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chefs13

The Quintessential eG Kitchen Tips/Trucs

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Has any one heard the saying "hot pan, cold grease, food won't stick" ....I heard that years ago somewhere. I think it is a stir fry thing...back in the day when stir-fry was the in thing (as opposd to sautéing).

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That was Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet.

Thaw frozen fish in milk and it will taste fresher. Use the milk for a sauce for the fish.

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try to always buy Dirty potatoes. They keep longer , and just plain taste better if you wash them just before using them.


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Has any one heard the saying "hot pan, cold grease, food won't stick" ....I heard that years ago somewhere. I think it is a stir fry thing...back in the day when stir-fry was the in thing (as opposd to sautéing).

Works for sauté, and any other application involving a hot pan/griddle/flattop/French top and oil. I had to sear off 500 portions of halibut today -- hot flattop, cold oil, beautiful fish. How do you think cooks made omelettes before Teflon?


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Were you ever in the Navy, Skoop? You should see those cookys bust out omelets to order on a flat-top. It's a thing of beauty.

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Nope, never in the service. I was specifically advised against it. "Son, you don't take orders well. Hell, you don't take orders AT ALL. DON'T JOIN THE NAVY."


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I don't think any chef worth his weight in salt would only season meat after it was cooked... worst advise you could possibly give an aspiring cook.

Sorry Crouton we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Aspiring cooks need the full story here. As a classically trained French Chef in London in the 70's (The Cordon Bleu and Elisabeth Russell schools)I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product. Salting before cooking is only ever advised when done well before hand, i.e.preferably 12-24 hours, so the proteins have time to soften and partly dissolve and are then able to reabsorb their lost moisture, that's why marinating meat is always recommended overnight. If you want to cook meat straight away, season with cracked pepper or spices only, fry/sear/seal off quickly, cook and then add your salt to the meat in

the pan, but at the very end after cooking is completed.

I use a good quality finishing salt, like river murray pink, because it's pyramid crystalline structures breaks down immediately on surface contact giving good intensity, I would definitely not use an iodized, cooking or refined salt either before or after cooking meat.

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I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product.

It is my understanding that the former believed you seal in the juices by searing the steaks, (wrong wrong wrong) and the latter say nothing of the sort. Perhaps I'm wrong though, which new scientists are you referring to?


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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At this time of year the tip that comes to mind was a self-discovery many years ago and has always worked for me, namely:

BASTING A TURKEY IS A WASTE OF TIME. My turkey always turns out very moist and cooked through, and I am always able to achieve a crispy skin at the end of the cooking process. In my home cooking experience and having eaten many a sawdust turkey dinner from avid basters, I believe that constantly opening and closing the oven door results in dryer turkey meat (I've seen basting every 15-20 minutes as the normal recommendation), definitely lowers the temperature by 20-50 degrees each time the door is opened, and thus adds more time than necessary before you can pull the bird out of the oven.

Also, not to knock anyone else here who chooses to do it but there's absolutely no way in Hell that I'm going to start off roasting my turkey breast side down and then try to flip 15-20 pounds of hot meat over, especially when I always achieve excellent results roasting a turkey without doing so.

Last tip, and I'm sure no one here does this but I actually know people who still do, namely, NEVER, EVER ROAST TURKEY THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU ARE PLANNING TO SERVE IT! I've been told by those who do this it's to save time. Even if it is a substantially large turkey, say 25 pounds, you can still roast it during the day you are planning to serve it or better yet roast two smaller turkeys. What compounds the crime is that some of these same people will often reheat the entire bird in the oven. I have yet to taste a turkey that was worth eating after using this method.


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product.

It is my understanding that the former believed you seal in the juices by searing the steaks, (wrong wrong wrong) and the latter say nothing of the sort. Perhaps I'm wrong though, which new scientists are you referring to?

Surely Modernist Cuisine has an answer for us. Would someone open their book to the "grilling" chapter and let us know?


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product.

It is my understanding that the former believed you seal in the juices by searing the steaks, (wrong wrong wrong) and the latter say nothing of the sort. Perhaps I'm wrong though, which new scientists are you referring to?

Surely Modernist Cuisine has an answer for us. Would someone open their book to the "grilling" chapter and let us know?

1. The "Osmosis" interaction will apply in this situation.

2. The salted meat will be cooked at a slightly higher temperature because of the salt water has a higher boiling point.

dcarch

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I like using my blow torch on peppers to quickly char the skin. This works on tomatoes too for quick skinning.

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Andie, it sounds like Postum, but I'm not sure that's made anymore.

If you find a sealed jar, there are people who will buy it on eBay for $100-200.

I wonder if I could use ground, roasted chicory. I have a pound I ordered on a whim a while back.

You could try it, although I think that what makes my coffee substitute work is the combo of malt and mollasses.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product.

It is my understanding that the former believed you seal in the juices by searing the steaks, (wrong wrong wrong) and the latter say nothing of the sort. Perhaps I'm wrong though, which new scientists are you referring to?

Surely Modernist Cuisine has an answer for us. Would someone open their book to the "grilling" chapter and let us know?

1. The "Osmosis" interaction will apply in this situation.

2. The salted meat will be cooked at a slightly higher temperature because of the salt water has a higher boiling point.

I am away from home at the moment so I can't post quotes from McGee or MC. However, it is my understanding that salting tenderizes the meat because it changes the charge of the protein molecules on the myofibrils. This is why dry brines for chicken works. I have also experimented with dry brining my beef.

