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The Quintessential eG Kitchen Tips/Trucs

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HERE and HERE are videos showing mushroom fluting, you can see the grip on the knives very well. I linked to two videos because of the two different knives shown. Many chefs prefer the cheap knife, like the first shows, as the blade is more flexible than the more expensive knife. (also, many of us wind up using whatever our cheapskate boss provides for us, which more often than not turns out to be the 2 for $3 sort)

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From ATK, I think...If you're going to apply cooking spray to a pan, open up the dishwasher door and spray it over that. Then close the door and the overspray is contained until the next wash cycle.

 

Also, Mary Ann is handier with a spud than Ginger.

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Thanks Rotus, I'm looking forward to finding some gems in this topic - once past the pointy finger kerfuffle.  

 

And while on the subject, I use knives more than a little bit and teach knife skills to folks wanting to up their game with new toys.  

 

I find the finger point grip useful for precise slicing or draw cuts to control the downward pressure on the tip.  So butchering fish, portioning sashimi or sushi, or slicing proteins the finger will be on top.  But it provides poor lateral control of the blade and so would not be useful for push cuts, chopping or rocking.  Certainly not good for small precision work and never with a parer.  

 

In "Housewife Knife" class, most of the attendees will use the finger grip for everything.  I demonstrate the push cut, teach the push cut, advocate the push cut but know that most of these folks have been cutting their whole lives with the finger grip because that's the way mom taught them.  I don't pretend I'm going to change their world but also don't buy the idea of improper grip causing carpel tunnel when these self described "foodies" use a knife a few hours a year.

 

Lisa,  your videos make me glad that fluting shrooms,  and tourne potatoes are largely relics of the past.  But if you have to do it that's exactly how to hold the knife.

 

And a tip that I picked up recently.  When making a sauce on a gas stove, usually tomato, remove the lid from the tomato can and use it as a heat diffuser between the gas burner and the sauce pan.  When done throw it away.  Helps me cut down on burned sauces.

 

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Well, one of my very best tips was not learned through "media" as in video media. Sorry, @rotuts.

 

It was a tip I learned right here on eG. I always used to lose fresh ginger to waste until I read a tip here to keep it in the freezer. It actually grates better than when it's fresh. The fibers break off short in the grater instead of causing stringy problems when they're fresh. 

 

eG is a form of "media", right? :)

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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you bet.  I do that myself.   I just grate off the freezer burn part in the sink then the better bits in the dish.

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Roll pasta in a big loop, it makes handling it much much easier. I think I picked that one up from Masterchef: The Professionals.

 

Also slice your roast against the grain not with the grain, so you just get short fibres in the slice. It makes it more tender. I think that's from Heston on Saturday Kitchen of all places!

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@Shelby  

 

no matter what you do with it, its always going to be celery.

 

:raz:

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19 hours ago, rotuts said:

@Shelby  

 

no matter what you do with it, its always going to be celery.

 

:raz:

 

@rotuts, do you not even like celery in broth from chicken frames made into chicken soup or gravies later? You do seem to be dead set against it. I also know you use some commercially prepared products, as I do. It's hard to avoid in those because of it's naturally preservative properties these days.

 

Just wondering? :)


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I don't mind the taste of celery, I can't stand its consistency when cooked ( stalk ).   I don't mind the leaves.

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Bumping this because I just read a listicle and this little titbit intrigued me.

 

"

Using your dominant hand, touch your pointer finger to the muscle at the base of your thumb, on the palm. The fleshy part that you can move freely.

When you use your pointer finger and press down on that muscle, that is rare. Middle is medium rare, ring is medium, pinky is well done. (Don't ever cook meat to well done.)"

 

Source: http://www.knowable.com/a/21-chefs-share-crucial-cooking-tips-and-tricks-that-everyone-should-know/p-3

 

 

Thoughts? Do you think that might work? I usually use a meat thermometer when cooking on the Kamado Joe but I liked the simplicity of this rule of thumb.

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From Christine Cushing years ago - a show that it pained me to watch for some reason - but when chopping nuts use a serrated knife to prevent them flying. I use a big serrated cake knife.

