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Your Culinary Nemesis in the Kitchen


NeroW
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My nemesis is biscuits.  Communion wafers, every time.

We call them "hockey pucks" in my kitchen - and that's exactly what mine look like :smile: . I've heard that the secret is using lard - but - being Jewish - even though I'm not very religious - I could never bring myself to buy a tub of lard (that's how they sell it here) and bring it into the house. Robyn

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Hollandaise sauce. I cannot master this simple, but delicious concoction. I am a self-proclaimed good cook, but I more often than not get scrambled eggs or egg juice. What must I do? :hmmm:

Another of my perennial failures. I finally found a hollandaise sauce in a jar that you can just heat up. It isn't great - but it's consistently better than mine. Robyn

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Don't have a clue how to deal with a whole fish...

You mean a whole fish that you just caught? Or a whole meal ready fish you buy at the market? If the latter - it's usually the timing that's daunting (you can't just stick a meat thermometer in anything smaller than a whale :smile: ). Therefore I'd start with small fish - to get a feel for it - like those small farm raised trout that are about big enough for 1. Sauteed - in the oven - experiment. Once you get the little fish right - you can start working your way up to bigger fish. For what it's worth - I find that most older cookbook recipes call for too much cooking time - and trendier magazine recipes call for too little (I like my fish cooked - not overdone - and not raw).

By the way - if it's the former - it's more complicated and involves really sharp knives. Make sure you buy a Kevlar glove :biggrin: . Robyn

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Double boiler's too big for making small batches. :smile:

You make batches smaller than 3 yolks? Sheesh, 3 yolks is barely enough for 2 people, if you take into account the amount I steal to eat straight with a spoon. Actually, though, my mother's db (which I hate, because unlike mine it ain't transparent, but that's beside the point) would be small enough for a single-yolker - smaller than that, you're on your own.

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Double boiler's too big for making small batches. :smile:

You make batches smaller than 3 yolks? Sheesh, 3 yolks is barely enough for 2 people, if you take into account the amount I steal to eat straight with a spoon. Actually, though, my mother's db (which I hate, because unlike mine it ain't transparent, but that's beside the point) would be small enough for a single-yolker - smaller than that, you're on your own.

LOL, my double boiler is probably a little bigger than either yours or your mother's, but on top of that, I've actually been making 2-yolk batches because we tend to eat however much I make, so the less I make the better. :biggrin: My bowl method is essentially a mini double boiler...a 1-quart, copperbottom saucepan and a little pyrex bowl...it's actually a very cute set-up. I even have a little whisk too :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I can cook a whole fish that I just acquired from a fishmonger (that has been cleaned, of course), but don't ask me to filet and skin it. All those butchery skills are ones I don't possess.

Geez. Peter and Diana learned to skin, bone and fillet fish (walleye :biggrin: or sunfish) -- cooked or raw -- by the time they were five. Call it a pre-requistie in our family to going to kindergarten. Along with that lesson comes how to hone the filet knife. Diana would call you a lightweight, grin, and give you a lesson.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Diana would call you a lightweight, grin, and give you a lesson.

Would Diana care to hold a master class in gutting and scaling? I'd pay money for that.

Huh. Come on over, and I'll teach ya - take maybe ten minutes. I let other people do the fishing (I have my hands full with shellfish), but I can clean, scale, gut and filet like nobody's business. The nice thing about fish is, there's only so many moving parts - not a whole lot of anatomy to worry about, and most of what you don't want is all conveniently clumped together. Convenience food, really. Almost.

EDIT to add: Here's a piece of our family language: anything (fish or otherwise) that is guaranteed perfect, done, just so, is called "thousand-dollar-fish." This is because my mother and her brother used to bet each other $1,000 on just about any point on which they challenged each other or disagreed, and when my uncle handed my mother a fresh-caught bluefish and she did the job on it, on returning the filets she'd promise to pay him $1,000 for every bone he found (and bluefish is a bit more complicated than, say, flounder - lots of little floating peripheral bones). I don't know whether they ever held each other to the $1,000 sum - generally I figure they didn't have $1,000 - but I do know she never paid him a penny in bluefish-bone forfeits.

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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My nemesis is sauteeing garlic. I could put garlic in oil in a cold pan on the countertop, and I'd still find a way to burn it.

Son of a motherless goat!

I f*&%^&%* did it again last night!!!!!!

:angry:

Hmm...does this happen even when you leave the garlic whole, but smashed?

Maybe it's just your pans.... or just rationalization to get new ones! :raz:

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Diana would call you a lightweight, grin, and give you a lesson.

Would Diana care to hold a master class in gutting and scaling? I'd pay money for that.

Huh. Come on over, and I'll teach ya - take maybe ten minutes. I let other people do the fishing (I have my hands full with shellfish), but I can clean, scale, gut and filet like nobody's business. The nice thing about fish is, there's only so many moving parts - not a whole lot of anatomy to worry about, and most of what you don't want is all conveniently clumped together. Convenience food, really. Almost.

