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chefs13

The Quintessential eG Kitchen Tips/Trucs

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Personally I'm always interested in kitchen/cooking tips that one may know. I could do something one way forever then someone comes along and they do it in a way that is so much easier. Your never to educated to learn.

Just by reading post here, their are a lot of educated cook/chefs here. But then I have also seen post were people really do not know. So hence the starting of this post.

My daughter who has watched me cook for over 20 years called me the other day and asked me "Whats a mirepoix?" So that will be my contribution to this post.

I am looking forward to reading any and all tips posted here. Right down to the simplest tip.

Mirepoix

A mirepoix is a mixture of diced vegetables, carrots, onions and celery (sometimes with ham or bacon), usually sauted in butter. It is said to have been created in the 18th century by the chef of the Duc de Levis-Mirepoix in France. Mirepoix is used to flavor stews, soups, stocks, etc. The usual mixture is 50% onions, and 25% each carrots and celery.

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addition of ham/bacon-along with shrooms-is a matignon IIRC. And we have the french mirepoix with leek.

"Your never to educated to learn." Words to live by. The more i cook the less i know.

danny

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A "Battuto" is a cut up mixture of ingredients that always includes, lard, parsley, and onion. Garlic, celery, or carrot might be included.

When the "Battuto" is sauteed it turns into a "Soffritto". The "mirepoix" of Italian cuisine.

Oh, and to add to the last post. I was always taught that a Matignon is an edible mirepoix, whereas a mirepoix is used to flavor and then strained out. :hmmm:

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This is a great thread. I am always on the lookout for new ways to do something.

I experiment a lot with different means to and end...

As you say, no one is ever too knowledgeable to learn something new.

I watched a local food show on our local cable channel last Saturday and was laughing at the chef's messy peeling of Kiwi fruit. I wanted to call the station and tell him that he could blanch them the same way as one would treat peaches and the skin would slip off easily. I can't possibly be the only person who ever thought of this......


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Personally, I find that any peach worth eating (uncooked)can be peeled without blanching. Of course if I'm making a pie...

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Heres another I know some don't know:

What does emulsify mean?

To emulsify means to combine two liquids that normally do not combine easily, such as oil and vinegar. Emulsifiers are contained in egg white, gelatine, skim milk and mustard. Mayonnaise is a mixture of oil and vinegar or lemon juice that is emulsified by the addition of egg yolk, which contains the emulsifier lecithin.

This is done by slowly adding one ingredient to another while whisking rapidly. This will disperse and suspend one liquid throughout the other. The two liquids will soon separate unless a third ingredient is added--this is called a liaison or emulsifier, which stabilises the mixture.

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My cooking tip for the day..when you are going to pan sear a fish ( whatever fish it is), heat the pan screamin' hot, add fat ( oil, butter, etc.) and then carefully lay the fish in the pan, but while doing so, shake it slightly, so the fish moves. Do this for about 15 seconds. The fish will never stick to the pan if you do this, no matter what type of fish or pan you use. The exception would be scallops, as you want them to crisp in the pan and deglaze with some type of liquid.

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Tempering: a technique designed to add a raw egg to a liquid, such as both or stock so as to avoid curdling/scrambling. Basically on stirs the liquid briskly with a whisk while slowly but steadily pouring a beaten egg.

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My cooking tip for the day..when you are going to pan sear a fish ( whatever fish it is), heat the pan screamin' hot, add fat ( oil, butter, etc.) and then carefully lay the fish in the pan, but while doing so, shake it slightly, so the fish moves. Do this for about 15 seconds. The fish will never stick to the pan if you do this, no matter what type of fish or pan you use. The exception would be scallops, as you want them to crisp in the pan and deglaze with some type of liquid.

I must disagree. I want my fish to stick so it forms a nice crust like the scallops (to seal in flavor). But to each his/her own.

My cooking tip #2: Don't overcroud your pan when trying to brown something. Work in batches if necessary.

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I'm on a roll right now.

Tip #3: Use cold butter when making your beurre blanc. It emulsifies much nicer this way.

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My cooking tip #2: Don't overcroud your pan when trying to brown something. Work in batches if necessary.

Funny you should mention that. I had read that in several cookbooks, but just learned yesterday for the first time that you shouldn't use a pan that's too big either, like putting just 1/2 chicken breast in a 12-inch pan. I didn't know that. Something about the rest of the pan getting too hot or smoking or something.

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I must disagree. I want my fish to stick so it forms a nice crust like the scallops (to seal in flavor)

I hear ya! For some fish, having a crust is very beneficial, but if you don't want it to stick to your pan, that technique works like a charm! :smile:

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A mirepoix is a mixture of diced vegetables, carrots, onions and celery...The usual mixture is 50% onions, and 25% each carrots and celery.
And we have the french mirepoix with leek.