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4 hours ago, Tere said:

Bumping this because I just read a listicle and this little titbit intrigued me.

 

"

Using your dominant hand, touch your pointer finger to the muscle at the base of your thumb, on the palm. The fleshy part that you can move freely.

When you use your pointer finger and press down on that muscle, that is rare. Middle is medium rare, ring is medium, pinky is well done. (Don't ever cook meat to well done.)"

 

Source: http://www.knowable.com/a/21-chefs-share-crucial-cooking-tips-and-tricks-that-everyone-should-know/p-3

 

 

Thoughts? Do you think that might work? I usually use a meat thermometer when cooking on the Kamado Joe but I liked the simplicity of this rule of thumb.

 

I read this tip some years ago here on eGullet.  I have to admit I've never been able to feel a comparison (maybe the temperature difference between the meat and my hand confuses my senses) but a number of experienced cooks swore by it at the time.  

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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5 hours ago, Tere said:

Thoughts? Do you think that might work? I usually use a meat thermometer when cooking on the Kamado Joe but I liked the simplicity of this rule of thumb.

 

I'd not heard of this before. I tried it several times, and it does not work for me. Interesting experiment, though. I guess the theory is that in order to move the thumb forward, the muscle in question must contract and become harder to the touch. I have unusually long fingers, so I observed that I can touch with index and middle fingers with the thumb in exactly the same position. The ring only requires a very small move forward, and the little finger requires an additional slight forward move of the thumb. The little finger also touches a lower place on the muscle unless I manipulate it upward with the other hand. Folks with shorter fingers may have better luck. I can feel the doneness of steaks on the grill even through the tongs, and since I usually cook for people who all like them Pittsburgh, I cook over a very hot fire. It's not really practical to touch the cooking meat under these conditions.

 

Of course a thermometer is the best tool, especially if you are cooking for the occasional insane person who likes theirs well done. 9_9 My brother-in-law is one such, but otherwise is a really nice guy, really! Well except for wanting his green beans cooked to morbidity.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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This is definitely a worthy use of the 'rule of thumb' label!

 

The way I'd heard it, you touch your thumb to different fingers on the same hand then use the forefinger of the other hand to feel the different degrees of squish in the fleshy part of your thumb. This is much easier to do than describe!

 

I can certainly feel the difference with different fingers, but I don't think I've ever used it to assess meat doneness.  Experience and instict seems to work pretty well for me. 

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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On 08/07/2016 at 4:34 PM, lesliec said:

The way I'd heard it, you touch your thumb to different fingers on the same hand then use the forefinger of the other hand to feel the different degrees of squish in the fleshy part of your thumb. This is much easier to do than describe!

 

Yes, that is how I heard it. I'm sure I've seen videos on YouTube showing the technique. I vaguely remember, I think, Gordon Ramsay demonstrating it, but that may be a false memory.

(I tried to take some pictures to illustrate, but realised I would need three hands, so gave up on that.)

Whatever, I still don't think much of it as an idea. Temperature is the surest guide.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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It's one of those 'cute' but generally useless tips that's been around a long time.

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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Technique remembered and put into practice:

 

Use of a small serrated knife to prepare supremes of lime, lemon, yuzu or any other citrus with segments.

 

There has been a daily cooking show, Dans le Peau d'un Chef for a couple of years now on the French channel France 2.  Candidates get a 'Master Class' then replicate the recipe they have been shown.  Christophe Michelak, Pastry Chef, is the host and at least twice a week the Master Class will be some kind of dessert.

 

Often candidates will be required to produce supremes from a citrus fruit.  The technique shown involves use of a small serrated knife to remove pith and zest but leaving the fruit as intact as possible. They then cut supremes from the remaining fruit.  We purchased such a knife a few days ago and, success first time!  Great little supremes of lime that went very nicely in a gin and tonic.  

 

Certainly something I wouldn't  have tried had I not seen it demonstrated on said show.  Glad to have discovered a new to me technique.

