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If I hear this one more time ...


mrsadm
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I think I'll puke. Every cooking show on TV, every cookbook, lectures me on using the freshest possible ingredients. OK already! I GET IT. Do they think they are saying something original?

On the other hand, especially on the net, I come across a lot of recipes calling for stuff like garlic powder and onion powder; recipes that start with a can of soup; "taco seasoning" (what the heck is in that?) and other stuff that makes me shudder a bit. I mean how hard is it to peel and chop some garlic - and it's available year-round.

I was wondering if anyone here in this esteemed community would ever admit to using those "fake" products.

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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Hell yeah I'll admit to it. There are some applications where granulated garlic works best. For one thing, its far less likely to burn in oil. They are few and far between, but I sure keep it in stock, along with heads of garlic. I made tacos this Friday to take to the SO's place of business. I make my own "taco seasoning". In goes some ground chipotles, ground new mexican chiles, ground cascabel chiles, onion powder, garlic powder, roasted and ground cumin seeds, cocoa powder, dash of cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Add that to some ground beef, minced onions and fresh garlic, a couple of jalepenos or serranos and you are good to go!

It really just depends on what's being made, I guess.

As for canned soup... I'll use canned broth if I'm out of my own stock. Life happens, yaknow?

But I also agree that I don't like to see recipes that have a lot of pre-made, processed stuff in them.

I'm on a recipe list where theres one person that copies this kraft kitchens email to the group once a week. I just cringe. Theres always something with canned cream of something soup, velveeta, frozen breaded cutlet of something or other....

prechopped frozen veggies etc. Throw all together and heat through, and viola...

I'm all for convenience, but there's just something about that kind of recipe that makes me sad, and kinda makes me feel uneasy. Maybe it makes me feel self-rightous because I've never been that kind of cook. I'm not sure. I know its not hard to chop an onion, especially with my new KFP600 :wub::wub::wub:, but if someone grabs a bag of frozen chopped onions and a can of soup, some veggies and throws it with some protein, thats at least a meal, and better than feeding their family Mickey Dees. So I try not to look down my nose too hard, different folks, different standards and circumstances I guess.

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I was wondering if anyone here in this esteemed community would ever admit to using those "fake" products.

Absolutely.

There are some applications where, using your garlic powder example, that nothing else will do. Dry rubs for BBQ come to mind.

Then there are recipes that would suffer from tampering with. On several threads, it has come up that the ubiquitous green beans with the mushroom soup and canned fried onions is just not the same thing if you make it from scratch. I have an old crock pot recipe for beef stew that uses a can of mushroom soup and a package on onion soup mix. It just isn't right without those. I have a yellow squash recipe that starts out with diced onion lightly browned in butter. It is better with the dried onion flakes. There is a nuttiness to the flavor that is really good. :wacko:

Then there are the "comfort foods" that some of us remember from our childhood, particularly if our childhood was in the 50s, that rely on the prepared food craze at the time.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I think it is important to empthesise the saying, "Use the freshest ingredients" because there are many who do not abide by this, thinking economy over taste. Some chef's I've worked for get lost in the business aspect and push poor product. I am not harping on them as they are in DIFFICULT situations and many times the nature of the restaurant itself is built upon business as opposed to craft. So, a reminder is good (sometimes) for us all. (smile)

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I think it is important to empthesise the saying, "Use the freshest ingredients" because there are many who do not abide by this, thinking economy over taste. Some chef's I've worked for get lost in the business aspect and push poor product. I am not harping on them as they are in DIFFICULT situations and many times the nature of the restaurant itself is built upon business as opposed to craft. So, a reminder is good (sometimes) for us all. (smile)

'zactly.

and for every person who has heard it 1000 times, there's a bunch who haven't heard it at all. i suggest those who know put their fingers in their ears. and for those who haven't had it pounded in their brains, open their ears. i'm sure we can all coexist.

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Looks like you opened up a can of "fresh" worms. :raz: FRESH, FRESH, FRESH, FRESH!!! Can't say it enough. I'm glad that you don't have to be told/reminded.

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

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I am having King Ranch Casserole for dinner manana and other than the chicken and the tortillas it is pretty much just canned stuff and I make no apologies for it. The stuff is great. I love it hot and I like it cold the next day.

Let's face it, sometimes you can't do it all from scratch (although most of the time I seem to, but mainly because I enjoy doing it-not because it is easier or faster).

