not sure we've tried your method - but the "squirt with oil" technique has helped us crisp a few things.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I have two:

1) How do I season the two nice cast iron pans someone gave me as a wedding gift and am irrationally afraid of? (Maybe I should ask this on the cast iron -- smoke thread).

2) How do I effectively thicken stew gravy. I make a really flavorful boeuf bourgognone but the sauce is always runny and I can never thicken it (I have tried lots of stuff).

Thanks.

Make a roux and add it. Use tapioca flour as a thickener.

1) There's a really good discussion about seasoning cast iron pans over on the Kitchen Consumer forum; although the title refers to "re-seasoning" the discussion comes around to seasoning as well. I think one of the best posts actually points to a blog post that's especially enlightening - sorry if this looks like a runaround - but the link to the post on this forum is http://egullet.org/p1903103. 2) Another possible way to thicken a stew - this is how I typically do it - is to dredge (lightly coat) the beef chunks in flour before browning the meat at the beginning of the stew cooking. I usually end up with a good thick stew as a result. <Edited to add: wish I'd realized before posting that the original question was from 2004!>


Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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A Panko Problem:

I was going to oven-bake some thick pork chops. I wanted them to have a crispy crust so I lightly oiled them up and then dipped them in seasoned panko crumbs. After 30 minutes at 350°F, the pork chops were done but the panko coating was still as white as when the chops were put into the oven.

Without resorting to pan frying, how could I achieved a browning of the panko crumb coating? Should I have added some oil to the crumbs before coating the chops?

Thanks in advance for your input.

edited to add spacing.

One of the reasons for Panko is that it doesn't discolor (turn brown) in the oven. I've used it for coating trout, but since I'm frying it in bacon fat, it gets a hint of brown.

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What is the difference between all-meat Texas chili and Chili con carne? Is there any?

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More questions:

1- I shudder when someone drags my knife across the cutting board (say, to move ingredients over to the side), but just saw some knife skills videos where famous chefs recommend doing exactly this. Does it or does it not dull the knife?

2 - Really really stupid question - what size/shape should I be chopping my lettuce and veggies into for a salad? (Like carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, cucumbers...) Or should I be tearing lettuce by hand into bite-size pieces? Sometimes my salads are very ungraceful to eat because there's the pieces are too long or big, other times, it ends up more like a chopped salad because there's so many small pieces. Not that this bothers me at home, but I applied for a job involving making salads, so I need to know the more proper way to make them.

3 - In a country obsessed with burgers, why can't I find a decent hamburger bun that doesn't fall apart or get soggy? I don't live near any artisanal bakeries or anything, so I am limited to a small but good supermarket. The supermarket doesn't carry Arnold's, which I've seen recommended a lot. (I usually make double-double style burgers, but also lamb burgers and other types.)

4 - You know when businesses sell sandwiches that are like five inches tall, or burgers that are seven inches tall, or ridiculously wet, messy, dripping sandwiches? How is anyone supposed to eat one of these? Why would you sell a sandwich that has to be completely reconstructed to fit into the customer's mouth? Or a sandwich that is going to fall apart after two bites?

5 - Is there a difference between stuffing and "savory bread pudding"?

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I buy the oblong buns that are made for heartier sandwiches like French dip or "po boys" etc., And I shape the burgers the same way.

Decades ago, when the Van de Kamp's restaurants were still open, they served a "longburger" exactly this way and it was very popular.

One advantage, when one is adding tomatoes is that you can "shingle" a row of slices of medium-sized tomatoes and they fit and don't slice out, same with onions.

Like Van de Kamps, I use full inner Romaine leaves as the lettuce, which also stays put.


"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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More questions:

1- I shudder when someone drags my knife across the cutting board (say, to move ingredients over to the side), but just saw some knife skills videos where famous chefs recommend doing exactly this. Does it or does it not dull the knife?

2 - Really really stupid question - what size/shape should I be chopping my lettuce and veggies into for a salad? (Like carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, cucumbers...) Or should I be tearing lettuce by hand into bite-size pieces? Sometimes my salads are very ungraceful to eat because there's the pieces are too long or big, other times, it ends up more like a chopped salad because there's so many small pieces. Not that this bothers me at home, but I applied for a job involving making salads, so I need to know the more proper way to make them.

3 - In a country obsessed with burgers, why can't I find a decent hamburger bun that doesn't fall apart or get soggy? I don't live near any artisanal bakeries or anything, so I am limited to a small but good supermarket. The supermarket doesn't carry Arnold's, which I've seen recommended a lot. (I usually make double-double style burgers, but also lamb burgers and other types.)