As for the higher boiling point of salted water - yes it is correct that salted water has a higher boiling point, but it is a fraction of a degree hotter - i.e. not enough to have much of an effect.


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

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FOOD SCIENCE SOURCES: I find the best sources for the current science on food is the Journal of Food Science, and on meats: Meat Science. If you don't wish to subscribe to Journals you might find this free shortcut useful:

In your google enquiry box enter Google Scholar and then open the site. Use the query box for your question. It can be about anything eg salting times or quantaties for hams or raw meats, marinading, cooking, storing, freezing, protein breakdown, flavor etc.

You will then be able to have a free look at the many abstracts for the published Journal articles on your topic and can then buy individual articles if you want.Journal published work guarantees professional peer and industry scrutiny.

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For any flake pastry, and particularly for pie crusts, have all ingredients as cold as they can possibly be. Lard/butter/shortening? Frozen and grated into the flour. Water? As close to 0 C as possible. Flour? Pull it out of the freezer just before working with it. Rolling pin? Freeze it solid. I use a marble one. Sure your hands freeze too, but the crust that comes out of this process will be amazingly flaky and tender.

Panaderia Canadiense::Using Google Scholar above for: Process of Pastry making you might enjoy seeing and reading a 1950 Patent application for pastry making using your freezing/chilling processes.


Edited by heidih Fix quote tags (log)

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To easily shuck (open) clams without cooking them, for instance for fried clams.

Put the washed clams in a suitable bowl or pot, fill with boiling water, let sit for 30 seconds, drain and fill with cold water. I got this tip from a friend that used to work in a shop where they shucked bushels and bushels of clams every day. It works. Open the clams over another bowl if you want to save the liquid for broth, etc.

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For any flake pastry, and particularly for pie crusts, have all ingredients as cold as they can possibly be. Lard/butter/shortening? Frozen and grated into the flour. Water? As close to 0 C as possible. Flour? Pull it out of the freezer just before working with it. Rolling pin? Freeze it solid. I use a marble one. Sure your hands freeze too, but the crust that comes out of this process will be amazingly flaky and tender.

Panaderia Canadiense::Using Google Scholar above for: Process of Pastry making you might enjoy seeing and reading a 1950 Patent application for pastry making using your freezing/chilling processes.

I do all of the above, but I use carbonated water as close to 0c as possible. The dissolved gas makes the crust even more flaky.


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I do all of the above, but I use carbonated water as close to 0c as possible. The dissolved gas makes the crust even more flaky.

My DH's recipe for French-Canadian Tourtiere comes from his French teacher in Quebec back in 1960 and uses 7-Up for the pastry liquid.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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FOOD SCIENCE SOURCES: I find the best sources for the current science on food is the Journal of Food Science, and on meats: Meat Science. If you don't wish to subscribe to Journals you might find this free shortcut useful:

In your google enquiry box enter Google Scholar and then open the site. Use the query box for your question. It can be about anything eg salting times or quantaties for hams or raw meats, marinading, cooking, storing, freezing, protein breakdown, flavor etc.

You will then be able to have a free look at the many abstracts for the published Journal articles on your topic and can then buy individual articles if you want.Journal published work guarantees professional peer and industry scrutiny.

Thanks for that. A fair number of us on this bulletin board are scientists, many with PhD qualifications, and well aware of sources for evidence. My interest was piqued when you appealed to "new scientists" to support your argument about when salt should be used. In many cases I have found that people use this as an apparently more sophisticated version of the stem "they say." Which scientists and scientific information were you referring to in support of your argument?


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Nickray: I like Harold McGees books and his website, curiouscook.com, as a modern scientific source and resource for chefs and cooks. He was the first modern expert to re-caution against adding salt to meat you are about to cook, just as older traditional chefs advised before him.(and before Judy Rogers of Zuni Cafe became so fierce about it). Even if meat is salted 10m before cooking, it brings a pool of water to the surface of the meat which will then turn to steam at 212degreees, well before the 310 degrees the meat requires to begins browning.The inhibition of color, shrinkage and a tougher end product result through the steam produced. For salt to begin softening the meat proteins and reabsorb moisture it must go on long before cooking, a day at least,and more for best results. The evidence that early salting lowers shear force are numerous eg.The Journal of Food Science: vol40, issue2, pgs227-230; vol 146,issue 5,pg 1563-1567; vol 37, pg224-6; Meat Science, vol68, issue 2, p305-311.Judy Rogers Zuni Cafe Cookbook also gives a good explanation.Salt can be a tenderizer and flavor additive but it has the opposite effect if done at the time of cooking. A double blind taste test done by chowhound.chow.com about this subject is interesting reading.

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My biggest tip: Don't be an idiot and follow a recipe blindly. Look. Taste. Feel out textures. You don't need to measure ultra accurately to produce great food, hell you don't necessarily need to measure at all. Before even starting a dish understand what the end result you are aiming for is (in terms of texture, flavour, etc.) and then just pay attention to what you are doing.

The biggest mistake I see people making is thinking that by weighing things, they are automatically going to produce perfect food and therefore don't need to taste as they go or otherwise pay attention to the food. And then they wonder why the spicing isn't right, there isn't enough/ there's too much sourness, the salt is wrong, etc.

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The only place where I'd disagree with you, Jenni, is in baking. Those are recipes where it is extremely valuable to have accurate weights and measures, and where a bit of a misstep, particularly in the first time through the recipe, can produce an abject disaster....

Otherwise, I'm in complete agreement. In savoury cooking, recipes are guidelines or starting points, and nothing more.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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