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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)


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I almost always have to cut bread recipes in half because there are just two of us to eat it and it goes stale too quickly. As for the baking time, the difference would be minimal because you would still want a nice brown crust.

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When I made a beautiful pork butt last weekend I had so much clear fat in the roasting pan. I ladled it into a jar not sure if to save or not. I'd not done that before and just wanteed it contained to toss. As you can  see from the image the fat rose and at the bottom are congealed juices. I think the fat is sealing the juices, but should I freeze or ok to store in fridge. i do wantt use the bottomllayer but don't want to puncture the "seal".  The pork sat on orange w/ rind slices and rosemary sprigs, and was rubbed with garlic and Mexican oregano.  I used a bit of the fat this morning to saute onion and garlic for my crock pot split pea soup. The kitchen smelled wonderful so I'd lke to keep the jar, safely, as I foresee excellent uses. Pleny of room in both fridge and freezer.Thoughts? 

(i rotated it enough to make me dizzy and it keeps thumbing its nose at me - but I think you get the point)

pork fat.JPG

Edited by heidih (log)
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1 minute ago, heidih said:

When I made a beautiful pork butt last weekend I had so much clear fat in the roasting pan. I ladled it into a jar not sure if to save or not. I'd not done that before and just wanteed it contained to toss. As you can  see from the image the fat rose and at the bottom are congealed juices. I think the fat is sealing the juices, but should I freeze or ok to store in fridge. The pork sat on orange w/ rind slices and rosemary sprigs, and was rubbed with garlic and Mexican oregano.  I used a bit of the fat this morning to saute onion and garlic for my crock pot split pea soup. The kitchen smelled wonderful so I'd lke to keep the jar, safely, as I foresee excellent uses. Pleny of room in both fridge and freezer.Thoughts? 

(i rotated it enough to make me dizzy and it keeps thumbing its nose at me - but I think you get the point)

pork fat.JPG

Keep it! That at the top is pure lard and the bottom would be great in a gravy. You can keep it just about a week as is in the fridge but to keep it any longer you would probably want to freeze it. If you put it in the microwave and melted it and then pour it in a straight sided glass to cool you can then slide it out and separate the two elements. Pure lard and pure wonderful pork essence.

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11 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Keep it! That at the top is pure lard and the bottom would be great in a gravy. You can keep it just about a week as is in the fridge but to keep it any longer you would probably want to freeze it. If you put it in the microwave and melted it and then pour it in a straight sided glass to cool you can then slide it out and separate the two elements. Pure lard and pure wonderful pork essence.

Oh I am keeping it. The lard is infuse eith the lovly aromatics.Good idea to separate - I was worried if I melted it that that the layers might mingle. Won't know till I try. Enough kitchen sstuff going on today - maybe toorrow. Thanks!

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I agree with @Tropicalsenior - the liquid at the bottom should be kept for at most a week as it will spoil, and will then spoil the fat.  In the future, if you were to pour everything into the jar, tighten the lid and then put in the refrigerator upside down, the liquid will now be on top, and you can then remove it once cold (and probably jelled) and just scrape an extra millimeter or so of the fat with it so it's not contaminated, then you'll have the perfect lard in the fridge with no problems.  I used to do this with duck fat and drippings when I'd do confit sous vide.

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I have really tasty peaches that I froze last summer and I would like to use some to make a peach pie.  I assume frozen peaches for pie purposes might need to be treated differently from fresh peaches.  I  have done some googling but from what i've seen, but treatment varies wildly.  Some say thaw first, some say don't.  Some say add extra sugar, some say no need.  Etc.  Etc.  Can someone advise me?  Oh, and would the same treatment apply to a peach crisp?  Many thanks.

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

Oh, and would the same treatment apply to a peach crisp

 

Sure - why not?  Even though I know nothing, my guess is that if you use them as you would fresh peaches in a crisp, they'll be fine with a little thickening agent.

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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17 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Sure - why not?  Even though I know nothing, my guess is that if you use them as you would fresh peaches in a crisp, they'll be fine with a little thickening agent.

 

Right - I think they'd be prone to weep after freezing. Dependoing on size of pieces I don't see thawing totally needed - just de-clump. Stick with cornstarch or tapioca.so maybe slightly more thickener than usual but light hand. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

During a conversation about making stock, I think I'm remembering @btbyrd saying that uncut chicken bones will give up their goodness and flavour in a couple of hours.