EDIT to add: Here's a piece of our family language: anything (fish or otherwise) that is guaranteed perfect, done, just so, is called "thousand-dollar-fish." This is because my mother and her brother used to bet each other $1,000 on just about any point on which they challenged each other or disagreed, and when my uncle handed my mother a fresh-caught bluefish and she did the job on it, on returning the filets she'd promise to pay him $1,000 for every bone he found (and bluefish is a bit more complicated than, say, flounder - lots of little floating peripheral bones). I don't know whether they ever held each other to the $1,000 sum - generally I figure they didn't have $1,000 - but I do know she never paid him a penny in bluefish-bone forfeits.

Ok, let's see them filet a shad with no bones remaining. THAT would be a thousand dollar fish!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Hi Fi,

:biggrin: I love saying that.

More vague, like what I feel like or have. For a dressing for one salad which I frequently make, I use a splash of champagne vinegar or something tasty, about just under a tablespoon of the white miso, 1/4 t + of dijon or garlic dijon mustard, about 1 T + of peanut oil, 1/4 t + of honey, a dash of ground coriander (love the lemony flavor of it). Maybe tarragon. Ground pepper. You know, with miso it's easy to experiment as it hasn't overpowered the dressing yet.

I know, I know - Stereo Girl here!

Thanks for this, sequim - watch out your credit tomorrow on the "Dinner!" thread!

Fi

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Fi - where do you live? Climate can affect meringues. I live near the ocean, and I don't even try them during the summer - too humid.

Balmagowry, I've tried them in London (various postcodes); Glasgow; Edinburgh; and (most recent attempt) Herefordshire (perilously close to Wales). And yes, I know that nowhere in the UK are you more from 60 miles from the coastline but...

I think it's just me. Egg whites despise me as a weakling. They can smell the fear.

Fi

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Hello All,

I figure this is as good a thread as any to first poke my nose out into these forums. For what it is worth I have been lurking and reading the old threads for the past month, trying to get a feel for the place, and I have already learned a tremendous amount. I also went out today and picked up a cast iron frying pan and a copy of 'How to Cook Everything', so I really can't wait to get started.

This probably seems woefully amateur to most of you, but I simply can not seem to make a Caesar salad dressing work. The texture is always quite watery and thin, not thick and creamy. It tends to work if I let it refridgerate for a while, but I believe the thickness then is a result of the cold, not a change in the dressing. Someday... maybe my new book has the answers.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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There's a whole bunch of stuff I probably can't cook properly but of the simple things I try I just can't cook a sausage properly. I've fried 'em, broiled 'em, grilled 'em, baked 'em, high temp, low temp, lots of oil/fat, practically dry, thin ones, fat ones and still I can't get a decent result. Either not cooked enough in the middle or a charred shell on the outside (and occasionally both simultaneously). Nemesausage!

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My nemesis is sauteeing garlic. I could put garlic in oil in a cold pan on the countertop, and I'd still find a way to burn it.

Son of a motherless goat!

I f*&%^&%* did it again last night!!!!!!

:angry:

SUCCESS!!! I won the culinary battle against my garlic last night, however

I am quite sure that I have not yet won the war.

"Let loose the kitchen clogs of war!"

edited for fta fngires

Edited by JPW (log)

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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SUCCESS!!! I won the culinary battle against my garlic last night, however

I am quite sure that I have not yet won the war.

"Let loose the kitchen clogs of war!"

edited for fta fngires

But how? Share the secret with the rest of us garlic-burners - please? :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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SUCCESS!!! I won the culinary battle against my garlic last night, however

I am quite sure that I have not yet won the war.

"Let loose the kitchen clogs of war!"

edited for fta fngires

But how? Share the secret with the rest of us garlic-burners - please? :biggrin:

If only I knew for sure how I did it Anna. :rolleyes:

But seriously,

1)for the first time I made sure that I had my eyes and nose on the garlic every second.

2) After getting the oil very hot, I turned down the heat on the burner and then turned back up when I inserted the veggies

3) I put the veggies in about 20-30 seconds before I typically do

Theoretically, the water from the veggies cools the concoction enough to keep the garlic from burning. My thinking was that it's not instantaneous, that there is some carry over time of continuing heating before the liquids start releasing. Therefore, if you let the garlic cook until you judge it "done" and then put in the other ingredients, you're screwed. It burns before the cooling takes over.

While I think that I have the general prinicples of the above explanation right, I'm sure my details are severely flawed and would welcome correction.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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But seriously,

1)for the first time I made sure that I had my eyes and nose on the garlic every second.

2) After getting the oil very hot, I turned down the heat on the burner and then turned back up when I inserted the veggies

3) I put the veggies in about 20-30 seconds before I typically do

Theoretically, the water from the veggies cools the concoction enough to keep the garlic from burning. My thinking was that it's not instantaneous, that there is some carry over time of continuing heating before the liquids start releasing. Therefore, if you let the garlic cook until you judge it "done" and then put in the other ingredients, you're screwed. It burns before the cooling takes over.

While I think that I have the general prinicples of the above explanation right, I'm sure my details are severely flawed and would welcome correction.

Thanks but I think I already do all those things and it still burns most of the time! But I'm thinking that electric burners and heavy weight pans don't help because you really cannot lower the heat quickly. Tempted to keep a jug of water handy and drop a teaspoon or two in there - should evaporate at once and ought to cool down the pan. Will try this next time.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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