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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)


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4 minutes ago, Orbit said:

Absurdly basic cooking question: I bought some dried shallots from Penzey's. Am I supposed to soak them in water before using, or add as is?

Are they minced like the way one get dried onion? If so - I would use as is, as long as there us liquid in your prep.

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1 hour ago, Orbit said:

Absurdly basic cooking question: I bought some dried shallots from Penzey's. Am I supposed to soak them in water before using, or add as is?

I've purchased them in the past and used them as Heidi notes, in a dish that would have liquid to reconstitute them a bit. Although I have also sprinkled them "as is" over salad, some of the ambient water takes the edge off them.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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19 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

Google "hot bacon dressing brands" and choose "shopping" and see if anything that comes up is available near you.  There are lots of them.  

Thanks, Kim. I will investigate!

7 hours ago, kayb said:

Is there any special reason you're not frying the diced bacon, pouring it over your salad, and then splashing in a bit of wine vinegar?

 

The problem I have with bacon is if I have it, I eat it. Cooked, of course. There used to be a butcher in a local grocery store chain where you could buy as little bacon as you wanted but they went out of business.

I have a good friend who fries up a package of bacon at a time and freezes it, taking out what she needs and reheating it in the microwave. 

The key ingredient in all of this is the bacon fat, which you just can't seem to buy in the stores. Duck fat, yes. Bacon fat, no. Has anyone tried a hot bacon Duck Fat dressing on a spinach salad? There's an idea...

 

Edited to add: Did the Googling thing (Kim's suggestion) and both Girard's and Marie's (brands that I see in my local grocery stores) have a bacon dressing. Off to Amazon to see what I can dredge up there!

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“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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Know the problem about eating it if you have it on hand. I might suggest this, if you don't find the packaged dressing you like. Buy a pound of bacon. Dice the whole thing. Separate it into the size portions you'll need for a salad and dressing, put those in bags, vac=-seal and freeze. Then you can get out just enough bacon for dressing on your spinach salad, or whatever other nefarious purpose you have in mind.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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7 minutes ago, kayb said:

Know the problem about eating it if you have it on hand. I might suggest this, if you don't find the packaged dressing you like. Buy a pound of bacon. Dice the whole thing. Separate it into the size portions you'll need for a salad and dressing, put those in bags, vac=-seal and freeze. Then you can get out just enough bacon for dressing on your spinach salad, or whatever other nefarious purpose you have in mind.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

I also just discovered they sell bacon fat on Amazon. :x I love hash browns fried in bacon fat! Though that would open a Pandora's Box of possibilities...none of them good. xD

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“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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8 minutes ago, Toliver said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

I also just discovered they sell bacon fat on Amazon. :x I love hash browns fried in bacon fat! Though that would open a Pandora's Box of possibilities...none of them good. xD

 

I see they are out of the one gallon container.

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9 minutes ago, Toliver said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

I also just discovered they sell bacon fat on Amazon. :x I love hash browns fried in bacon fat! Though that would open a Pandora's Box of possibilities...none of them good. xD

I'll be damned. I guess somebody how to figured out to make a little more money while manufacturing bacon bits.

 

Actually, given I can't accumulate my own any more unless Child A is not home (smell gives her migraines), I'm contemplating.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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22 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

Google "hot bacon dressing brands" and choose "shopping" and see if anything that comes up is available near you.  There are lots of them.  

 

@Toliver, I did the search that @Kim Shook mentioned, and got a decent amount of hits / products, including Litehouse brand (seems like a brand with wide distribution). I did switch from "shopping" to "images" and saw even more different products.

 

Can you buy chorizo or other kinds of sausage in smaller quantities than bacon? You could probably make a tasty dressing with sausage fat.

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On 12/13/2020 at 1:28 AM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

"Cooking by heat can also help with oxidation.  When pork is roasted at temperatures below 212F [100C], the number of lipid-derived food molecules increases, which give it that characteristic aroma loved by meat eaters." (p326).

 

 

 

I've read this quote about 10 times and it seems less understandable every time.  why would the boiling point of water affect lipid flavor, most of which melts at lower Temps?  And who says lipid derived molecules give the aroma meat lovers love?  I love the smell of a sizzling steak and maillarding protein and fat most of which happens above 212F. 

Does Sharma clarify?