 

So, I made a bean and ham hock soup in the Instant Pot (no pressure) at various temperatures (185-205°F) over 10-12 hours, then I refrigerated. Today, I defatted the pot, shredded the meat, and blended the vegetables. The whole pot is now reheating at 180°F.

 

Would there have been any value in adding the cleaned, uncut bones back into the soup? Is there any more flavour to be gotten out of them?

 

 

Edited by TdeV
Clarity (log)
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Bones contribute mostly body/gelatin to a stock, where meat contributes flavor. Ham bones are an exception, especially if you're dealing with a dry cured ham that may have been smoked. I wouldn't bother with a city ham, but maybe there's something to be said for a country ham bone. Still, 10-12 hours is a long time and ham bones aren't super big, so I'd expect extraction to be close to complete after that much cooking. Gnaw on one and let us know!

 

As an aside, my move in the past few years is to make a ham hock/bone stock in the IP and then use that as a braising liquid or soup base (often cut with some chicken stock). Father's Country Hams sells my favorite hocks and bones for this purpose -- super duper flavorful and the hocks have a goodly amount of meat on them. Their naked hambones are a great size too. Anyway, 90 minutes in the IP, pull the hocks out, dump in a bunch of aromatics (onions, garlic, celery, peppercorns, sometimes bay leaves) and do a 30-45 minute simmer/steep to layer in a fresh vegetal layer. Stuff is pure gold. Adds so much depth and aroma. 

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I've discovered two products I prefer to smoked ham hocks. One is smoked ham shanks, which have a lot more meat on them if you want some meat as well as flavor. They may not be as easy to find as hocks. For instance in Decatur/Atlanta I could not find smoked shanks.

Recently we found a  butcher who sells smoked pork neck bones. The flavor is intense, the minimal amount of meat is delicious and rich.

 

I often add non-smoked pork neck bones to chicken stock that I use for Chinese soups. For Red Beans and Rice and for Southwestern style bean I like to cook my beans in a ham stock, for which I use smoked shanks. It is easy to de-fat the stock before use, and having frozen stock on hand is very useful. Now that I have this source for smoked neck bones I find that just one of them cooked with an RG pack of beans is enough for rich flavor if I'm out of plain ham stock and need a quick bean fix (well, relatively quick if you don't make a separate broth).  

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I came across a recipe the other day for Skyr yogurt.  It calls for animal rennet, which I cannot find except on Amazon where it costs more than I want to pay.  I did find vegetarian rennet.  Can I use this instead and would I have to make any adjustments?  I will buy some Skyr yogurt to use as a starter, but does it have to be a plain yogurt or can it be a flavored yogurt?

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

I came across a recipe the other day for Skyr yogurt.  It calls for animal rennet, which I cannot find except on Amazon where it costs more than I want to pay.  I did find vegetarian rennet.  Can I use this instead and would I have to make any adjustments?  I will buy some Skyr yogurt to use as a starter, but does it have to be a plain yogurt or can it be a flavored yogurt?

Here's a recipe that gives you the alternatives - https://www.thespruceeats.com/basic-recipe-for-homemade-icelandic-skyr-2952689

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

If all you're after is to reheat it, a microwave. If you're trying to preserve texture, it seems like a steam oven is your best bet.

 

 

Steam ovens I have.  I have never owed a microwave.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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15 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Steam ovens I have.  I have never owed a microwave.

 

 

A microwave I have, but no steam oven.  So I have no recommendations as to time and temperature, except to maybe ask in one of the several steam oven topics we've got going.

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Eat more chicken skin.

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21 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

What's the best way to reheat half a baked potato?  This is not typically a problem that I have.

 

350 f Steam for 20 min or so.

 

Probably could do half that but no risk in going over on a potato

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On 3/20/2022 at 6:26 PM, gfweb said:

350 f Steam for 20 min or so.

 

Probably could do half that but no risk in going over on a potato

 

Unfortunately it came out rather like a crisp, but then I did not have much to lose.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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On 3/19/2022 at 6:21 PM, Dave the Cook said:

If all you're after is to reheat it, a microwave. If you're trying to preserve texture, it seems like a steam oven is your best bet.

 

Wrapping (that half potato or) any bread product in a damp paper towel before microwaving for maybe 20 seconds will mitigate the microwave's toughening tendency.  

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I have a 10 day old seeded sourdough baguette which I never cut into.

I'm wondering if I can use this baguette to make a Panzanella (Tuscan-Style Tomato and Bread Salad)

 

or whether I should just buy a new baguette

(I don't want to break anyone's teeth)

 

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