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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 1)


jhlurie
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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I don't know if this would work for the fine china but, when I was a kid, my mum would put the plates over the oven vent (one of the back burners). Friends who have a wood stove for heat use the back of the stove to warm their plates.

I've got a gas stove now and so am limited to putting them in the oven on "Warm".

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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I have both heavy-duty pottery plates and more delicate china with a platinum ring. and I'd hate to break either by getting a heat fracture.

The microwave is fabululous at heating plates, except for those with a metal rings. I was given a Salton Hot tray as a wediing gift (are they still made ?) and they warmed up my newlywed plates. If you are warming plates for plenty of folks, run them through the quickest dishwasher cycle . Or: Just throw them in the oven at 250.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

So after spending an absurd amount of time reading the label of every bottle in 2 local Asian markets.....

Are rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar the same thing??

I can only find rice vinegar. :wacko:

ETA: ... but the recipe calls for rice wine vinegar.

Edited by nacho (log)
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So after spending an absurd amount of time reading the label of every bottle in 2 local Asian markets.....

Are rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar the same thing??

I can only find rice vinegar.  :wacko:

According to the link below, they are not exactly the same thing, but one can be substituted for the other. See The Rice Vinegar/Rice Wine Vinegar Conundrum

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I have both heavy-duty pottery plates and more delicate china with a platinum ring. and I'd hate to break either by getting a heat fracture.

You can also just run them under some hot water! Of course, then you have to dry them :smile:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I have both heavy-duty pottery plates and more delicate china with a platinum ring. and I'd hate to break either by getting a heat fracture.

You can also just run them under some hot water! Of course, then you have to dry them :smile:

You can also pick up a plate warmer. I think they're still made commercially, but if not, keep an eye out at estate sales and on eBay. Basically, they're narrow electric blankets with folds that go over and under the plates. Each plate stays warm (but not hot) until you're ready to retrieve it from the stack in the blanket.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Also, applesauce? I have apples. I'm trying to use up the contents of our pantry (we are moving next week!), and would like to make a bread recipe I have which calls for applesauce. I assume I can just cook the apples down somehow. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Applesauce is pretty simple to cook on the stovetop, but if you want to go REALLY minimal effort just peel and chop enough apples to fill a crockpot (cut into 1/8 ths then cut each piece in half) add about 1/2 cup of water and about 1/2 cup of sugar (completely optional) then let it cook for hours on high or overnight on low until the apples are soft all the way through. Let cool, and puree with a stick blender. You can add cinnamon, or other fruits along with apple, or you can leave the peel on if you like your applesauce pinkish.

Oops! I just read the date on that post and realized I just answered a question that was asked nearly two years ago! :huh:

Edited by Teri Everitt (log)

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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Ok....my turn.

Why can't I make good home fries? I can make nice roasted potatoes....as in starting with chopped RAW potatoes and sauteing in oil and seasonings and then finishing in the oven, but for some reason when I try to make homefries starting with chopped onions and chopped COOKED potatoes I end up with.........

.......a half inch of crusty brown stuff on the pan bottom

........NO colour whatsover on the potatoes

.........NO flavour whatsover on the potatoes.

What am I doing wrong?

Ironically, I judge all diner breakfasts by the potatoes, so if I eat somewhere and the potatoes sucked, then I didn't enjoy my meal.

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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Ok....my turn.

Why can't I make good home fries?  I can make nice roasted potatoes....as in starting with chopped RAW potatoes and sauteing in oil and seasonings and then finishing in the oven, but for some reason when I try to make homefries starting with chopped onions and chopped COOKED potatoes I end up with.........

            .......a half inch of crusty brown stuff on the pan bottom

            ........NO colour whatsover on the potatoes

            .........NO flavour whatsover on the potatoes.

What am I doing wrong?

Ironically, I judge all diner breakfasts by the potatoes, so if I eat somewhere and the potatoes sucked, then I didn't enjoy my meal.

Have you read the eGCI class on potatoes?

"The Potato Primer, Instructor: Jackal10"

If your potatoes aren't browning, I'd have to question the fat, the pan and/or the heat. If you're getting a crust on the bottom, your pan may be too thin and the bottom potatoes are quickly getting overcooked.

A cast iron pan would be recommended for even, consistent heating. A nice liberal useage of fat would be good, too. Cooked potatoes are like sponges. I like to fry up bacon and then use the bacon fat for the home fries/diced potatoes.

Perhaps Jack (Jackal10) will step in to help out.

 

“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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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I have both heavy-duty pottery plates and more delicate china with a platinum ring. and I'd hate to break either by getting a heat fracture.

You can also just run them under some hot water! Of course, then you have to dry them :smile:

I now have a fixture with 3 infrared heat lamps, however before I got that, I used a plain infrared lamp bulb like these in a clamp-on utility fixture like this one, only without the stand that you can usually find at hardware stores. I would clamp it to the bottom of a cabinet door over a counter and put the plates on the counter. It will heat a stack of 6 plates in just a few minutes and hold them until you are ready to use them.

The clamp on fixture is also called a brooder lamp.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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.......a half inch of crusty brown stuff on the pan bottom

........NO colour whatsover on the potatoes

.........NO flavour whatsover on the potatoes.

You are over boiling the potatoes. In the pan they absorb the shortening and stick. Now you're trying to brown mashed potatoes on a thin crust of carbon stuck on the bottom of your pan (doesn't work). Oh and the flavor is in the half inch of crusty stuff.... :biggrin:

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If I cook the spaghetti squash can I freeze it until I need it? Or will it turn to mush? If I keep it in thr fridge-how long can it last? The problem is I have half of a 6 pounder too much for all in one go.

Life! what's life!? Just natures way of keeping meat fresh - Dr. who

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Ok....my turn.

