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What is the one cooking trick


fresco
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This sounds too simple, I know, but what has made a great difference in my cooking/baking is preheating.  A few years ago, I didn't understand that heating the pan and/or oil beforehand made a world of difference.  Preheating the oven before baking also made a big difference.

That was mine: heat the pan, then the oil. Then put it in the pan and leave it alone. I used to start trying to move the meat/mushrooms/whatever around much too soon.

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This sounds too simple, I know, but what has made a great difference in my cooking/baking is preheating.  A few years ago, I didn't understand that heating the pan and/or oil beforehand made a world of difference.  Preheating the oven before baking also made a big difference.

That was mine: heat the pan, then the oil. Then put it in the pan and leave it alone. I used to start trying to move the meat/mushrooms/whatever around much too soon.

good tip... definitely a common amateur mistake.... wait until there is some shnizzle in the panizzle.

i can't believe i just said that...

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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That was mine: heat the pan, then the oil. Then put it in the pan and leave it alone. I used to start trying to move the meat/mushrooms/whatever around much too soon.

Yeah, same here. The revelation that things don't stick if you put them in a hot pan with hot oil and let them sit there till they're not sticking anymore. It really makes a difference.,

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Chopping onions - the standard pro method is often seen now on cooking shows, but for quite a long time, we amateurs were unaware of it. You still hear people say, "Chopping onions makes me cry; what can I do about it?" And lots of crackpot methods are still passed around (have a lit candle nearby, scuba masks, etc.)

When done right, you don't have time to cry. Not in a home kitchen with only one or two to do, anyway.

Maybe a suitable topic for the eG mini-courses, even though it's fairly well-known by now?

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Remember that fat tastes good. When creating great food you need to add fat. Make it natural and coexistent with the product you are producing....

1. Sweet butter with pastry.

2. Lots of sweet butter 'monte au beurre' with sauces and stocks (as much as the sauce will hold and buzz it to a froth for extra textural appeal).

3. Olive oil, vegetables, potatoes, pastas and starches (breads).

4. Lardon when using a larding needle on meats (by far the best technique in French cooking).

5. Wrapping and baking any protein in pork fat or bacon (double smoked belly, preferably).

6. And for dessert add more whipped cream; at least 40% butterfat or crème friache.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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making mayonaise (or hollandaise)

so many books tell you to add the oil (butter) one drop at a time to begin with. this is completely wrong. yes add in small quantities at a time but the important thing is that the quantum added is completley incorporated before you add some more. you can do it in much more than drops - just not continuously. this has saved me umpteen upsets and only goes wrong when i get overconfident...

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so many books tell you to add the oil (butter) one drop at a time to begin with.

:blink: Whaaa? I'd never heard that.

A thin slow stream.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Remember that fat tastes good. When creating great food you need to add fat. Make it natural and coexistent with the product you are producing....

1. Sweet butter with pastry.

2. Lots of sweet butter 'monte au beurre' with sauces and stocks (as much as the sauce will hold and buzz it to a froth for extra textural appeal).

3. Olive oil, vegetables, potatoes, pastas and starches (breads).

4. Lardon when using a larding needle on meats (by far the best technique in French cooking).

5. Wrapping and baking any protein in pork fat or bacon (double smoked belly, preferably).

6. And for dessert add more whipped cream; at least 40% butterfat or crème friache.

Damn it, I just gained ten pounds reading this. :wacko:

sparrowgrass
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Skimming. I skim off foam and scum whenever I see them on food in a pot. It's made my soups clearer, my beans less gassy and my flavors purer.

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I can't think of one trick that changed every thing.

I can't think of a dish I haven't made from which I haven't learned something.

Wait.

Buttered toast. But even then...

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I rub meat (burgers, steak, chicken, etc) with oil and salt and pepper before cooking instead of putting oil in the pan and adding salt and pepper later. Not sure how beneficial that is, but I like to do it that way now.

Also I toss meat and marinade together in a plastic bag and let it sit instead of putting it all in a bowl. I use less marinade that way, it doesn't mess up a bowl, and it takes up less space.

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Chopping onions - the standard pro method is often seen now on cooking shows, but for quite a long time, we amateurs were unaware of it. You still hear people say, "Chopping onions makes me cry; what can I do about it?" And lots of crackpot methods are still passed around (have a lit candle nearby, scuba masks, etc.)

When done right, you don't have time to cry. Not in a home kitchen with only one or two to do, anyway.

I'll admit, I don't know the method. Please share. I swear, I keep getting more sensitive to onions. It's getting so bad that my eyes are burning just reading this post. :laugh:

(actually, I have problems with every member of the allium family)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Pre-made roux. Several years ago, when I was in cooking school, I experimented by making several large batches of roux. I ended up with two or three quarts worth that I put in a good Tupperware in the back of the fridge. It never went bad and it helped as I was more encouraged to whip up fabulous sauces, knowing I could thicken them whenever I wanted with a tablespoon or two of hardened roux.

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inventolux's garlic method also works with the side of a cleaver or the flat of your palm, just crush and slip off skin...

For the Canadian's amongst us...Yan Can Cook; he uses this method in almost every show. Good to see him back on the air and living in Vancouver after a ten year hiatus.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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