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I think I'll puke. Every cooking show on TV, every cookbook, lectures me on using the freshest possible ingredients. OK already! I GET IT. Do they think they are saying something original?

Original? No, but there are many people out there who don't realize that, for example, fresh basil tastes different from dried. As several posts have mentioned, it bears mentioning when the audience is new to cooking.

On the other hand, especially on the net, I come across a lot of recipes calling for stuff like garlic powder and onion powder; recipes that start with a can of soup; "taco seasoning" (what the heck is in that?) and other stuff that makes me shudder a bit. I mean how hard is it to peel and chop some garlic - and it's available year-round. 

As for the other side of the coin --the canned ingredients, the dried spices and mixes -- they can have their place too. I think part of the joy of being an experienced, unbiased cook is that one learns when to go with fresh and when the "convenience" ingredients are acceptable, even (dare I say?) preferable.

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Does Lawry's Seasoned Salt count? I always feel . . . shifty when I use it.

I hope it doesn't count or I'll have to look around to make sure no one sees me putting it on my cauliflower before roasting. I've tried a bunch of different seasonings for roasted cauliflower and keep going back to Lawry's Seasoned Salt.

I've also tried a slew of different dry rubs for my smoked ribs and discovered McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning to be the hands-down winner. I know it's easy enough to just make that sort of thing myself but I haven't yet carved the time out of my schedule to do so.

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I've also tried a slew of different dry rubs for my smoked ribs and discovered McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning to be the hands-down winner.

Try this one. I have found that I really like it alot.

1 small bottle Prudhomme's Meat Magic

1 lb. Dark Brown Sugar

Mix Well

Rub on the meat about an hour or longer prior to cooking.

It's really good.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Awww dang. I forgot about Turkey. Its just not Grandma's stuffing without a can of cream of chicken soup. And Mayhaw Man just triggered another memory of this dish my family's friends created at their ranch. Rocking J' Chicken. Its got a can of cream of too. And I'd not give it up for anything! :wub:

So I guess I DO use more than I thought of convenience foods. I'd better start saying Hail Mary's or something. Perhaps in this case, Hail Julias? :rolleyes:

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I keep garlic powder and onion powder around. First, sometimes I run out of garlic or onion and the stuff hasn't gone on sale at the grocery store -- I don't like to pay full-price if i can help it -- and that's when I use powder as a substitute. Second, I have recipes for dry-rub and barbecue sauce that actually specify garlic powder and onion powder.

If it tastes good, I don't care that I used a powder.

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I use kits when making tacos. You know, the shells, taco sauce, and seasoning. Then I top them with pre-cut lettuce, pre-shredded cheese, and pre-packaged sour cream. Oh, but I chop the tomatoes myself. :smile:

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I use kits when making tacos. You know, the shells, taco sauce, and seasoning. Then I top them with pre-cut lettuce, pre-shredded cheese, and pre-packaged sour cream. Oh, but I chop the tomatoes myself. :smile:

Are the corn tortilla shells really already folded in those things? If so, does one eat them unheated?

Just wondering.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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If you are in agreement that some of the best traditional food in France comes from the region of the southwest, you might be suprised to learn that at least 80% of the great food is traditionally put up in jars and stored in the cupboard before ever being serving .

The aging similar to wine makes the food taste even better: the difference between confit one day old and confit 3 months old is eye opening. Or the packaging of young chestnuts with sous vide is better than any home-peeled and cooked ones you do yourself.Of course, you need quality to put up food.

.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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I use kits when making tacos.  You know, the shells, taco sauce, and seasoning.  Then I top them with pre-cut lettuce, pre-shredded cheese, and pre-packaged sour cream.  Oh, but I chop the tomatoes myself.  :smile:

Are the corn tortilla shells really already folded in those things? If so, does one eat them unheated?

Just wondering.

Those are astonishingly popular in Alaska. They do come folded and I've seen when folks "hang" them on the rack in a moderate oven to heat them up and toast them a bit. Taco and card nights were the thing to do.

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If you are in agreement that some of  the best traditional food in France comes from the region of the southwest, you might be suprised to learn that at least 80% of the great food is traditionally put up in jars and stored in the cupboard before ever being serving .

The aging  similar to wine makes the food  taste even better: the difference between confit one day old and confit 3 months old is eye opening.  Or the packaging of young chestnuts with sous vide  is better than any home-peeled and cooked ones you  do yourself.Of course, you need quality to put up food.