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19 minutes ago, gfweb said:

I've read this quote about 10 times and it seems less understandable every time.  why would the boiling point of water affect lipid flavor, most of which melts at lower Temps?  And who says lipid derived molecules give the aroma meat lovers love?  I love the smell of a sizzling steak and maillarding protein and fat most of which happens above 212F. 

Does Sharma clarify?

 

No, not at all.  Furthermore, there is an errata page for The Flavor Equation on line.  But nothing there to elucidate this conundrum further.  And why just pork?

 

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23 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

No, not at all.  Furthermore, there is an errata page for The Flavor Equation on line.  But nothing there to elucidate this conundrum further.  And why just pork?

 

Editorial failure.

A good editor would have slapped this into something worthwhile or cut it as pure nonsense.

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16 minutes ago, Orbit said:

Another absurdly basic cooking question: Why Wondra? Some recipes specify Wondra instead of all purpose flour. Is there an actual reason for this?

 

This is pretty much the standard answer - instant non clump for thickening and a lightness in frying

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/what-is-wondra-flour-and-how-do-you-cook-with-it/

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What @heidihsaid.

It makes gravy with no roux/fat needed. Just whisk it into a hot liquid.

Great for coating stuff pre-frying unless you like the uneven coating AP gives.  I don't love wondra for fried chicken, but for a scallopini (a scallopinus?) its a perfect even coat.

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Also it's pre-gelatinized so once you've hit the correct degree of thickness in your gravy or sauce, it's ready to serve (no need to cook out the raw-flour taste). I'll often use AP flour and a roux to make my gravy, then add the Robin Hood at the end if it seems a bit thin.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"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'm rendering duck skin and fat. I usually start by putting enough water in the saucier to cover the duck scraps, then slowly heat. Usually add another half cup of water, then heat for another hour.

 

Now I've got a little pile of flattened duck skin shapes, and very little liquid fat visible.

I'm pretty sure that if I added more water and heated, then I could pour off the liquid into a separate container.

Or do you just pick up the duck skin one piece at a time, somehow expecting it to drain itself? If so, how do you collect the dripped duck fat?

 

 

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What is the melting point of a banana?

 

Now that I have a blender I was wanting to try a smoothie.  To my knowledge I have never had a smoothie, nor prepared one.  I've read bananas are a typical smoothie addition, so I obtained some bananas, sliced them into thirds, and blast froze them in my Vesta.  All well and good.  The bananas were as hard as rock.  I bagged the pieces and transferred them to my regular kitchen freezer.

 

Now a day later the bananas are brown liquid.  I was hoping at least for something semisolid.  Where did I go wrong?  Could I still use them for a smoothie?

 

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52 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

What is the melting point of a banana?

 

Now that I have a blender I was wanting to try a smoothie.  To my knowledge I have never had a smoothie, nor prepared one.  I've read bananas are a typical smoothie addition, so I obtained some bananas, sliced them into thirds, and blast froze them in my Vesta.  All well and good.  The bananas were as hard as rock.  I bagged the pieces and transferred them to my regular kitchen freezer.

 

Now a day later the bananas are brown liquid.  I was hoping at least for something semisolid.  Where did I go wrong?  Could I still use them for a smoothie?

 

 

I don't have a blast freezer, but my bananas do well in my regular kitchen freezer (don't become brown liquid). You can use frozen bananas in place of ice cubes when making smoothies. The only problem is that the banana flavor really overtakes all other flavors, IMO. But, the banana does give your smoothie a thick texture.

 

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6 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

 

I don't have a blast freezer, but my bananas do well in my regular kitchen freezer (don't become brown liquid). You can use frozen bananas in place of ice cubes when making smoothies. The only problem is that the banana flavor really overtakes all other flavors, IMO. But, the banana does give your smoothie a thick texture.

 

 

My apartment kitchen freezer is not the greatest.

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

What is the melting point of a banana?

 

Now that I have a blender I was wanting to try a smoothie.  To my knowledge I have never had a smoothie, nor prepared one.  I've read bananas are a typical smoothie addition, so I obtained some bananas, sliced them into thirds, and blast froze them in my Vesta.  All well and good.  The bananas were as hard as rock.  I bagged the pieces and transferred them to my regular kitchen freezer.

 

Now a day later the bananas are brown liquid.  I was hoping at least for something semisolid.  Where did I go wrong?  Could I still use them for a smoothie?

 

 

You went wrong with freezing the banana. Next question.

 

I like fruit, mango or vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and ice. My partner likes fruit, yogurt, and ice - or maybe no ice. Frozen berries or mangoes go in frozen.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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