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Pontormo

Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)

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Yeah, they're not at all responsive. Changing the temperature is like watching an oil tanker do a three-point turn.

 

On the upside, they're pretty easy to wipe up. No cracks and crevices.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I am in the minority, I usually find.  I LOVE my radiant heat stove.  I enjoy the ease of cleaning it.  I like that I can put cloths over it and have another surface to use.  You do have to use a little care that you don't drop things on it and be careful that you don't drag things (especially cast iron) across it.  Mine is at least 10 years old, so the surface isn't perfect.  But I can tell you I'll never buy another kind again.  YMMV, of course.  

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

I am in the minority, I usually find.  I LOVE my radiant heat stove.  I enjoy the ease of cleaning it.  I like that I can put cloths over it and have another surface to use.  You do have to use a little care that you don't drop things on it and be careful that you don't drag things (especially cast iron) across it.  Mine is at least 10 years old, so the surface isn't perfect.  But I can tell you I'll never buy another kind again.  YMMV, of course.  

 

I too love my glass top stove.  That being said I've been cooking as often as not on my Paragon induction.

 

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A couple weeks ago when store shelves were bare I saw a package of "uncured" thick sliced smoked pork belly.  In other words bacon, but sold in the fresh pork section.  My question:  would this make an acceptable substitute for pork belly when making red braised pork?

 

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Yes. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Posted (edited)

"Uncured" is a marketing buzzword that typically means that the item is cured but that the manufacturer uses celery extract instead of Prague powder or Instacure. This is bullshit. It's akin to a chef using sea salt and claiming that their food is salt-free* (except for salt naturally occurring in sea water). Virtually all the "uncured bacon" you see in the store is actually cured. Check the ingredients to see whether it includes celery extract. Also check the salt content, since salt is part of the curing process. Salt-cured pork belly is no substitute for regular belly if you're trying to use it in a braise.

 

Edited to add: It may very well be genuinely uncured smoked pork belly. But whenever I see the word "uncured," my BS detector goes off.


Edited by btbyrd (log)
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Labeling laws are to blame.

I haven't done any recent research to see if anything has changed (there have been a lot of complaints) but here's one of my posts from a few years ago.

 

"Ruhlman has got it wrong, at least partly, he insists that some packers of naturally "cured" products are trying to deceive customers. That's incorrect...they are simply following labeling laws, it's not some hoax.

The link again.....
http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/
http://ruhlman.com/2011/02/meat-curing-safety-issues/

From the blog post above........
"It’s my belief that companies advertising their products as “nitrite-free,” are either uninformed themselves or are pandering to America’s ignorance about what is healthy and what is harmful in our foods. In other words, the term “no nitrites added” is a marketing device, not an actual health benefit."

They're not uninformed, pandering or using the terms as a sneaky marketing device, they're doing what the 'rulers' at the almighty USDA tell them to do as far as labeling goes.

From USDA materials.....

"The USDA currently does not recognize naturally occurring nitrates as effective curing agents in meats, so if using Celery Juice Powder for products being sold to the public, the end-products must be labeled "Uncured"

"Bacon can be manufactured without the use of nitrite, but must be labeled "Uncured Bacon, No Nitrates or Nitrites added" and bear the statement "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated Below 40 °F At All Times" — unless the final product has been dried according to USDA regulations, or if the product contains an amount of salt sufficient to achieve an internal brine concentration of 10% or more, the label does not have to carry the handle statement of "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated below ___" etc. Recent research studies have shown for products labeled as uncured, certain ingredients added during formulation can naturally produce small amounts of nitrates in bacon and, therefore, have to be labeled with the explanatory statement "no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt etc.""

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

"Uncured" is a marketing buzzword that typically means that the item is cured but that the manufacturer uses celery extract instead of Prague powder or Instacure. This is bullshit. It's akin to a chef using sea salt and claiming that their food is salt-free* (except for salt naturally occurring in sea water). Virtually all the "uncured bacon" you see in the store is actually cured. Check the ingredients to see whether it includes celery extract. Also check the salt content, since salt is part of the curing process. Salt-cured pork belly is no substitute for regular belly if you're trying to use it in a braise.

 

Edited to add: It may very well be genuinely uncured smoked pork belly. But whenever I see the word "uncured," my BS detector goes off.

 

 

Hence my quotation marks.

 

Question remains, in the midst of a pandemic can one use this meat for a facsimile of red pork?  Howsoever inauthentic I can't imagine the result tasting bad.

 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Question remains, in the midst of a pandemic can one use this meat for a facsimile of red pork?  Howsoever inauthentic I can't imagine the result tasting bad.

 

 

I imagine it is salty - 

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Depends whether it's genuinely uncured, no quotes, or "uncured' in the celery sense. Cut off a small piece, fry it and taste it. If it tastes like plain pork, you're good to go. If it tastes like bacon, you probably need to do something else with it (...or maybe just soak it a while to get some salt out...).


