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The Quintessential eG Kitchen Tips/Trucs

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43 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I've no idea why this is posted in the France section. It's universal.

 

It is standard practice in Chinese wok cookery. There is a Chinese saying which translates as "Hot Wok, Cold Oil" to remind people. I'd guess pretty much every Chinese cook, pro or home cook, knows it.

 

It's one of those things I didn't know which I learned when I started cooking in France.


Chris Ward

http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com

I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Ward said:

It's one of those things I didn't know which I learned when I started cooking in France.

 

I learned it in the USA, but only by trial and error, so I wish I'd been reading tips like this at the time. It was pretty quick with butter, because it is less forgiving than oil. I was slower to learn with the oil, but I completely agree with the heat the pan first, then the fat method. If one cooks enough, you figure this out on your own, but you will have to throw out a lot of butter first. 


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Ironically it is ingrained in my brain "hot wok, cold oil, food won't stick" from my time watching Jeff Smith's cooking show on PBS as a young adult.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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7 hours ago, Chris Ward said:

Another tip: If you have more than one or two cloves of garlic to peel, soak them in water first for a few minutes. You’ll find the papery outer skins slip right off once you’ve done this.

 

I put them in a covered quart deli cup and shake the hell out of them. Skin comes right off.

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7 hours ago, Chris Ward said:

Another tip: If you have more than one or two cloves of garlic to peel, soak them in water first for a few minutes. You’ll find the papery outer skins slip right off once you’ve done this.

I tried this with two cloves tonight.   Didn't seem to aid in removing the "skin".  The more papery outer skins have never been the problem.  It's that last layer that I need to smack the clove to release 

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6 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

I tried this with two cloves tonight.   Didn't seem to aid in removing the "skin".  The more papery outer skins have never been the problem.  It's that last layer that I need to smack the clove to release 

Try soaking them for longer, like half an hour or an hour. It does need planning and is most useful when you've lots to peel - when I worked in restaurants as a plongeur some days I'd need to peel a kilo of garlic. Soaking them in a bucket for an hour while peeling onions, gutting fish and so on usually did the trick.


Chris Ward

http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com

I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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15 hours ago, Chris Ward said:

Another tip: If you have more than one or two cloves of garlic to peel, soak them in water first for a few minutes. You’ll find the papery outer skins slip right off once you’ve done this.

 

7 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

I tried this with two cloves tonight.   Didn't seem to aid in removing the "skin".  The more papery outer skins have never been the problem.  It's that last layer that I need to smack the clove to release 

 

I am dubious, although hesitant to argue against experience. A few minutes and an hour are very different too. In my experience, the skins are pretty impervious to water. Maybe if the clove itself absorbed enough water to split the skin? But that seems unlikely too. I despise peeling garlic, but detest the jarred stuff. There's always a fresh head sitting on a plate with tomatoes on my counter. I avoid water when peeling because even freshly washed and not quite thoroughly dry hands make the pesky bits of peel stick to everything.

 

The easiest way for me is to lightly smash cloves on the counter with the smooth side of my meat mallet then peel with meticulously dry hands. I'm also open to an easier way for ANYTHING.

 

I just put a small clove in cold water in a shot glass, so I will see what happens overnight and let y'all know. It floats pointy side (non root end up) BTW, with a little less than 1/4"/6 mm bobbing above the surface. We shall see, won't we?

 

 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Chris Ward said:

Try soaking them for longer, like half an hour or an hour. It does need planning and is most useful when you've lots to peel - when I worked in restaurants as a plongeur some days I'd need to peel a kilo of garlic. Soaking them in a bucket for an hour while peeling onions, gutting fish and so on usually did the trick.

I actually did soak for about an hour while I was out in the pool house for a cigar and beverage  waiting for my wife to come home.  I'll try it for a few hours to see if it makes a difference.  Also wonder if it depends on the freshness of the garlic.  Mine came from the local grocery store.  Not sure where they get theirs. 

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I've used the shaking method to peel several heads of garlic in a large bowl and it worked amazingly well.  I would imagine a few cloves in a small jar would be far easier.

 

 

 

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There must be hundreds of different kinds of garlics. One peeling solution for all?

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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7 minutes ago, dcarch said:

There must be hundreds of different kinds of garlics. 

 

dcarch

I'm sure. 