And a cajun mirepoix uses green bell pepper in place of the carrots.

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I peel kiwis with a spoon. Just cut off the polar ends and slip a spoon between the skin and the flesh. Rotate in your hand, cutting away the skin with the edge of the spoon, and then slip the skin off. Voila!

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When cooking pasta = add a nice handful of salt to each gallon of water you use to cook it in. Your pasta has a flavor - let some salt help bring it out! Dont always depend on your sauce to carry through. Also - oil and water have different levels of boiency(spelling?)...why would you add oil to your boiling water for your pasta...thats a NO NO!!!

Ciao!

Ore

Oh - also...

Extra virgin olive oil is the way to go...Olive oil is nothing close to extra virgin.

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Cooking tip #4: Always blanch your fish bones when making stock. It really helps to remove a lot of impurities.

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Cooking tip #4:  Always blanch your fish bones when making stock.  It really helps to remove a lot of impurities.

Good tip, and it can be extended to other meats to advantage.

This is not as sophisticated technically as chefdg's tips, but I find this makes cooking sooo much easier:

When mixing ingredients together by hand, use a bowl that's big enough. Really really big. For some things you can quick toss them in the bowl, much as one does with food in a pan. For most things I like a bowl that's at least 2-3x the volume of whatever I'm mixing.

It drives me crazy when I see people dibbydabbying food about trying to keep it from spilling over the rim as they poke it with a spoon, spatula.

Ooops, sorry for the rant. :wacko::rolleyes::rolleyes: You should see me shout at the TV chefs, "Get a bigger bowl!" :laugh:

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...

When mixing ingredients together by hand, use a bowl that's big enough. Really really big. For some things you can quick toss them in the bowl, much as one does with food in a pan. For most things I like a bowl that's at least 2-3x the volume of whatever I'm mixing...

Absolutely! Took me far too long to learn this out but I should have known better - one of my Gran's favourite sayings:

"What will hold a lot, will hold a little." :biggrin:

I have two bowls that are 14 inches in diameter and they are in almost constant use.

(I think it might have been Jinmyo who offered this tip in another thread many moons ago.)

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When mixing ingredients together by hand, use a bowl that's big enough. Really really big. For some things you can quick toss them in the bowl, much as one does with food in a pan. For most things I like a bowl that's at least 2-3x the volume of whatever I'm mixing.

I am so with you on that one

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I am looking forward to reading any and all tips posted here. Right down to the simplest tip.

Some simple tips:

1. To remove an avocado pit from the half that has it stuck in the middle, lightly but firmly pop your chef's knife into the pit and twist slightly; it'll come out stuck to the knife.

2. To remove an avocadi pit stuck on your chef's knife, open your garbage can and lightly but firmly knock the handle of your chef's knife on the edge; it'll pop into the trash with ease.

3. Martha Stewart is a moron about a lot of things (didn't Bourdain used to move her cookbooks to the "Humor" section of his local book shop?), but her emphasis on mise en place -- washing, cutting, and generally setting everything up before you start cooking -- is crucial, especially for home cooks who are trying to learn recipes. That way, you can focus on the cooking. It's also harder to forget something at the crucial moment -- say, when you realize that your bell peppers are still in the fridge as you watch your gumbo's roux turn black....

4. Scallions ought not be cut more than a few minutes before you use them; they ooze a soapy substance that feels slimy.

Hmmm.... More later, I'm sure.

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Tip #5: Salt raises the temperature at which water boils by about 2 degrees; thats why some chefs are so anal about blanching green vegetables in heavily salted water. The hotter water allows the vegetables to cook faster, thus, maintaining the bright color. In addition, if you are blanching a bunch of vegetables (green beans for example), give them a stir occasionally in the pot, this allows the beans on the bottom to release their gases and set their color.

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onion away?garlic begone?-ages ago i bought one of those small,metal bars that are allegedly used by 'professionals'to 'rid their hands of strong odours.'it works but so does any of the stainless steel in my kitchen and there are more ergonomic shapes for cosying up to than the small hotel soap sized one i bought!

what do professionals use anyway?soap and water? :laugh:

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Hmm, I wear my cooking smells as badges of honor ;). The other day my hands smelled of garlic, my clothes and hair of hickory and onions, but I found the smells rather pleasant.

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Freeze stock in various sized zip-loc baggies, lying them flat in the freezer when you first put them in.

For starters, by squeezing out all the air, they will last longer (than 'ice cubes' as some people make). Secondly, by freezing them flat, they can then stack nicely as verticals, saving room in your freezer. The various sizes will guarantee that you always have the amount you need.

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