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I guess it's a function of the part of the country. Down here, if you see "uncured bacon,"  or "fresh bacon," it's sliced pork belly. Also sold, in some supermarkets that cater to an older/more rural/more blue collar clientele, as "fresh side meat."

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

Depends whether it's genuinely uncured, no quotes, or "uncured' in the celery sense. Cut off a small piece, fry it and taste it. If it tastes like plain pork, you're good to go. If it tastes like bacon, you probably need to do something else with it (...or maybe just soak it a while to get some salt out...).

 

Celery sense.  Maybe I should just use it for bacon and hope to find some actual pork belly for making red pork.  Thanks everyone for the help.

 

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I have surprisingly little experience with mac & cheese ... if I was going to make mac & cheese or lasagna as a frozen take & bake entree, I'd just assemble it and freeze to be baked by the customer, rather than assemble, bake, freeze, and have the customer re-bake, right?  Same with pot pie, the filling is already cooked and the customer bakes it long enough to bake the dough and heat the filling? 

 

I don't buy many frozen entrees besides pizza, am trying to put together a menu that I can sell to the neighborhood* but want to limit refrigerated items with short shelf life and focus on shelf stable and frozen. 

 

*out of my commercial kitchen, don't worry ;)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

out of my commercial kitchen

 I used to work for a deli that did a lot of catering. A lot of our entrees we sold as takeout food also. They were always baked just to the point of coloring. We sold them the first day as fresh entrees and anything that was left the first day went into the freezer immediately. I have no idea what it was called but we had containers that could be used in the microwave or the oven. We found that most people when they want take out they want convenience and they don't want to wait for the full bake time of a product. We didn't sell any pot pies but I have made them and put them in my own freezer. I had best results by baking them about 3/4 of the way. If you put them in the  freezer unbaked, the bottom crust is always soggy. If you bake them all the way, the crust on top will get too dark. we sold our entrees in two and four serving containers and took special orders  for larger sizes. I don't know if this helps but it is what we did when I worked in catering.


Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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@Tropicalsenior thanks, that helps a lot.  I was thinking 2 & 4 servings in oven-safe aluminum pans but I'll see what my options are, take-out packaging is in high demand right now.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

aluminum pans

 I have been told that they make aluminum pans that can be used in microwaves and some microwaves that can tolerate TV dinner style trays, but having once lost a microwave to a twist tie from a bread wrapper I have never been tempted to put aluminum in my microwave since. if you decide to go the fresh then frozen route as we did, we made four entrees a day on a rotating basis so that we always had a variety in the freezer. It depends on how heavy you want to go into it. It's a lot of work but people really love what they considered to be a home cooked meal without all the preservatives.


Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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Please send suggestions for websites with cooking pan substitutions. For example, I found a recipe for banana custard which uses a large pan (9" x 13") and I'd like to put it in small pots, so there's less handling.

 

It's true that I could build a spreadsheet which calculates volume of all my pots and pans, but that will be a lot of work and I'm feeling very lazy.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html

 

Oh wait, you were talking stovetop weren't you? Never mind, then...


Edited by chromedome (log)

“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Posted (edited)

Actually, @chromedome, I am looking for baking pan sizes. So thanks!

 

Edited to add: though I'm looking for one large to multiple small. Spreadsheet it is.


Edited by TdeV (log)

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2 hours ago, TdeV said:

Actually, @chromedome, I am looking for baking pan sizes. So thanks!

 

Edited to add: though I'm looking for one large to multiple small. Spreadsheet it is.

 

Okay, your mention of "pots" threw me. So...ramekins then, or something similar? The 9X13 is 14 cups, so that's pretty easy to convert to 8 oz (1:1) or 4 oz (1:2) ramekins, and 6 oz aren't much harder.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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If using a pressure cooker to make stock, how important is it to remove all the decayed material from the vegetables?

(I have a bag of onions with soft, moldy spots).

 

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@TdeV 

 

it would be important to remove

 

the bits whose flavor

 

you might not want in the final stock.

 

or make two stocks :

 

one with those bits

 

and one w/o them.

 

then report your findings , here ,

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I would definitely cut off moldy spots. In fact, due to spores, I'd give that mold a "wide berth" when cutting. You'll have a nicer stock at the end.

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4 hours ago, MokaPot said:

I would definitely cut off moldy spots. In fact, due to spores, I'd give that mold a "wide berth" when cutting. You'll have a nicer stock at the end.

Pressure cooking will kill spores. Perhaps not the toxins left in the food by fungi.  I'd discard spoiled veg

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Posted (edited)

<deepbreath>

 

What is the difference between a steak pounded flat and a steak cut thin?  

 

ETA:  I mean, what is the difference in outcome. 


Edited by SLB (log)

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