Why can't I make good home fries?  I can make nice roasted potatoes....as in starting with chopped RAW potatoes and sauteing in oil and seasonings and then finishing in the oven, but for some reason when I try to make homefries starting with chopped onions and chopped COOKED potatoes I end up with.........

            .......a half inch of crusty brown stuff on the pan bottom

            ........NO colour whatsover on the potatoes

            .........NO flavour whatsover on the potatoes.

What am I doing wrong?

Ironically, I judge all diner breakfasts by the potatoes, so if I eat somewhere and the potatoes sucked, then I didn't enjoy my meal.

Yeah, as was previously stated, you're probably overboiling the potatoes. Or you're not using enough oil.

Peel and cut the potatoes into halves. Boil for about 4-5 minutes. Let them cool a little bit and lose some moisture. Then slice or chop the potatoes however you want. Potatoes should still be pretty firm. Then pan-fry.

Here is my question;

How do you replicate that extra crispy "texture" that KFC has when making fried chicken at home?

Edited by stephenc (log)
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Here's a silly question about seasoning raw meat before cooking it. I wash my hands, then I sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc., rub it around, turn the meat over to season the second side. Now I wash hands again, before grabbing the pepper mill with my raw-meat-hands. Then season the second side, and wash again when I'm done. Any way to avoid that middle step hand-washing without getting gunk on the pepper mill???

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Here's a silly question about seasoning raw meat before cooking it.  I wash my hands, then I sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc., rub it around, turn the meat over to season the second side.  Now I wash hands again, before grabbing the pepper mill with my raw-meat-hands.  Then season the second side, and wash again when I'm done.  Any way to avoid that middle step hand-washing without getting gunk on the pepper mill???

Use a paper towel to hold the pepper mill/salt dispenser.

Or, use only your fingertips to season the first side, then try to operate the pepper mill/salt dispenser without touching it with you fingertips.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Here's a silly question about seasoning raw meat before cooking it.  I wash my hands, then I sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc., rub it around, turn the meat over to season the second side.  Now I wash hands again, before grabbing the pepper mill with my raw-meat-hands.  Then season the second side, and wash again when I'm done.  Any way to avoid that middle step hand-washing without getting gunk on the pepper mill???

I've also wondered about this, especially when watching cooking shows where they don't wash their hands (or lightly rinse their hands without soap) between touching raw meat and touching things like pepper grinders.

Do the bacteria left on pepper grinders and other surfaces die when the moisture on the surface dries?

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For some reason I'm suddenly having trouble roasting zucchini. I have a hot oven, dry vegetables, olive oil, cut side down. But only some of them caramelize, the rest just steam no matter how long they're in. Are vegetables more watery at certain times of the year? I don't have a grill pan but I suppose I could get one.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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For some reason I'm suddenly having trouble roasting zucchini.  I have a hot oven, dry vegetables, olive oil, cut side down.  But only some of them caramelize, the rest just steam no matter how long they're in.  Are vegetables more watery at certain times of the year?  I don't have a grill pan but I suppose I could get one.

A trick I learned from (I think) Dave the Cook's blog was to slice the zucchini, then salt them and let them drain for a half hour or so -- it helps to dry them out, I think. Then blot and roast as usual.

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For some reason I'm suddenly having trouble roasting zucchini.  I have a hot oven, dry vegetables, olive oil, cut side down.  But only some of them caramelize, the rest just steam no matter how long they're in.  Are vegetables more watery at certain times of the year?  I don't have a grill pan but I suppose I could get one.

A trick I learned from (I think) Dave the Cook's blog was to slice the zucchini, then salt them and let them drain for a half hour or so -- it helps to dry them out, I think. Then blot and roast as usual.

Thank you! Weird, it hasn't been a problem before.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Here's a silly question about seasoning raw meat before cooking it.  I wash my hands, then I sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc., rub it around, turn the meat over to season the second side.  Now I wash hands again, before grabbing the pepper mill with my raw-meat-hands.  Then season the second side, and wash again when I'm done.  Any way to avoid that middle step hand-washing without getting gunk on the pepper mill???

I've also wondered about this, especially when watching cooking shows where they don't wash their hands (or lightly rinse their hands without soap) between touching raw meat and touching things like pepper grinders.

Do the bacteria left on pepper grinders and other surfaces die when the moisture on the surface dries?

It depends on the bacterium, among other things. Some will die within minutes, others can form semi-dormant spores that might remain viable for weeks or even longer.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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What is the appropriate and safe way to heat plates at home? Do you just stick them in the oven at a low temperature?

I have both heavy-duty pottery plates and more delicate china with a platinum ring. and I'd hate to break either by getting a heat fracture.

The microwave is fabululous at heating plates, except for those with a metal rings. I was given a Salton Hot tray as a wediing gift (are they still made ?) and they warmed up my newlywed plates. If you are warming plates for plenty of folks, run them through the quickest dishwasher cycle . Or: Just throw them in the oven at 250.

If your microwave is heating up your plates- your ceramicware is cracked. This microwave treatment is used by pottermakers to test their ware for defects (glaze fit /microscopic cracks). If it heats up in the microwave it is defective :sad:

flavor floozy

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Here's a silly question about seasoning raw meat before cooking it.  I wash my hands, then I sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc., rub it around, turn the meat over to season the second side.  Now I wash hands again, before grabbing the pepper mill with my raw-meat-hands.  Then season the second side, and wash again when I'm done.  Any way to avoid that middle step hand-washing without getting gunk on the pepper mill???

Grind the pepper into a small bowl in advance, then season both sides of the meat in a single step. It would be even better if you used food handling gloves. Latex is more common, but vinyl is available if you have a latex allergy. The gloves are very inexpensive compared to the increase in food safety they provide.

Jim

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