 

I've mentioned before that my father's been hand-selecting his for size for over 20 years, and now grows seriously huge garlic (it's a hard-neck variety called "Music," for those of you who are gardeners). Aside from its size, one of the things I appreciate about his garlic is its very stiff skins...not reminiscent of tissue paper, like you'd find on most garlic, but more like the pasteboard used for business cards. When I whack it with the flat of my knife, the skin usually pulls right off in one or two pieces. Very convenient. 

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

I'm sure. 

 

I've mentioned before that my father's been hand-selecting his for size for over 20 years, and now grows seriously huge garlic (it's a hard-neck variety called "Music," for those of you who are gardeners). Aside from its size, one of the things I appreciate about his garlic is its very stiff skins...not reminiscent of tissue paper, like you'd find on most garlic, but more like the pasteboard used for business cards. When I whack it with the flat of my knife, the skin usually pulls right off in one or two pieces. Very convenient. 

This.

 

And if you have a large amount, take a big heavy bottomed pot and smash 'em on the cutting board.  If you are concerned about mess, put a towel on top of them.  Though the knife smash method takes no time at all and lets me get any of the day's frustration out.  Just make sure you angle the blade downward when whacking the knife!

 

 

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19 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I just put a small clove in cold water in a shot glass, so I will see what happens overnight and let y'all know. It floats pointy side (non root end up) BTW, with a little less than 1/4"/6 mm bobbing above the surface. We shall see, won't we?

 

I took out my soaked garlic clove tonight for dinner and was able to peel it without smashing. A small crack in the skin had started at the larger end, so I started there. It took longer to peel than the time it takes me to walk three steps to the cabinet for my meat mallet, give a firm tap and peel it that way. This method was doable, but not a winner for me. I was using American no name garlic from a mainstream grocer, so YMMV. The overnight soak didn't seem to affect the garlic inside. I used it to make garlic bread.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Anyone else freeze stock in ice cube bags?

I used to use regular ice cube trays to freeze stock, but it gets complicated in summer in particular when you want to make regular, water ice cubes and accidentally slip some beef stock into your rosé.

So now I use ice cube bags. It makes it very simple to use one or a few cubes at a time to add into a cup-a-soup, a sauce or whatever. Here I’m using a dozen chicken stock cubes or so to give some more flavour to the scrapings from the roast chicken tray on Sunday.

And yeah, I know I’m not the first person to recommend this but I still think it’s worthwhile.

IMG_6291.jpg

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Chris Ward

http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com

I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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Another way is to get extra ice cube trays. $1.00 each from Goodwill. Less mess, easier to handle.

Another benefit using trays, open ice cubes evaporate in the freezer, less need to concentrate the stock.

 

dcarch

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, dcarch said:

Another benefit using trays, open ice cubes evaporate in the freezer, less need to concentrate the stock.

 

I would consider that a wash, at best, because they're also going to absorb off-flavors from the freezer. I used to do that with stock and opened bottles of wine, and quickly decided it was best to pop them from the tray to a Ziploc bag once they were frozen. 

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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14 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I would consider that a wash, at best, because they're also going to absorb off-flavors from the freezer. I used to do that with stock and opened bottles of wine, and quickly decided it was best to pop them from the tray to a Ziploc bag once they were frozen. 

Depends on what else you have in the freezer. In the winter, there is very little need for ice cubes. I have used ice cubes that are more than a month old, with no off-flavor.

 

dcarch

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As always, one's mileage and freezer may vary. :P

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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42 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I would consider that a wash, at best, because they're also going to absorb off-flavors from the freezer. I used to do that with stock and opened bottles of wine, and quickly decided it was best to pop them from the tray to a Ziploc bag once they were frozen. 

The problem I found with bagging them to free up the ice cube tray was that they tend to stick together. Sure, I can bash them but with the bags I get more convenience, no evaporation, no acquired smells either way.


Chris Ward

http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com

I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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@Chris Ward 

 

thank you for mentioning ice cube bags.  Id never heard of them .

 

IKEA hgas them 

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70257167/

 

Amazon , of course

 

https://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Cube-Pack-2400-Cubes/dp/B00DP6P6R8

 

even Youtube :

 

 

once I make some stock I actually like , Ill be all over this.

 

by that time the FreezerCleanOut fab will be long over and forgotten 

 

 


Edited by rotuts (log)
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@rotuts You're welcome. They're pretty common here in France, I've been using them for, well, since I arrived 20 years ago, and I seem to recall using them in the UK too. Perhaps they're less common in the US because so many fridges have ice makers?


Chris Ward

http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com

I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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