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4 hours ago, DianaB said:

Technique remembered and put into practice:

 

Use of a small serrated knife to prepare supremes of lime, lemon, yuzu or any other citrus with segments.

 

There has been a daily cooking show, Dans le Peau d'un Chef for a couple of years now on the French channel France 2.  Candidates get a 'Master Class' then replicate the recipe they have been shown.  Christophe Michelak, Pastry Chef, is the host and at least twice a week the Master Class will be some kind of dessert.

 

Often candidates will be required to produce supremes from a citrus fruit.  The technique shown involves use of a small serrated knife to remove pith and zest but leaving the fruit as intact as possible. They then cut supremes from the remaining fruit.  We purchased such a knife a few days ago and, success first time!  Great little supremes of lime that went very nicely in a gin and tonic.  

 

Certainly something I wouldn't  have tried had I not seen it demonstrated on said show.  Glad to have discovered a new to me technique.

 

Can you link a picture of the knife?

 

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On 7/8/2016 at 6:15 AM, DiggingDogFarm said:

It's one of those 'cute' but generally useless tips that's been around a long time.

 

I agree. One of the useless (but cute ) tips.

I think based on the law of physics, the compliance of a coil spring also depends on the length of the spring. In other words, the thickness of the steak makes a difference on how soft / hard it feels even cooked at the same temperature.

 

My tip: get a thermometer. $5.00 to $100,00.

dcarch

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@DianaB I've never used a serrated knife for supremes, I like a slightly dull paring knife so it slides against the membrane without cutting into it. 

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16 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Can you link a picture of the knife?

 

I just use an inexpensive serrated steak knife. No need to buy something new (not that I'm opposed to buying new things for kitchen use!).

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3 hours ago, cyalexa said:

I just use an inexpensive serrated steak knife. No need to buy something new (not that I'm opposed to buying new things for kitchen use!).

 

Exactlly that I guess, Victorinox:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victorinox-Fruit-Vegetable-Knife-5-0833/dp/B000SA6DAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1468188209&sr=1-1&keywords=serrated+knife

 

Perhaps no great thing for an experienced cook, I'd not tried to cut supremes before but the technique was often used on the show mentioned above.  M. Michelak repeatedly stressed the advantage of a serrated knife so I followed the advice and was delighted with the result.  No doubt supremes can  be cut with other types of knife if you know what you are doing.

 

Another tip from the same show that I haven't tried but would be interested to hear your views on concerns preparation of chocolate.  Rather than following the usual tempering process Michelak has candidates melt what is clearly Valrhona chocolate at a very low heat using an induction hob.  He stops the heating process once around ⅔ of the chocolate is melted, candidates are to keep stirring until the rest is melted off the heat.  They then use the results as one would for traditionally tempered chocolate.  The idea is to melt the lot without taking the mass above 30c.  Does anyone think this might work? The candidates in the show have only 30 minutes to recreate the dish they have seen demonstrated, probably not enough time to temper chocolate is a more traditional way.  

 

The French show has just been cancelled but all the Master Classes are on YouTube if anyone is interested.  I believe there was a Canadian version but not sure how long it ran.   

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23 minutes ago, DianaB said:

 

 

 

Another tip from the same show that I haven't tried but would be interested to hear your views on concerns preparation of chocolate.  Rather than following the usual tempering process Michelak has candidates melt what is clearly Valrhona chocolate at a very low heat using an induction hob.  He stops the heating process once around ⅔ of the chocolate is melted, candidates are to keep stirring until the rest is melted off the heat.  They then use the results as one would for traditionally tempered chocolate.  The idea is to melt the lot without taking the mass above 30c.  Does anyone think this might work? The candidates in the show have only 30 minutes to recreate the dish they have seen demonstrated, probably not enough time to temper chocolate is a more traditional way.  

 

I will sometimes temper chocolate (starting with well tempered chocolate) by placing the bowl in the microwave and heating until it is about 3/4 melted. It may actually get warmer than the working temperature but as long as the remaining seed is just melting out when it gets down to the working temperature it will be tempered. 

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