4 - You know when businesses sell sandwiches that are like five inches tall, or burgers that are seven inches tall, or ridiculously wet, messy, dripping sandwiches? How is anyone supposed to eat one of these? Why would you sell a sandwich that has to be completely reconstructed to fit into the customer's mouth? Or a sandwich that is going to fall apart after two bites?

5 - Is there a difference between stuffing and "savory bread pudding"?

1. It sets my teeth on edge as well. I'm with Andiesenji - I flip my knife over and use the spine to scrape the board into the pot/pan. Scraping with the cutting edge is something I learned to never ever do, as it damages both the edge of the knife and potentially also the surface of the board.

2. (Bearing in mind this is my opinion, but...) Lettuce should NEVER be chopped with steel; it promotes rusting and blackening of the cut edges. I prefer to tear into bite sized pieces (about 1" square, although I'm not OCD about it). If you're producing industrial amounts of lettuce for salads, sharp plastic knives are available for cutting without reducing the shelf-life of the final product. As for things like carrots, I'll normally grate those, either very finely with the microplane or coarsely with the bigger box grater. I will rarely if ever chop carrots for a salad - the amount of crunch is too much. Snap peas get cut into thirds or quarters, bell peppers are cut into julienne strips 1-2" long, and cucumbers are sliced at 1/8" thick. The idea is to produce pieces that will easily and comfortably fit into one's mouth without sacrificing aesthetics.

3. You could always make your own buns.....

4. I've always thought that those were meant to be taken apart gently and eaten with knife and fork. But I'm not even remotely normal....

5. Semantics, but basically a bread stuffing, which is properly a type of forcemeat, should be stuffed into meat of some description before cooking (chicken or turkey are two of the most common recipients of bread stuffings). Savoury bread pudding is the same recipe, cooked in a pudding bag or an oven-safe receptacle of some sort. Something else to consider is that there are, of course, stuffings that involve exactly zero bread (ask me sometime about the Ecuadorian approach to stuffing a turkey), but there is no savoury bread pudding without the bread.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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^^^BAH!! Weird posting today.....

Anyway, along the same tangent...how is "dressing" different from "stuffing"? Or is it just a regional thing? First time I heard "dressing" used, I couldn't figure out what salad dressing had to do with turkey!

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^^^BAH!! Weird posting today.....

Anyway, along the same tangent...how is "dressing" different from "stuffing"? Or is it just a regional thing? First time I heard "dressing" used, I couldn't figure out what salad dressing had to do with turkey!

There is no difference in the composition. The difference is in the cooking method.

A "Dressing" is the usual components cooked in a baking dish or casserole or on a baking sheet, using pan juices or stock.

A "Stuffing" by traditional definition is stuffed into the carcass of the bird during the cooking process to absorb the juices. Because of concerns of foodborne illness over the last 2 decades, "Stuffings" in the strictest sense of the word are for the most part no longer widely practiced in foodservice or at home. They are Dressings.

I have seen "Stuffings" done in things like roulades of chicken or pork, but it is much rarer to see this in a entire bird.

Stove Top and Pepperidge Farm still market their products as "Stuffing". But technically, they are implemented as Dressing in most households.

Regionally I have heard the cornbread style called "Dressing" particulary if done with Oysters, which is a Southern thing.

So, to recap, all Stuffings are Dressings but not all Dressings are Stuffings. And most Stuffings should be called Dressings anyway.


Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Just apropos point 1: I don't know whether I once saw somebody do this (and forgot), or it just makes sense, but I flick my knife over, and use the spine to move what I've cut. Dragging the blade that way would have to dull it.

That's exactly what I do and what I've been telling others to do, and will keep doing it. (Apparently dough scrapers work well too)

I have never read or seen anything by Jamie Oliver, but yesterday I was watching knife skills videos on YouTube, and he said to drag the knife across the board, as did some other random chef... I was extremely skeptical.

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I didn't post anything about knives, scraping chopped stuff, etc.

I only posted about hamburger buns...


"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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mskerr, re: no. 3: Martin's potato flour hamburger rolls:

5aad795a-d7af-4550-89fc-d24c9ef48053.jpg

I've looked for these at a few supermarkets but no luck! Is it more of an east coast thing? Or do I just live in the boonies?

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I buy the oblong buns that are made for heartier sandwiches like French dip or "po boys" etc., And I shape the burgers the same way.

Maybe I am hung-up the usual round burger shape. It makes sense to just get the best roll for the job and work around that, huh?

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