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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 1)


jhlurie
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Is there any way to "fix" a chocolate mousse that fell flat? I made the Pierre Herme recipe and all went well up to the last moments of folding the egg whites, when it just deflated. It's in the fridge - should it go down the drain? :(

edited to add that it set somewhat but it's no mousse, it has more of a pudding consistency. I still wonder how this happened - whites too cold, chocolate too warm?

Edited by Mistinguett (log)
The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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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

I agree with Jim, and I also do a "clean hand / dirty hand" thing where I handle the meat with one hand and season with the other; works well if you have to get through a bunch of things that you want seasoned on both sides.

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Is there any way to "fix" a chocolate mousse that fell flat? I made the Pierre Herme recipe and all went well up to the last moments of folding the egg whites, when it just deflated. It's in the fridge - should it go down the drain? :(

edited to add that it set somewhat but it's no mousse, it has more of a pudding consistency. I still wonder how this happened - whites too cold, chocolate too warm?

You can chill the mousse and then beat it, like a whipped ganache. It won't be nearly as light as it should have been, but it will be a little lighter.

"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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Strangely, it got even more liquidy. Just right to drink with small sips, like a cold hot chocolate. It's been delicious, just still not a mousse. Oh well, I'll try again.

Thank you for your advice, Patrick, much appreciated.

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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Can soft cheeses like Saga Blue & Mascarpone be frozen for future use?

It's often hit or miss finding these cheeses locally. It would be great to stock up when the opportunity presents itself.

Sigh, still yearning for a real cheese shop out here on the great plains...

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Strangely, it got even more liquidy. Just right to drink with small sips, like a cold hot chocolate. It's been delicious, just still not a mousse. Oh well, I'll try again.

Thank you for your advice, Patrick, much appreciated.

You weren't by any chance using a pasteurized liquid egg white were you? Some of them will whip up and look fine, but the foam is not very stable. Cream of tartar will make the foam a little more stable, so if you didn't use it, you may want to try that next time. I didn't think about it before, but the chilling and whipping would probably only help with mousses that have lots of cream in them, and wouldn't work with mousses based on egg white foam only.

"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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In the last few months I have made French dishes that had salt pork lardons. First sauteed to render the fat and then removed so that the next ingredient could be sauteed in the flavorful fat.

Are these crispy bits discarded? added later?

The recipe for the beef bourguinon and the chicken with prunes did not specify either way.

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Can soft cheeses like Saga Blue & Mascarpone be frozen for future use?

Give it a try. Many high fat items freeze very well. I freeze Reblochon when we get it in volume at the source and does quite nicely. Butter also freezes well.

I made a stock with the leftover Easter lamb.

Now what can I do with it?

Why don't you make a tuscan white bean soup with it? You won't be sorry.
In the last few months I have made French dishes that had salt pork lardons. First sauteed to render the fat and then removed so that the next ingredient could be sauteed in the flavorful fat.

Are these crispy bits discarded? added later?

The recipe for the beef bourguinon and the chicken with prunes did not specify either way.

Put the lardons back in with your meat at the time you add the liquid for slow cooking.

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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:

What I learned was to take a pile of plates and lightly spray water along the sides of the stack, then microwave the stack. The heated water heats the plates. It works really well.

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Can soft cheeses like Saga Blue & Mascarpone be frozen for future use?

Give it a try. Many high fat items freeze very well. I freeze Reblochon when we get it in volume at the source and does quite nicely. Butter also freezes well.

I made a stock with the leftover Easter lamb.

Now what can I do with it?

Why don't you make a tuscan white bean soup with it? You won't be sorry.
In the last few months I have made French dishes that had salt pork lardons. First sauteed to render the fat and then removed so that the next ingredient could be sauteed in the flavorful fat.

Are these crispy bits discarded? added later?

The recipe for the beef bourguinon and the chicken with prunes did not specify either way.

Put the lardons back in with your meat at the time you add the liquid for slow cooking.

Thank you - that sounds divine!

Patti Davis

www.anatomyofadinnerparty.com

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What I learned was to take a pile of plates and lightly spray water along the sides of the stack, then microwave the stack.  The heated water heats the plates.  It works really well.

this is what i do. well, i don't spray, i just run some water in the plates. microwave for a minute, and it'll heat a stack of four to the "pretty damn warm" level.

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I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but.... here goes.

How do you pronounce "au poivre?"

I'm sooo not French!

Edited by digigirl (log)
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body...but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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How do you pronounce "au poivre?" 

"oh pwahv-r" - kind of just tack the r on at the end like an afterthought.

edited because, if you put an 'r' in brackets, it turns into an ®

Edited by curlywurlyfi (log)

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

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

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I have another embarrassingly dumb question. When you measure chopped fresh herbs, do you just lightly pile them in the cup or spoon or do you pack them down? I usually do something in the middle, but I always wonder.


Also, several months ago there was a great tutorial on sharpening knives. I can't find it now & it's driving me nuts. Can anyone help?

Thank you for this thread! I've been learning a lot from it.

pat w.

[Moderator note: This topic continues here, Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)]

Edited by Mjx
Moderator note added. (log)

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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