.

Sure.

And there is a vast range of fermented or pickled or cured foods that one would not "fresh".

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Taco and card nights were the thing to do.

Thanks.

Is there meat in the sauce?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I use kits when making tacos.  You know, the shells, taco sauce, and seasoning.  Then I top them with pre-cut lettuce, pre-shredded cheese, and pre-packaged sour cream.  Oh, but I chop the tomatoes myself.   :smile:

Are the corn tortilla shells really already folded in those things? If so, does one eat them unheated?

Just wondering.

You just have to stick them in a 350 degree or so oven for 5 minutes. Yes they do come already shaped like tacos and already cooked but yeah, they're pretty nasty unheated.

Edit: oh, no meat in the packet...the taco sauce is just the salsa you'd put on top, and the seasonings come dry. You brown the meat, add some water and the seasonings, cook to thicken, and go.

Edited by KateW (log)
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"taco sauce" from an old el paso (or like) kit is picante sauce - vegetarian. typically of course, the preparer adds the large envelope of powdered seasoning to ground beef, but the small aluminum lined box of sauce is meat-free.

my problem with the taco packages - which i loved as a kid - is how salty they are. oh and the shells always seemed stale. warming in the oven (which we did on a sheet pan) never seemed to help. they were alway bendy.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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You know, I was just reading the "what the..." thread about the unneccessary prepped foods out there (boiled eggs, frozen PB&J, readymade texas toast, you name it).

From the looks of things, people are so inundated with readymade/convenient/preserved out the wazoo products that they are increasingly unaware of the simplicity of basic preparation, much less the difference between fresh and preserved foods.

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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I was wondering if anyone here in this esteemed community would ever admit to using those "fake" products.

Absolutely.

There are some applications where, using your garlic powder example, that nothing else will do. Dry rubs for BBQ come to mind.

Then there are recipes that would suffer from tampering with. On several threads, it has come up that the ubiquitous green beans with the mushroom soup and canned fried onions is just not the same thing if you make it from scratch. I have an old crock pot recipe for beef stew that uses a can of mushroom soup and a package on onion soup mix. It just isn't right without those. I have a yellow squash recipe that starts out with diced onion lightly browned in butter. It is better with the dried onion flakes. There is a nuttiness to the flavor that is really good. :wacko:

Then there are the "comfort foods" that some of us remember from our childhood, particularly if our childhood was in the 50s, that rely on the prepared food craze at the time.

I agree with you 100% There are some "convenience" foods that are worth using because they enable you to do other things with more flair.

I often have people ask me for my recipe for Mac 'n Cheese. I unabashadly tell them my "secret".

First I cook the Creamettes brand elbow macaroni, if that is not available then it is Barilla.

It is then cooked aldente, then drained, tossed back in the pot with butter and a can (or two, depending on the amount of macaroni) of Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup, undiluted.

Stir, pour in a casserole, sprinkle the top with parmesan or asiago, freshly grated and run under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

It is alway creamy, never gets gummy or hard and tastes good.

If we want spicy it is the Nacho Soup I use.

In the meantime, I have baked bread from scratch, cooked fresh mushrooms, onions, tomato and squash, grilled chops or steaks and prepared a killer dessert.

The mac and cheese takes 15 minutes, tops.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you are in agreement that some of the best traditional food in France comes from the region of the southwest, you might be suprised to learn that at least 80% of the great food is traditionally put up in jars and stored in the cupboard before ever being serving .

The aging similar to wine makes the food taste even better: the difference between confit one day old and confit 3 months old is eye opening. Or the packaging of young chestnuts with sous vide is better than any home-peeled and cooked ones you do yourself.Of course, you need quality to put up food.

.

Akin to confit, is the pre-refrigeration method of preserving pork chops.

At hog-killing time. The chops were cut up and fried while the lard was being rendered.

Then a layer of cooked chops would be place on the bottom of a large crock. That layer would be covered with melted lard then another layer of chops, another layer and lard and so on until the crock was filled, topped with lard, covered with a clean board with a weight on the top and placed in the coolest spot around, root cellar, spring house, etc.

Sealed away from the air, these chops would keep for many months and the deeper one got into the crock, the better the chops tasted.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Oh my... I happen to have a can of nacho cheese soup in my pantry.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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